Disability claims have reached a record high, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA’s two disability programs – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – are the primary source of income for many disabled Americans. SSDI provides payments to disabled persons who have earned enough “credits” through the payment of social security taxes deducted from their paycheck, with no limitations on income or assets. Conversely, SSI provides income to those disabled persons who have limited income and resources.
Since the U.S. economic decline began in 2007, the number of people seeking disability benefits has continued to rise. The number of disability applicants surged to a record high of 2.94 million in 2010 and has held steady at more than 18 per 1,000 workers in each of the past three years. The most recent figures indicate that the number of workers collecting disability benefits hit a new record high of 8,827,795 in December 2012, which was up from 8,805,353 in November 2012.
The total number of all Social Security program beneficiaries, including retirees, dependent family members and survivors, and disabled workers and their dependent family members, also hit a record high in December 2012 at 56,758,185, which was up nearly 100,000 from the previous month.
Given the record number of applicants and claimants, in addition to political uncertainties regarding the debt ceiling, many are concerned about the ability of the SSA to continue providing disability benefits to all eligible applicants. Some economists have speculated that, at the current rate, disability funds will be depleted in 2016, adding to the nation’s mounting debt load.
The SSA disability program is funded primarily by payroll taxes, with additional revenue from interest on the assets in the trust fund, and income from a tax levied on those who receive Social Security retirement benefits.
If you have become or are disabled, our team of skilled social security disability attorneys can assist you with every step of the social security disability claim process. We will help you:
- Determine whether, in addition to Social Security Disability benefits, you are also eligible for SSI, which requires that applicants meet certain financial eligibility requirements
- Manage the claim application process
- Assemble the specific information that the SSA requires be submitted with your application
- Represent you at the Social Security disability hearing
- Work with you to appeal the decision if your claim is denied.
Do not hesitate to contact our office at (800) 442-6546 to schedule your free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Illinois social security disability attorneys.