The mainstream media tend to paint a picture of thousands of people receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) when their unemployment ran out during the recession. One United States Senator was quoted as saying that his office discovered that 25 percent of SSDI applications should never have been approved and another 20 percent debatable. In truth, SSDI is one of the most difficult forms of federal aid to receive.
Some people in Pennsylvania may already be aware that the application process can be grueling and requires more than ample medical evidence to back up the claim. According to the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, only four out of every 10 applicants are approved. Some people can wait months or even years to receive benefits even if they are terminally ill.
These statements may leave people in Pennsylvania wondering why there are nearly 10 million people receiving benefits each year if the application process is so strict. Baby Boomers are reaching an age where they are drawing SSDI in record numbers. When this is added to the influx of women into the workforce beginning in the 1970’s and the fact that people are retiring at a later age, it is easier to understand the increasing numbers of people receiving benefits.
SSDI is often critical for people who are permanently injured and unable to work. The program is funded by contributions from employers and employees, and no one should feel they are not entitled to apply for these benefits if they are needed. However, the process of applying for benefits can be daunting, so anyone in Pennsylvania that is looking to apply for SSDI may benefit from assistance in getting through the process.
Source: The Buffalo News, Another Voice: Reports on SSDI fail to provide the full story, Jeffrey Freedman, Oct. 10, 2013