FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2012-03-12
Families throughout the nation continue to struggle financially. In fact, the prospect of economic stability continues to look so grim professionals have coined this period of time the Great Recession. Many depend on unemployment benefits to make ends meet during these difficult times, but what happens when they run out?
Now, more and more people are looking to Social Security Disability benefits when their unemployment ends. Whether people were disabled before their unemployment began or became disabled while receiving unemployment, Social Security Disability offers hope to many when they need it most.
Details Behind Unemployment Benefits
People granted unemployment benefits initially receive payments for 26 weeks. In response to the difficult job market, Congress has extended the benefit period to as much as 99 weeks.
At first glance, this may appear to be a sufficient amount of time for those actively seeking employment to obtain a position. Unfortunately, statistics show that even with this support unemployment continues to plague the nation — currently at 8.3 percent.
Additionally, the amount of time out of work is directly connected to reemployment. Workers unemployed less than five weeks were found to have a 34 percent chance of finding a job the following month, while those out more than six months only have a 10 percent chance, according to the Labor Department.
Background of Social Security Disability Benefits
The high rate of unemployment has resulted in many individuals needing additional support. Now people are increasingly considering whether they are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.
These benefits provide relief to individuals that once held a job but are no longer able to work due to an injury. Benefits are paid when the medical condition results in the inability to work that is expected to last up to a year or may result in death.
Whether the injury is the result of a chronic illness or accident, aid continues while the medical condition is present and renders the victim unable to work.
More People Depending on Social Security Disability Benefits
The number of people receiving social security disability in the past five years has grown by a shocking 20 percent. Now, almost 10.7 million receive Social Security Disability.
Contrary to some critic’s assertions, the change may not be a reflection of people looking for another government handout as much as it is an indication of the psychological toll the recession has had upon this country.
Although some people may not have been disabled at the onset of their unemployment, the long-term effects of continual job rejections and financial stressors have caused many to become anxious or depressed.
In addition, the economy has taken its toll on the working disabled. Many of those individuals would have preferred to be employed than receive Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, the combination of layoffs and a stagnant job market has foreclosed many opportunities for this segment of the population.
In the past, jobs were more readily available and individuals with disabilities were more likely to find employment before benefits expired. However, as jobs continue to remain scarce reemployment is much more difficult. As a result, more disabled people are left with no option but to seek disability benefits.
If you or a loved one is disabled and unable to find employment, benefits are available. The Social Security Disability application process is difficult, and guidance from an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer is in the applicant’s best interest.