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As the Economy Improves, Fewer Apply for SSDI

Posted on Feb 08, 2013

Experts agree the economy is improving. Housing prices are increasing, people are spending more, businesses are hiring, and fewer people are applying for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI).

Historically, people apply for SSDI after their unemployment benefits run out. A decline in SSDI applications may mean that more disabled adults are finding jobs. According to the Social Security Administration, 638,223 people with disabilities applied for SSDI during the fourth quarter of 2012. This is the lowest number of SSDI applications since the fourth quarter of 2008 and represents a 12 percent decrease from the third quarter of 2012 when 726,026 applications for SSDI were filed.

For the second year in a row, the total number of SSDI applications has decreased. In 2010, a record 2.94 million adults applied for SSDI benefits. In 2011, the number of applicants dropped to 2.88 million, and in 2012, it dropped further to 2.82 million. Despite the decline, it is expected that SSDI application rates will remain high.

The average age of an SSDI applicant is 53. This is midway through the baby boomer generation. The increase in SSDI applicants also has caused an increase in average wait times for SSDI. Currently, more than 1.89 million SSDI claims are pending, with an average wait time of 26 months. Only 33 percent of these applications are expected to be approved.

You can speed up the application process by making sure you are qualified for SSDI before applying. Fill out the paperwork completely and be sure your disability and its effects on your ability to work are well documented. A Boston SSDI benefits attorney can help.

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John L. Keefe
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