Increase in Social Security Disability Insurance applications

Social Security Disability applications are on the rise. There are currently 10.6 million Americans collecting Social Security Disability - a 32 percent increase from 2002. The purpose of the Social Security Disability Insurance program is to provide financial support to struggling Americans who cannot work because of disability or injuries. Experts believe the recent increase in applications is due to the current economic climate.

Two new studies have found that people are seeking Social Security Disability benefits after their unemployment benefits have run out and they are still unable to find employment. It is estimated that the high unemployment rate this year has contributed to 3,000 additional people applying for benefits each week. These applicants suffer from moderate health issues. Some experts believe that the correlation reveals that many Americans view SSD benefits as extended unemployment benefits. This correlation, however, makes sense. When the job market is good, those applicants with moderate impairments can find jobs easier, just like everyone else, because there are more jobs available.

A lot of people applying for benefits do not have the best health, but in a better job market they may have had the opportunity to better manage their health issues and also work. For many, Social Security Disability Insurance is their only hope.

Appealing Social Security Disability denials

If you have a physical or mental health condition that prevents you from working, you may be able to claim disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. You can apply for Social Security Disability benefits online, in person or over the phone.

It is important to know that many initial claims are denied. You can appeal the denial and properly follow the SSA's procedure to get another chance at applying for benefits. The reconsideration and appeals process is complex and includes:

  • A request for reconsideration. This is a review of your application and any new evidence by someone who did not take part in the initial review.
  • A hearing by an administrative law judge. The judge will review your case file and question you and any witnesses, such as medical experts or others familiar with your case.
  • Review by the Appeals Council. This council will review your case file and will approve it, deny it or send it back to an administrative law judge for another hearing.
  • Federal Court review. If you disagree with the Appeals Council's decision, or if the Appeals Council refuses to review your case, you can file a lawsuit in federal district court.

If your initial application has been denied, contact an experienced Social Security Disability attorney to help you through the appeal process. You only have 60 days to appeal or request a reconsideration or hearing, so contacting a representative can be crucial to the outcome of your case.