Third quarter statistics for this year show the disabled experience a much higher level of unemployment than most of the non-disabled general population. The unemployment rate for disabled workers saw an increase from 12.9 percent to 13.7 percent from the last quarter figures. Applications for disability insurance however continued to remain stable. It may seem obvious to many in New Jersey and elsewhere that disabled individuals would find it more difficult to find suitable employment due to physical or mental limitations, but the unemployment rate of disabled workers is frightening.
One study found that disabled workers have a 73 percent higher rate of unemployment that non-disabled workers experience. Thus far this year, 2.2 million people have applied for Social Security disability insurance benefits because they are no longer able to work due to a disability. Estimates state that 1.8 million of these claims are still pending with a wait time averaging more than two years, according to the same study's analysis of the Social Security Administration's backlog of cases.
Because the time between applying for and receiving benefits is so long it can be imperative for applicants to apply for benefits sooner rather than later. It can be difficult for an individual or family to understand the requirements for obtaining disability insurance and again to navigate the complexities some disability cases may present if an illness or medical condition is not listed in the agencies pre-approved list of compassionate allowances. The rules surrounding conditions that qualify for disability benefits is continually changing thus it's important to ensure your application meets all current eligibility requirements.
It may be beneficial in these cases to consult with a professional experienced in the complete SSDI application and appeals processes. Doing so may improve the timeline and likeliness for success for some applicants. Social Security disability is a federal insurance program funded through FICA tax deductions mandated by the federal government. There are specific qualification guidelines and restrictions, including being physically or mentally unable to work for at least 12 months.
Source: iStockAnalysis, "Unemployment Rate Increases for People With Disabilities During Third Quarter, Allsup Reports," Rebecca Ray, Oct. 26, 2012
Our New Jersey law firm assists individuals and families with all stages of the process of applying for Social Security disability insurance and maintaining those benefits, as well as appeal a denial of benefits, if necessary.