The Social Security Administration has reported that the number of disabled workers collecting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) has more than doubled over the past 20 years, with 11.7 people collecting benefits at the end of 2011. Additionally, the proportion of eligible workers applying for SSDI has also doubled over the past two decades, meaning that more people are being found to qualify for benefits.
The National Association of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives has explained that there are two main reasons for the growing number of SSDI recipients. For one, baby boomers are reaching retirement age, a time when people are more prone to disability. Second, because women didn't enter the workforce in significant numbers until the 1970s and 1980s, they are only just now becoming eligible for SSDI.