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Number of baby boomers requiring disability benefits may grow

According to recent data, the oldest baby boomers -- the generation born after World War II -- have already reached retirement age. However, the classification is broad, encompassing Americans ages 49 to 67 in 2013. Many baby boomers still have 10 or more years left before retirement age.

The fortunate will be able to retire in good health. However, at least one study has concluded that baby boomers have higher incidences of obesity, diabetes, and/or high blood pressure than any previous generation did at the same age. Unfortunately, that means that some in America's aging workforce may be at risk for disability.  

In fact, the list of physical conditions that may afflict the aging baby boomer workforce is extensive. From back and neck injuries, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, repetitive stress disorders, or illnesses like multiple sclerosis, there are many different conditions that may give rise to eligibility for Social Security disability insurance benefits.

Workers that have been paying into the system through payroll deductions may have enough work history to qualify for SSDI payments. Unfortunately, the process is more complicated than that. In fact, not even a diagnosis will lead to automatic eligibility, save for a list of life threatening and/or terminal conditions that the Social Security Administration affords expedited treatment.

For individuals that have become unable to work because of a physical or mental condition, the first step is to understand the SSDI process. An attorney can help in that regard, answering questions about whether a specific medical condition might qualify. From there, an attorney can help an applicant compile medical records and other evidence that proves how the condition has impaired functioning and made working impossible.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Explaining the 'mystery' of where all the disabled are coming from," Michael Hiltzik, Dec. 3, 2013

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