Baby Boomers Stress Retirement And Disability Pay Outs

The typical conversation about Baby Boomers and Social Security involves the increase in retirees who are going to make Social Security insolvent, since retiring Baby Boomers outnumber those currently paying into the system. Baby Boomers will put a strain on Social Security retirement benefits, but another impact they are already having is on Social Security disability benefits.

The basic numbers behind Social Security disability benefits show that we have more and more applicants each year with fewer and fewer approved cases. During the 2006 fiscal year for the federal government, 2,524,550 workers applied for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) approved 35.2 percent of those applications. In the most recent fiscal year, which ended in September, there were 3,243,079 applicants, with the SSA approving 33.5 of them.

As we age, we are more likely to suffer a severe injury that jeopardizes our ability to work. The rough economic times pose an additional burden, as older Americans face longer unemployment periods than their younger counterparts. The Baby Boomer demographic is thus increasingly likely to suffer an injury, come down with a severe malady or endure employment troubles. As their troubles rise, so do the number of people applying for disability benefits.

If you are of the Baby Boomer generation, do any of these concerns ring true for you?

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