Baby Boomers Increase Number of SSDI Applications

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Many people filing for Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, have discovered that there is quite a wait in the process. One of the factors in this lengthy process is the number of individuals filing for disability. Aging baby boomers are contributing significantly to the number of applications the Social Security Administration is receiving for disability benefits.

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Baby Boomers Increase Number of SSDI Applications

  1. 1. Baby Boomers Increase Number of SSDI ApplicationsMany people filing for Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, have discoveredthat there is quite a wait in the process. One of the factors in this lengthy process is thenumber of individuals filing for disability. Aging baby boomers are contributingsignificantly to the number of applications the Social Security Administration is receivingfor disability benefits.There are strict requirements that must be met in order to receive disability benefits, butthat is not deterring people from applying. According to SSA statistics, the number ofapplications has risen by nearly 30 percent over the past five years. In 2006, more than2.1 million people applied for SSDI benefits and that number increased to nearly 3million in 2011.In order to receive disability benefits, applicants must prove that they are suffering from adisability, illness, or other condition that causes them to be unable to work or performsubstantial gainful activity (SGA). They must prove that the condition has lasted, or isexpected to last, at least 12 months, or is terminal.Even when an applicant meets the requirements, their application for SSDI benefits maybe denied. In the past five years, the number of approved applications from the initialphase of the process decreased from 35 percent. The SSA applies SSDI programrequirements to ensure that only those who truly need SSDI benefits receive them. Thismeans that disability benefits are not easy to obtain.Despite the increase in applications, the average wait time for initial claims hasshortened, albeit only by a few days, over the past five years. Initial claims now take, onaverage, 109 days to process, and appeals for a claim that reaches the hearing leveltypically takes about a year.Some people choose to hire a Social Security disability representative, either a lawyer oran advocacy firm, to help them navigate the SSDI application process. This is a wisedecision as studies have shown that having representation can help the process movemore quickly and helps the applicant to receive their much-needed benefits faster.

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