Understanding Recent SSD Stats: Part I: Three Reasons Fewer People are Applying for SSD

July 9th, 2018 by Attorney John Colvin

Understanding the Drop in SSD Applicants

If you’ve heard rumors that fewer people are submitting applications for social security disability (SSD), you’ve heard correctly. In fact, this phenomenon has attracted the attention of some of the biggest media outlets, including The New York Times.

A Times piece from June 2018 reveals that SSD applications are at a 16-year low. Although more than 8.6 million individuals currently receive benefits, that number is quite a bit less than it was just four years ago. This downturn in applications naturally extends the Social Security Administration’s funding streams’ collective solvency. This means less of a worry that monies will be unavailable to meet needs.

Despite that good news for those relying on SSD, many people are wondering why the SSD applications are dropping in the first place. Generally speaking, three reasons are at play.

  1. Unemployment is at its lowest in years.

Did you know that unemployment now hovers at around 4.0 percent, according to government statistics? Faced with fewer candidates to fill roles, employers are now expanding their searches. This opens the doors to people who might otherwise consider SSD, but who could conceivably work and make more than they would if they had SSD benefits. Rather than fighting for positions, they’re being wooed by businesses in some cases.

  1. Getting SSD is tougher.

Here’s a not-so-pleasant reason for the drop in SSD applicants: Obtaining SSD funds is tougher than it has been in the past. In some regions, SSD offices have permanently closed, adding to potential applicants’ challenges. Consequently, some individuals are simply opting not to try to apply. (The online application has gotten more extensive, adding to the pressure.) Plus, first-time applications are being denied at high rates; they’ve dropped around 20 percentage points in a decade. That’s when turning to an attorney with expertise in helping SSD applicants makes sense.

  1. Older people are leaving SSD.

Medicare recipients no longer need SSD, so they’re moving off the SSD funding stream. This is skewing the numbers and opening the funding stream. Certainly, seniors are still receiving government help, but monies are coming from a different source than SSD. Again, that’s lightening the load for everyone else.

Getting SSD in a Tightening Marketplace

While these facts might make it seem like an unreasonable goal to even apply for SSD, they need to be reconsidered. If you or a loved one truly meets all the criteria to apply for SSD, you shouldn’t hesitate to file an application. Even if you’ve been turned down for disability benefits, you can ask for reconsideration yourself or work with a legal professional to present your case to a judge.

Remember that even though applications are down, you have a unique situation. Never let numbers get in the way of the benefits you need to pay your bills and enjoy a higher quality of life.

Want to talk to an attorney in Tennessee about your SSD application? John R. Colvin, Esq., offers free initial consultations to discuss SSD applications and SSD claim denials. Call the office today to set up an appointment.

Licensed to Practice in Tennessee & Alabama