Study uncovers why disability rolls are climbing

In recent decades, the number of people who receive Social Security disability benefits has climbed dramatically. In 2008, there were about 900,000 new disability claimants; back in 1970, there were only 250,000. Does this mean that there are far more disabled people today than 40 years ago? Does it mean that a number of able-bodied citizens are gaming the system? A lot of people would have you believe the latter.

The truth is, however, that there are more people obtaining disability benefits today than in previous decades due to changing demographics.

A study that has recently been released by two Social Security Administration economists illustrates this fact. The study found that aging baby boomers, population growth, and an influx of women in the workforce account for the majority of the increase in the disabled population. In fact, those factors account for up to 94 percent of the increase. The most significant factor appears to be aging baby boomers.

This study illustrates that many of the stereotypes about people with disabilities and about the Social Security disability insurance program are completely untrue.

SSDI is not a handout, and in fact it is often very difficult for deserving disabled Americans to obtain disability benefits. As its name suggests, Social Security disability insurance is an insurance system that provides benefits to Americans who become disabled prior to retiring. In order to qualify for benefits, a person must have worked enough years to have paid a sufficient amount in Social Security taxes. Those who have not paid enough into the system may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income.

Unfortunately, those who are in need of SSI or SSDI in the Midwest often find themselves facing red tape. It can be important to seek guidance from a disability representative if you are navigating this process.