Articles Posted in Disability Benefits

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For years, we have been warned about Social Security Disability Insurance claim numbers ballooning out of proportion.  However, as recent data, shows disability insurance claim filings are actually on the decline, and have been so for several years.

The number of Social Security disability insurance claims filed in recent years reached their peak in 2014. This peak occurred because of two causes.  The federal government expanded the definition of “disability” which resulted in more individuals being covered under the program and becoming eligible for benefits under the program.  Second, as the baby boomer population aged, a natural and much anticipated number filed for disability.

However, since 2014, those numbers have started dropping significantly. Workplaces, for instance, are much safer than they used to be which has meant fewer accidents and occupational hazards that cause workers to become ill, injured and unable to work.  Access to healthcare has improved with the Affordable Care Act which has allowed many to obtain preventative care and rehabilitative care therebu reducing the incidents of disabilty.  Finally, our economy has moved away from physically demanding jobs as may manufacturing jobs have moved overseas.

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The average Social Security disability benefits payout this year amounts to $1,277. According to the Social Security Administration, it paid out this amount to the average disabled worker as well as dependant in December 2020.

Overall, according to data by the Social Security Administration, a total of 8.2 million disabled workers received benefits in 2020, totalling more than $10.5 billion in benefits to disabled workers. Approximately 1.5 million dependants of disabled workers received benefits during this time, totalling 600 million dollars paid out to dependants.  Overall, the Social Security Administration paid out more than a trillion dollars in benefits during the period, paying more than 65 million beneficiaries.

Disabled workers, however, did not receive the majority of Social Security benefits. They accounted for 13.8 percent of benefits. Retired workers received a majority of benefits, accounting for more than 74 percent of benefits paid out.

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The average disability payment handed out in 2020 was approximately $1200.  Many beneficiaries received lesser amounts, and payments can be as low as about $700 a month. Calls for an increase in the amount of disability benefits that Americans can recover after becoming disabled, are increasing.

The Unites States has the dubious distinction of paying out some of the lowest amounts in benefits in the developed world. Benefits payments have not kept pace with all the external factors that can influence a person’s cost of living.  Living expenses in many areas in Georgia have increased, while disability checks remain the same.

Apart from inflation, there are other reasons why a disability check just isn’t sufficient to sustain many beneficiaries. The amount that beneficiaries are eligible to receive from other federal and state programs can also be very low. When you are eligible for Workers’ Compensation in addition to disability benefits, you may find that the other benefits lead to a reduction in the amount of disability benefits that you recover.

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