BELLEVILLE, IL--(Marketwired - Apr 30, 2013) - The unemployment rate for people with disabilities was on the rise again in the first quarter of 2013 after reaching a four-year low at the end of last year, according to a study by Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance representation, veterans disability appeal and Medicare plan selection services.
A weak overall job report at the end of the first quarter overshadowed the grim outlook for people with disabilities. The Allsup Disability Study: Income at Risk found that people with disabilities experienced an unemployment rate approximately 65 percent higher than for those with no disabilities in the first quarter of 2013. Allsup has conducted the quarterly study since 2009. The study is available at http://www.allsup.com/Portals/4/allsup-study-income-at-risk-q1-13.pdf.
The unemployment rate averaged 13 percent for people with disabilities and 7.9 percent for people with no disabilities during the first quarter of 2013. This is an increase over the 2012 fourth-quarter figures of 12.4 percent for people with disabilities and 7.3 percent for people with no disabilities. The figures are based on non-seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
"The job market remains challenging; even more so for those with disabilities who face a greater hurdle for a number of reasons," said Tricia Blazier, personal financial planning manager for Allsup. "For example, working for an extended period of time may no longer be possible due to their condition, or their disability worsens over time to the degree that they can no longer work at all."
The Allsup Disability Study: Income at Risk shows that 680,292 people with disabilities applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) during the first quarter of 2013. Although that figure is an increase over the 638,223 people who applied in the previous quarter, it's a decrease from this time last year. There were 724,746 applicants in the first quarter of 2012.
In 2012, more than 2.8 million individuals were unable to continue working due to a disability and applied for SSDI. Following Social Security Administration (SSA) field office closings and reduced hours in remaining locations, the SSA has reported the backlog of initial claims pending could increase from nearly 708,000 to 796,000 in 2013, along with longer processing times.
Many applicants face significant financial burdens during the long wait for SSDI benefits, Blazier added. "Devastating financial disasters, such as bankruptcies and foreclosures, are too often the norm for those with disabilities," Blazier said. "Applying for SSDI with the assistance of a professional representative as soon as possible can help minimize some of these hardships."
Four Reasons to Seek Early SSDI Representation
Using a Social Security Disability Insurance representative offers several advantages, especially at the initial application level. A qualified representative can help applicants:
- Discover if they are likely to qualify for SSDI benefits before they apply. To determine eligibility, the SSA uses a five-step evaluation process. The agency makes decisions based on medical documentation, work history, age and other factors. A representative can go over the evaluation process and review documentation to establish if individuals are likely to qualify for Social Security disability benefits before they spend time on the application process.
- Benefit from specialized knowledge and hands-on help from the start. Too often, incomplete or inaccurate forms cause delays. Using a professional representative such as Allsup ensures expert, knowledgeable help in completing the necessary applications.
- Improve their chances for an early award. At the initial application level, more than half of Allsup claimants receive benefits, compared with just one-third nationally.
- Avoid long waits in Social Security office lines. Professional representatives handle the paperwork, answer questions and submit the claim. In fiscal year 2012, the SSA closed 19 field offices and reduced hours in their remaining locations, leading to even longer wait times. Eight out of 10 Allsup claimants never visit an SSA office.
Contact the Allsup Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276 for a free disability evaluation.
Allsup also provides free financial planning tools to help people better manage their finances while awaiting SSDI benefits at http://www.allsup.com/personal-finance.
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs more than 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. Visit http://www.Allsup.com or connect with Allsup at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.
The information provided is not intended as a substitute for legal or other professional services. Legal or other expert assistance should be sought before making any decision that may affect your situation.