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Funding, not unemployed, SSDI’s main problem

It almost seems intuitive. If you were a worker in Ohio and you lost your job in the last few years, and obtained unemployment insurance, what might you do when your unemployment was exhausted? With jobs in the Columbus area still hard to come by, maybe you would look for some other benefit program, such as the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.

When you first look at the application for the SSDI program, you may have noticed that it asks about your medical condition and medical records. Well, if you do not have any medical records because you do not have a medical impairment, your attempt to apply for SSDI would be ended.

Many of those who criticize the SSDI program and the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) handling of the program like to connect items like the rise in unemployment with the rise in applications and pretend they have a “gotcha” moment.

It is not, as anyone who knows how the program actually functions, would understand. And a new study backs up that conclusion. It found that “fewer than 2% of workers whose unemployment benefits had expired actually applied for disability insurance.”

This makes sense, as we indicated, since you have to be out of work for at least a year and have a medical impairment that prevents your going back to work. Few unemployed workers would satisfy those requirements.

The SSDI program faces many challenges in the coming years, especially funding issues, but it is not suffering those problems because there are unemployed workers attempting to use it as an extension of unemployment insurance.

Source: PRNewswire, “Study Reveals New Insight About Social Security Disability Benefits Amid Agency’s Influx Of Problems,” February 10, 2014

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