Much has been made recently in the news of a spike in the number of Social Security Disability claims. Last month, Social Security reported that the number of individuals receiving disability payments totaled 8,733,461. Many news organizations cried that this is higher than the entire population of New York City. However, this number also reflects the aging Baby Boomer population who are approaching their fifties, an age when chronic medical conditions do remove workers from the workforce.
Still, economists point to a correlation between an applicant’s unemployment payments running out and the initial application for disability. The Wall Street Journal reported this in December 2011.
In previous posts and as reported by Social Security, there is a rise in applicants when there is a downturn in the economy. For many reasons, there are fewer jobs available and those with medical disabilities are at a greater disadvantage and less able to find work that can accommodate disabilities.