Why Do Disability Claims Rise During a Recession? Hint: It’s Not Fraud.

by Staff | June 2nd, 2011

An article published yesterday on CNN Money sheds light on what is being called a “hidden unemployment problem.”

As CNN points out, 17% more Americans are on Social Security Disability than when the Great Recession began at the end of 2007–amounting to a total of 8.3 million workers now receiving disability payments.

This has led some financial analysts to cry fraud, but CNN refutes this idea, saying it’s not that more Americans are filing fraudulent claims nor that judges are approving a higher percentage of claims (the approval rate on claims hasn’t risen), but that in a good economy workers with lesser health problems are more likely to take jobs despite their disabilities. Whereas, in an economy where jobs are hard to come by, disabled workers are more likely to fall back on their government benefits to support themselves.

“There are people who, despite disability, are out there working when times are good,” said Mark Lassiter, spokesman for the Social Security Administration, which runs the disability programs. “We’ve seen this increase in applications during other recessions. This jump is not due to fraud.”

Read more.

If you’re a recipient of Social Security Disability, do you think you’d be more willing to work when the economy improves?

If you need help with your Social Security benefits, contact the Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

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