Baltimore Social Security Disability Lawyers: Disability Claims on the RiseFebruary 6, 2017
Over the years, the number of individuals who receive Social Security Disability benefits has grown at a steady rate. In 1990, less than 2.5 percent of Americans were receiving these benefits, a number which has more than doubled to 5.2 percent as of 2015. A number of factors have contributed to this rise, including a greater number of older employees in the workforce. As a result, Congress has had to shift money from other funds in order to keep the Social Security Disability fund afloat.
According to Stephen Goss, Social Security’s chief actuary, the rising cost of the program should come as no surprise. There are more senior individuals working now than ever before, and older workers are more likely to have a range of health issues that can prevent them from being able to work.
Declining Job Prospects Affect Growing Claims
Another major factor that has been driving up the cost of the Social Security Disability program is how certain communities across the country have been hurt by a struggling economy. Rural areas in Appalachia and the Deep South have been hit particularly hard by disappearing jobs. Many of these residents have had to apply for disability because, for many of them, the only jobs available have been physically demanding, causing a range of health issues. And even those jobs have disappeared.
A 2004 paper revealed that there was more growth in disability claims in Appalachia than anywhere else in the country. In areas like this, where jobs were rapidly disappearing, Social Security disability benefits were essentially functioning as unemployment insurance.
This is a significant change from the early days of Social Security disability, when individuals had to qualify for benefits based on a list of accepted medical conditions. In 1984, Congress broadened the qualification criteria to include chronic pain and mental disorders. The process also became much more subjective in nature. Instead of checking a worker’s condition against a list of criteria, the process considers whether an applicant is able to perform work that is actually available.
French Hill, a Republican Representative who represents residents of Arkansas, plans to reintroduce a disability insurance reform bill that would require more frequent reviews of disability recipients suffering from nonpermanent conditions. The bill would also allow recipients to keep a portion of the subsidy to provide a safety net, even after they become employed. While Hill agrees that the lack of job opportunities has caused many residents to turn to disability insurance, the Social Security Disability program provides an important source of income to those unable to work.
Baltimore Social Security Disability Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Clients Obtain Full Benefits
If you have an illness or a disability that prevents you from being able to fulfill your job responsibilities, contact the dedicated, experienced Baltimore Social Security disability lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Our exceptional legal team will see to it that you receive the benefits to which you are entitled. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent clients throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.