According to an August 8, 2012, PRNewsire press release, D.C.-based advocacy group “Our Generation” has released a report entitled “Social Security Disability Insurance – an Entitlement in Need of Reform.” In the report, the non-profit think-tank elaborates on the problems with the current Social Security disability system and suggests ways that the federal disability program could be reformed in the coming years.
Large Number of Americans are Receiving SSD or SSI
Per the report, there are currently over 8.7 million people receiving either Social Security disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. This constitutes around 5.9% of work-aged Americans, and all indications are that both the number of disability applicants and disability recipients will continue to rise. Our Generation points out that disability benefits were originally intended to provide an income for permanently disabled older individuals, while the scope of the program has seemingly-widened to cover a large number of marginally-disabled workers of all ages.
The large number of individuals applying and being approved for Social Security disability puts an economic strain on the program – and the taxpayers who support it. Our Generation asserts that making relatively minor modifications to the SSD and SSI programs could save $50 billion over the next 18 or so years.
Recommendations include Stricter Eligibility Standards
The changes recommended by the Our Generation report include:
- enforcing stricter disability eligibility requirements
- performing more “continuing disability reviews” (to weed out disability recipients who may not continue to qualify)
- making changes to the way employers contribute to Social Security taxes
- requiring employers to provide private disability programs that cover an initial period of time before SSD benefits would kick in
The Importance of Hiring a Qualified Social Security Disability Lawyer
Whether or not the government decides to implement any of the suggestions outlined in the report, it is likely that the Social Security disability system will see some changes in coming years. This very well could include making it harder to get approved for disability benefits. Currently, around 75% of those who apply for Social Security disability in Colorado have their applications denied. While some of these disabled Colorado workers will win disability benefits upon appeal, the SSD appeals process is often lengthy and stressful.
If you’re applying for disability in Colorado, one of the best things you can do is to hire an experienced Colorado disability attorney early in the application process. Even if you’ve already received one or more disability denials, a qualified Social Security lawyer at Colorado disability law firm Kaplan Morrell can ensure that your claim is being properly evaluated and processed and can determine how to best get you approved for disability benefits.
There’s no up-front cost to hire one of Kaplan Morrell’s knowledgeable Social Security attorneys – in fact, you’ll only pay us if you are approved for benefits.
Click here or call 1-800-356-9898 to contact us to arrange a meeting with a helpful disability attorney in the Denver or Greeley, Colorado area.