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What accounts for the increase in SSD claims?

Many of our readers have heard numerous reports over the last several years about the viability of the Social Security disability system. One reason for funding problems is due to the increase in SSD claims over the years. In 1990, less than 2.5 percent of the working population were considered disabled by the Social Security Administration. By 2015, that number had more than doubled to more than 5 percent.

So why the increase? One reason is the aging working population. As baby boomers get older, they become sicker and more prone to being injured. These conditions may necessitate the need for an SSD claim. Additionally, when SSD was created back in the 1950s, meeting the federal requirements was more black-and-white, as the determination was objective in nature. Nowadays, though, the qualification process is much more subjective, looking at both the illness or injury in question in addition to an individual’s ability to find and obtain available work.

Many individuals claim that the increase in SSD claims is due to fraud. However, fraud is relatively minimal in the SSD system. In fact, the Office of the Inspector General found that fraud only accounted for $416 million of the $89 billion paid out in SSD benefits in 2015.

So what does this mean to Missourians who suffer from a disability? It means that they shouldn’t be afraid to pursue an SSD claim if they feel that they qualify. To learn more about the requirements that must be met and how to put forth the best initial claim or appeal possible under the circumstances, these individuals may want to think about speaking with an experienced attorney of their choosing.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, “Mapping the Growth of Disability Claims in America,” Brendan Greeley, Dec. 16, 2016

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