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Social Security Administration: disability recipients increasing

One of the results of the long economic recession and stagnating recovery is that there are many people who have been unemployed for a long time. Additionally, data from the Social Security Administration documents that more people are receiving Social Security disability benefits than in the past. The uptick in recipients from New York and elsewhere resulted in a record-high 5.3 percent of people ages 25 to 64 receiving disability payments. This was a statistically significant increase from the 4.5 percent in the same age group receiving disability benefits in 2007.

Social Security Administration data also suggest that it is fairly normal for the number of people receiving benefits to increase during a recession. When people cannot find gainful employment, they are more likely to consider an application for Social Security disability benefits. In recent years, unemployment for disabled people has risen from 9.3 percent in June 2008 to 16.9 percent in June 2011.

It is estimated that nearly 100 percent of those receiving disability benefits will remain on the program until they reach retirement age. The average benefit recipient receives $1,111 per month in payments. This amount is used by many in New York to cover basic expenses.

When people become injured or ill and can no longer work, it is often necessary for them to apply for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. The disability insurance program is intended to assist the individual as they struggle to return to the work force. In some instances, the benefits can be paid until retirement age if there is no reasonable possibility for a return to gainful employment.

Source: Bloomberg News, "Number of US workers claiming Social Security Disability Insurance climbs 22% in 5 years," Alex Kowalski, May 6, 2012

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