Increase in SSDI benefits criticized by some

August 15, 2012

Attacks against Social Security Disability Insurance have been on the rise lately, according to Newsday.

Among other things, some critics say that SSDI applications have increased because of laid off workers who turn to disability after their unemployment benefits ran out.

Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, made the same statement last year in an August 22 Newsday article in which discusses how the Social Security Disability program is in financial trouble as aging baby boomers and laid-off workers file large numbers of claims.

But some of the increase in SSDI applications is simply due to the aging of the population. Disability claims increase as more people near retirement age, since older workers are more likely to have medical problems that make them unable to work. SSDI applications have also increased because the U.S. population has grown.

If someone thinks that SSDI is an incentive not to work, be aware that the average monthly benefit is $1,100, or $13,200 a year. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the poverty level for a family of three is $19,090.

When you look at those numbers, it hardly seems that Social Security Disability Insurance is providing an incentive for people to feign a disability.

If you or someone you know needs help with Social Security Disability benefits, contact the disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

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