The matter of Social Security disability payments has been highly politicized. But what it comes down to is, at the center of each SSDI case is a person. It might be more than an injured or sick worker, actually. There might be a family behind a disability claim that needs help in a difficult time and/or economy.
Recently, politicians and other critics have gone after Social Security disability and labeled essentially as the new "welfare" system of the U.S. According to the Social Security Administration, however, there are simple facts to ethically back up why the number of SSDI claims has gone up in the past few decades.
The following are a few logical reasons why, according to the SSA, more people are receiving SSDI payments today compared to the past:
- More women have become part of the workforce and, therefore, part of the population paying into and utilizing the SSDI system when necessary.
- The Baby Boomer generation has aged and continues to do so, obviously. With aging comes higher risk of injury and illness, making it reasonable that the number of claims for baby boomers would significantly increase in the past 30 years.
- The population in general has increased over the decades. There are more people, more workers and more people to try to utilize the SSDI system when their health conditions limit them from being able to find employment.
Criticism of Social Security disability and the SSA doesn't take away from how personally stressful it is for someone who is disabled to try to get support. Though critics like to make it sound like getting SSDI payments is so easy, it isn't easy, and many claimants will get turned down. A Social Security Disability lawyer is crucial to advocating for the benefits a person deserves at any point in the claim process.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Explaining the 'mystery' of where all the disabled are coming from," Michael Hiltzik, Dec. 3, 2013