Social Security Disability Insurance has been around since 1956 and is supposed to act as a safety net in the event an American worker is not able to continue working. During working years, we pay into the program via Social Security tax, knowing that we are then insured under the program. If a disability occurs, a monthly benefit is possible.
However, in the 50+ years since its implementation, SSDI has changed a lot. Keep reading to learn about the current state of the program. If you need to speak to an SSDI attorney, you know that The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker is here.
There Are More Insured People than Ever Before
Consider that in 1970 there were 75 million who were insured under SSDI. Fifty million of those people were men and 25 million were women. In 2020, there are more than 155 million people insured under SSDI, with 80 million being men and 75 million women. That is an increase for men of 160% and for women an astounding increase of 300%.
Take Note: This Does Not Mean There is a Significantly Larger Percentage of Workers Getting SSDI
If you look only at the numbers, it can seem that a much higher percentage of workers are getting these benefits. Actually, though two million people got benefits in 1970 and 8.5 million are getting benefits in 2020, the share of the workforce getting SSDI has only risen from 3% to a little over 4%.
Why? Because the size of the insured workforce has grown so much in that time, due to population growth, more dual-earning families, and the increase in Social Security retirement from 65 to 66. The percentage increase is generally attributed to the Baby Boomers as they reach the 50 – 65 bracket when workers are most likely to quality for SSDI.
Fewer People Apply for SSDI and Fewer Applications Are Accepted
For many years the number of applications and awarded benefits was on the rise. In recent years, the numbers leveled off. In recent years, the numbers are actually dropping. Right now, fewer than four in ten applicants will receive benefits. The Social Security Administration believes that this statistic will remain stable.
Today’s SSDI Beneficiaries Rely Almost Entirely on Their Benefits
The average SSDI beneficiary today is older, in worse health, and relies much more on SSDI than beneficiaries in previous years. Three out of four are 50 years or older. 35% are 60 or older. Most of them suffer from a significant mental, nervous system, musculoskeletal, or other debilitating condition. As a result of all of this, people on SSDI die at a much higher rate than other people in their age group.
Benefits are harder to get today but it is not impossible. If you have been denied benefits, carefully look at the reason why to determine what you can do to get the approval you need.