Abromson & Carey, Attorneys at Law
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Statistics paint story about why disability claims are rising

A recent report analyzing data of exactly who is own Social Security disability and in what parts of the country paint a picture that, among other things, calls in to question any rumor that the reason so many more people are drawing SSD benefits is rampant fraud and waste in the system.

The number of people on disability more than doubled over 25 years, from 2.5 percent of those of ordinary working age to 5.2 percent, with approximately 1 and 20 working age Americans being "on the check." Because of higher enrollment levels, the program is now more costly to administer and thus has had several recent funding crises.

One of the problems causing in the increase is the aging of the American population. As more and more people continue to work while they are older, they are more and more likely to seek disability should they get sick or injured shortly before retirement age.

The other interesting thing to note is that counties with a large number of disability claimants, as in 8 percent or more of the work force being on disability, seem to be clustered in certain geographic areas, most notably Appalachia and other parts of the rural South. Fortunately, New Jersey's rate of disability payees seems to be within average range.

The thing to note is that it is not the case that people in areas where disability claims run high are engaged in fraud. The issue is that many of these areas at one time employed people via physically demanding jobs, oftentimes leaving people hurt or with a long-term illness. Once these jobs dry up, the people in the area generally can meet the requirements for disability and take advantage of the benefit since they have no other income. Although many might want to return to work, the possibility of losing a large and, relatively speaking, guaranteed benefit may simply be too much of a risk.

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