It is well known that people with disabilities struggle with higher levels of unemployment compared to those without disabilities. According to a recent study, the unemployment rate for people with disability increased during the third quarter of 2012 to 13.7 percent from 12.9 percent in the second quarter. Despite the change, applications for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits remained stable.
The data shows that 726,026 people with disabilities applied for SSDI during the third quarter of 2012, which is a slight decrease from 731,817 from the previous quarter. The third quarter number is less than 2 percent lower than the third quarter number from 2011. The number of applicants for SSDI so far this year is around 2.2 million, and an estimated 1.8 million SSDI claims are pending with an average cumulative wait time of more than 800 days.
Addressing the problem of unemployment is a particularly important one for disabled people. One company that is attempting to address the situation in Michigan is Big Tent Jobs. The founder, Adam Kaplan, began the company after being taken aback by the poor employment statistics for people with disabilities. Whereas about 75 percent of the working age population participates in the labor market, that number is around 20 percent for disabled people.
Hopefully more companies like Big Tent Jobs will begin working to assist more disabled people, because it is a real problem. The situation is a reminder of the important role Social Security Disability benefits play for the disabled, unemployed people that rely on them.
Source: CBS Detroit, “Big Tent Jobs Finds Employment For The Disabled,” October 23, 2012