Why are Fewer People Applying for Disability?

December 14, 2019

Is it true, are there fewer people applying for disability? Well, yes and no. There are a number of factors that influence the volume of people who apply for disability, and they all seem to be present at the moment. In 2017, and 2018 the number of applicants dropped on a national level. However, that doesn’t mean your local volume of applicants is down at all.

Just a few years ago, there was a concern that the disability funds would be gone by 2032. That the Social Security Disability insurance system would not be able to sustain itself because of the large volume of people on the program. Now, that worry seems to have fallen by the wayside. Why?

Strong Economy – Fewer People Applying for Disability

As the economy grows and strengthens, fewer people are inclined to take the option of disability. Often, they have insurance, possibly even short-term disability insurance such as Aflac. That means that they’re able to receive the medical care they need, and usually from a doctor they prefer. In a healthy economy, people are less worried about making ends meet during an injury. Instead, they’re focusing on getting the best healthcare and recovery plan possible.

For people who are on worker’s compensation claim, many would prefer just to see their own doctor. They don’t trust their employer’s choice in medical care, and they know that losing a few days or even a week at work is a worthy trade.

Another factor that a strong economy brings in is the opportunity to bounce back. When an injured person does need a substantial amount of time off, they may see it as an opportunity to move in a new direction. Not only are they less worried about getting disability, but they probably won’t put much work into the application either.

Instead, they will likely leave their employment or request an extended leave and may not try applying for disability at all. They’ll use their time off to build new skills, seek out new employment, or take on a more active role at home. With more two or three-person incomes in a household now, there is less stress on each person to keep the family finances afloat.

On the opposite end of this spectrum, though, is that a weak economy or a crumbling economy spurns more people into disability. Looking at the numbers in the years surrounding the dot-com bust, it’s clear that after 2000, when many companies failed, the number of people on disability skyrocketed.

Wisconsin Disability Requirements

The Wisconsin Disability Determination Bureau is the department that helps people understand if they qualify for aid. It’s possible to qualify for any number of programs, including the Social Security Disability Insurance program, Medicaid plans, and the Katie Beckett Program. Each opportunity for aid addresses different needs and has different requirements.

For adults with a disability, they need to put their focus on the SSDI or Social Security Disability Insurance program’s requirements. These requirements include having accrued a certain number of work credits over the last year and a half and meet the definition of disability.

Regarding the disability requirements, your disability should impact your ability to work for at least a year. That means a broken bone will likely not qualify you for disability. Additionally, the disability office must decide that it would be unreasonable for your employer to accommodate your disability. For example, if you were a construction worker and lost an arm, that accommodation would not be reasonable.

Finally, the office must decide that you could not do your work as you did before. Many disabilities are not permanent, and it’s possible for you to return to work at a later time. But, for the duration of your disability and recovery period, it must be unreasonable to perform your work duties.

Needing a Disability Attorney

Needing a disability attorney to take charge of an application has caused many people to give up on their effort to obtain disability benefits. Unfortunately, many people are missing out on the benefits they need because they aren’t able to obtain an attorney. Or, they don’t know that attorneys are the right resource for them.

Because of the exceptionally high denial rate in Wisconsin, many people simply give up on their application. Disability lawyers such as those working at Tabak Law, however, are available to help. With a free consultation, you can meet with an attorney and see if you meet the requirements for disability. That can save you time and frustration in submitting an application.

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