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The current discussion on SSD benefits is focused on unemployment

As most of our Los Angeles readers are probably aware, every month the official unemployment statistics are heavily scrutinized. While the numbers over the last several months seem to have remained stagnant, the official unemployment rate has dropped a few percentage points from where it stood about four years ago. The current discussion in the national media, however, especially with a crucial mid-term election approaching this year, is how to jump-start the national economy and get the unemployment rate even lower.

Los Angeles residents who receive Social Security Disability benefits may look longingly at the debate over jobs and unemployment, fondly remembering the days when they were part of the American workforce. The common perception is that those individuals who receive SSD benefits would work if they could, but their disability is simply too much to overcome. One recent article looked at a bit of SSD information and statistics and combined it with the debate over unemployment, postulating that the actual number of unemployed people in America, including those receiving SSD benefits, may be alarming to the average American.

According to the recent article, 11.2 million people applied for SSD benefits between 2009 and 2013. Approximately nine million former members of the workforce were receiving SSD benefits as of March of this year. If that numbers seems high, the question is "Why?".

In all likelihood, the aging of the American population in general is having an impact on the number of applications being filed for SSD benefits. This isn't likely to change any time soon either, as the number of older Americans will only continue to increase. Combining a stagnant employment environment with a growing number of SSD applicants can't be good for the economy, but hopefully the evaluation process that is part of applying for SSD benefits helps determine who is actual disabled and in need of benefits and who is more likely to return to work.

Source: The Daily Caller, "Optimistic Jobs Numbers Obscure Swelling Social Security Disability Insurance Rolls," Joanne Butler, May 7, 2014

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