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Unemployment rates higher for the disabled

Individuals with a disability are 60 percent more likely to be experiencing unemployment than those that are not disabled. In 2011, the unemployment rate for disabled individuals was at 13.1 percent while it was 8.1 percent for the rest of the population. So while many individuals are unable to obtain employment, their situations are even more exasperated by at the same time being denied Social Security Disability Benefits for either illness or injury.

Disabled people are disproportionately below the poverty line, more likely to be unable to afford their mortgage payments, behind on their bills and often have had their utilities shutoff while awaiting disability benefits. It should not be forgotten that these same individuals paid for their Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits through payroll taxes while they were able to work.

Because disabled individuals face such an uphill battle to begin with, it is essential that they apply for their SSDI benefits as early as possible. The possibility of a legitimate claim being denied always exists, and the appeal process may be lengthy.

It's surprising to discover that nearly half of the individuals applying for SSDI benefits did not know that they could have representation with them at the initial hearing and to lead them through the application process. If you are disabled and considering applying for benefits, it would be a good idea to speak to an attorney experienced in helping out such clients as seeking representation in making such claims can be absolutely essential. And such representation can be a benefit in more than just the initial application as counsel can also help out in appealing a denial of such benefits as well.

Source: Market Watch, "Income at Risk: Unemployment Rate Drops Significantly for People with Disabilities, Allsup Finds," Jan. 18, 2012

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