Monday’s post discussed the CBO’s finding that a big reason for the growth in SSDI beneficiaries was and continues to be Baby Boomers. This makes sense, since the older we get, the more likely we are to suffer an injury or medical condition that prevents us from working. The CBO study also found that Americans under 44 comprise a smaller and smaller portion of disability beneficiaries. Young Americans on disability benefits are an important demographic for another reason – they return to work the quickest and stop receiving disability benefits.
Again, this may seem to be common sense, but it is a statistic that many critics of disability benefits fail to note. Younger Americans are less likely to suffer a disability that prevents them from working than older Americans; younger Americans are also typically able to recover from their disability and return to work much faster than older Americans.
Disability policy analysts found that, amongst the disability beneficiaries they looked at, nearly half of all beneficiaries under 40 returned to work for at least a year. For those between the ages of 40 and 49, the number returning to work was just 29 percent. The percentage continues to drop as we look at older workers; for those between 50 and 61, 20 percent had a year of work.
As we mentioned Monday, disabled Americans under 40 now comprise just under a fourth of all disability beneficiaries. Analysts found that these younger Americans, however, account for over 60 percent of beneficiaries who stop receiving benefits because they return to work.
In fact, the number of disability beneficiaries returning to work and ending their benefits altogether has shown the same rising trend as the number of people applying for benefits, but this is a fact we rarely hear. The numbers of disability beneficiaries performing a trial work period, suspending their benefits due to work, or ending their benefits altogether due to work are at their highest levels ever.
On Friday, we will mention the options that disability beneficiaries have as they recover from their disabilities and try to return to work. If you suffered a workplace injury that has prevented you from working, read our website to learn about working with one of our Tulsa SSI attorneys.