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Increasing number of Social Security disability claims awarded

Since the economic recession started in 2008, businesses and individuals have felt the impact of it. Many people who worked hard their entire lives have felt the harsh reality of downsizing and layoffs. Among those who were laid-off, people who were working with injuries have suffered the most.

In Ohio, some employers modify their working environments in order to accommodate injured, disabled or aging workers. However, if an injured worker is laid-off, he or she may have a hard time finding a new employer willing to make the same accommodations. As a result, people who have spent years working with an injury or disability are now applying for Social Security disability benefits.

According to statistics available from the U.S. Social Security Administration, the number of people applying for benefits has been steadily increasing lately. Before the recession started in September 2008, there was an average of less than 200,000 applicants each month. Moreover, from January 1985 until September 2008, there were only 14 times when there were more than 200,000 applications in a month. Conversely, from September 2008 to January 2011, there have only been five months in which there have been fewer than 200,000 applications.

One Social Security disability attorney stated that the national labor force included a lot of people who were "walking wounded." Although it may be frustrating for an individual to realize he or she will likely not be re-employed, many of those who are aging or have health problems will likely qualify for Social Security benefits. Read the next post to learn more about the things to watch for when you are applying for benefits.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Rise in disability claims leads to more business, competition," Zach Needles, The Legal Intelligencer, 28 February 2011

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