Friday, July 6, 2012

Disability Benefit Claimants Boom; Number Now Higher than New York City’s Population

As of June 2012, the total number of permanent disability claimants hit a record-breaking figure of 8,733,461. It actually exceeded the total number of population of New York City, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Over a couple of decades, the number of people collecting permanent disability checks significantly dropped, according to reports.

Way back in 1992, just a little more than three million people were relying on disability benefits; after two decades, the ratio significantly increased to more than twice the said figure.

Out of the 50 states in the U.S., only 11 states have populations larger than the number of wage earners on impairment or disability. Those states are California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Pennsylvania.

In June, the payments hit a record 8.7 million workers whose social security checks averaged more than $1,110 each. Such number doesn’t include the recipient’s respective spouses and children. Including those beneficiaries, the total number of claimants reached 10.8 million.

The federal disability insurance is funded by the 1.8 percent payroll tax split from wage earners. Those who are considered as self-employed are liable for the entire tax. In each of the previous fiscal years, the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability insurance trust fund has become insufficient. Therefore, the government has been compelled to borrow money to pay disability benefits to claimants.

In 2009, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund’s deficit was $8.5 billion, in the following year, the deficit climbed up to $20.8 billion. Meanwhile, in 2011, it significantly increased and hit $25.3 billion.

Now that the number of disability claimants boom, more deficits to Disability Insurance Trust Fund could also be expected, according to several lawyers from a Los Angeles social security disability firm.