After World War II, the United States experienced a booming period of economic success. As a result of that success, the population of our nation skyrocketed as families grew along with their success. This created an entire generation of Americans known as the baby boomers. Now that decades have passed, this generation is quickly approaching retirement age, but the country may not be ready for this, and the Social Security Disability system may be the first place this weakness shows up.
Are SSDI Claims Up Because of Aging Baby Boomers?
Since 2002, the population of the U.S. has grown around 16 percent, but the number of people claiming disability has far exceeded this growth. In the same period of time, the number of disability recipients has increase to 8.7 million, which translates to a whopping 57 percent. So, what caused this increase disability claimants? Age is seen as the primary reason for this increase.
The decade or so before a person hits retirement age is also considered the prime time for them to fall victim to a condition that will prevent them from working. The entire baby boomer generation has arrived at this point, and it is beginning to show. As more baby boomers sustain disabling injuries, or develop disabling conditions, a further strain is being exacted upon the Social Security Administration. This strain is anticipated to grow as the baby boomers without disabilities reach retirement age, and so far, government officials have done little to prepare the country for this.
How Do Rising Claims Affect Social Security Disability?
The waitlist for Social Security Disability benefits hearings is 1.1 million people long, forcing applicants to wait an average of 633 days to get a hearing and benefits approval. This state of affairs may also get worse if federal funding trends continue. Since 2010, Congress has refused to give the SSA the operating budget it needs. If inflation is factored in, then the SSA has actually seen an 11 percent budget cut in a period where applicant numbers are rising and are expected to continue to rise.
This year, the house passed legislation to freeze Social Security funding for another year while more baby boomers are needing the Social Security funds they paid into over long, hard work careers. This makes it even more important for SSDI applicants to have an attorney by their side at the beginning of the process. An attorney can help ensure that applicants meet all requirements, acquire the proper medical records and submit them to the right SSA disability offices. This could be vital to shaving months off the application process, and without it, some baby boomers might not get the benefits they need before hitting retirement.
This message was brought to you by the Tulsa disability attorneys at Troutman & Troutman, P.C.—helping Oklahomans get the benefits they need.