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Unemployment among individuals with disability dropping

There has been much discussion across various media outlets centered around the collection of disability benefits and the pressure that the Social Security Administration has felt to process a high volume of applications. Many are looking for solutions to address this while still making sure that individuals with disabling circumstances in New Jersey and elsewhere are still provided for.

Some feel that if there were more opportunity for earning an income for individuals that have serious illnesses, disabilities or disabling conditions that prevent such individuals from being able to work in a traditional environment, there could be some relief for the Social Security Administration. Unfortunately, there are not enough of these opportunities at present.

It is good news that the fourth quarter of 2012 saw the lowest levels in four years of both unemployment among individuals with disabilities and the number of individuals applying for Social Security Disability benefits. However, there is still a stark divide between the rates of unemployment among individuals that do not struggle with disability and those that do. Individuals that struggling with disabilities in New Jersey and elsewhere are unemployed at rate 70 percent higher than those that are not similarly struggling.

Part of this figure could be reflective of a lack of accommodating opportunity. An individual related to an organization that provides individuals with disabilities with benefits says of this circumstance, "If more people with disabilities capable of working were provided the opportunity to do so, the trust fund for the Social Security Disability program would be stronger. These individuals would be paying into the trust fund just as other workers do."

While there is much discussion on the pressure the system is facing, it seems that fewer individuals are offering suggestions that will be mutually beneficial for both parties. The creation of more opportunities for individuals with disabilities to earn an income could help. Such opportunities would need to be sensitive to such individuals' needs and circumstances.

Source: The Intelligencer, "Unemployment for People with Disabilities Drops to Four-Year Low, Allsup Disability Study Finds," Jan. 24, 2013

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