Nationwide, the number of people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance is increasing. In Pennsylvania, that increase has amounted to a 50 percent increase since 2003, recent Social Security Administration data shows. That increase is above the national average of 39 percent.
Experts cite a number of reasons for the increase. As more women have entered the workforce, there are a larger number of workers who may suffer a disability that can potentially qualify for benefits.
"Claims have changed over the years to simply include more people" Sara Goulet, press secretary for the state Department of Labor and Industry, which oversees the Bureau of Disability Determination in Pennsylvania, told the Pocono News. With those expanding numbers comes the need to explore more disabling conditions and the ability to work.
Other reasons for the increase in applications include an aging population, an inability for many disabled workers to compete for technical jobs and an expanding knowledge of disabilities, such as fibromyalgia, that were previously unknown.
The increase in beneficiaries is putting a strain on the system. A single disabled person who qualifies based on his or her work history and disabling condition will receive $720 per month, while disabled people who qualify with a spouse and/or dependents can receive up to $1,300 per month. The amount may not seem like much to a lot of people, but it can provide help for a disabled person to pay for life essentials.
Disabled people in Pennsylvania should discuss their options with an experienced SSDI attorney if they want to apply for eligibility or have been denied benefits.
Source: Pocono Record, "Pennsylvania's Social Security disability claims up 50%" Eric Boehm, July 22, 2013