There's no doubt that the social security disability program is an important life-line for millions of Americans. However, with an estimated 56 million individuals currently receiving SSD benefits, federal administrators are fearful that the financially strapped program will soon fail to provide for those most in need.
According to the Social Security Administration, in Pennsylvania alone roughly 145,000 cases of individuals seeking SSD benefits were processed during 2011. Currently, more than 390,000 Pennsylvania residents receive some form of disability benefits. This number has increased dramatically within the last decade, as Pennsylvania experienced a 50 percent growth in the number of SSD and SSI recipients.
While some politicians try to assign blame for the program's financial shortcomings to the very people who are most in need of such benefits, proponents of the SSD program contend politicians, shortsightedness and spending cuts are at fault. The dramatic increase in the number of Americans qualifying for SSD and SSI benefits stems largely from changes that were made to broaden qualifying criteria.
Additionally, more women in the workforce and an aging work population have contributed to an increase in the number of Americans receiving disability benefits. For those Pennsylvania residents who believe they may qualify for SSD or SSI benefits, the application process can be complex and lengthy. Applicants are required to submit comprehensive medical records as well as additional supporting evidence of a disability. For these reasons, many individuals who apply may be declined benefits due to insufficient evidence of a disability.
For these individuals, an attorney who has experience handling matters related to social security disability can be a tremendous asset. In many cases, a legal professional has experience in obtaining the necessary information to secure disability benefits.
Source: Philly.com, "Rolling dole: PA residents on disabilit up 50 percent since '03," Eric Boehm, July 17, 2013