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Arizona Social Security Disability Blog

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Good News for the Social Security Disability Benefits Program

Q: What positive changes are impacting the SSDI program?

No one knows when a disability that will impact your ability to work may strike and for the majority of Americans who don't likely have long-term disability insurance benefits, the fear of being disabled and financially-vulnerable is real.

Experienced Social Security Disability benefits attorneys can help the disabled through the initial Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) application process as well as the more-lengthy appeals process if the initial application was denied.

Even when everything goes as well as can be expected, and benefits are granted, they will still be less than the recipient was used to living on. Financial pressures, coupled with the stress and possible pain associated with the disability can be difficult. Coupling all of that with the grim statistics that approximately two-thirds of initial applications for SSDI benefits are denied-- and that the wait for an appeals hearing is approximately two years—it’s easy to get discouraged.

But there is finally some good news for those who need Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

The number of applicants for SSDI benefits in 2017 "plunged" significantly – – to the lowest levels since 2002. And this year's numbers are projected to be even lower.

Why has the number of applications dropped so drastically and what does the plunge mean? For one thing, it means a dramatic improvement in the projected future solvency of the Social Security disability benefits program.

A “much stronger economy”, has reportedly caused a "startling reversal of a decades-old trend that threatened the [SSDI] program’s solvency". Only two years ago analysts warned that the program could be insolvent by 2023, but just pushed the date back to 2032.

Evidence of a stronger economy has reportedly drawn more workers back to the workplace as hiring on many levels is up—including various areas of work that might be suitable even for those with disabilities. In addition, disabled baby-boomers’ disability benefits are converting to regular Social Security retirement benefits in larger numbers they hit retirement age.

Another reason for the drop is that Social Security administration has "tightened the approval process" by:

  • making qualifying for Social Security disability insurance benefits more difficult

  • making the application process more arduous and

  • making the appeals process for rejected applications harder as well.

While these reasons unfortunately penalize legitimately needy applicants, they may help root out the deceitful and fraudulent applicants.

Still, the dramatically improved financial solvency of the program can only benefit those fortunate enough to be receiving benefits now and those who qualify for benefits in the future.

If you need assistance applying for disability Social Security disability benefits, or appealing a denial of benefits, the disability attorneys of Arizona at Roeschke Law can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our offices in Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson, we represent disabled people and their families throughout Arizona.


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