If you are in the process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you know just how much red tape and hoops you must get through in order to receive benefits. After experiencing the SSDI application process, you may wonder how the system is so overwhelmed—after all, it seems impossible to get into the system in the first place!
Why Are SSDI Claim Numbers Climbing?
There are a few reasons why the number of SSDI claims has ballooned over the past few years, which can be attributed primarily to two reasons: workforce composition and the state of the economy.
In the current workforce, two important demographics are nearing the age where they may need SSDI benefits. The baby boomers are a huge portion of our current workforce, and many are beginning to apply for disability benefits. The second group, while much more common today, are relative newcomers. Women entered the workforce en masse in the last few decades, and by the 1980s, most women were working. This has led to an increasing amount of women applying for SSDI benefits, as well.
The stumbling economy a few years ago has also affected disability benefit claims. In the first decade of the new millennium, unemployment was high. As unemployment insurance began to time out for many people, workers with disabilities who found themselves unemployed turned to SSDI to supplement their income following the end of their unemployment benefits.
The Dilemma With SSDI Benefit Claims
Many argue that the strict standards of the SSDI benefit application process is a good thing, weeding out the individuals that do not truly need it so that other deserving people can benefit from the program. The problem with this approach, however, is that it has led to huge wait times for everyone, leaving the system backlogged while overworked Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) quickly scan over applications.
Once people are “in,” they are likely to do whatever it takes to stay that way. Many people who were suffering from temporary disabilities at the time of their application may recover to the point that they may be able to work again. Despite the possibility of earning much more money than their SSDI income, these people are left fearful that should their disability return or worsen, they will be stuck in the endless application limbo once more.
What You Can Do
When you are suffering from a disability that permanently or temporarily affects your ability to work, you deserve to reap the benefits of the system that you paid into your entire career. While the increasing red tape, wait times, and funding issues are daunting, do not let them discourage you from applying for a right that you have earned.
By seeking the advice of an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer, you are strengthening your case for receiving your SSDI benefits. For answers to your questions and concerns, as well as for guidance with your case, contact Schmidt Kramer today by phone or by live chat—our attorneys are proud to serve individuals like yourself.