Headlines regarding Social Security Disability often point to the increased number of disability applications that have occurred in the last decade.  Statistics from the Social Security Administration website report that there were 1,895,521 applications for disability filed in 2003, and in 2013, there were 2,640,100 applications filed.[1]  These numbers may appear startling and lead to the question, “Why are there so many more applications?”  Contrary to popular misconceptions, there are many practical and legitimate reasons behind the rising number of disability filings.  As a starting point, the U.S. population is both growing and aging.  As a society we are living longer than ever before.[2]  However, these longer lifespans do not come with a guarantee of health sufficient to sustain employment.

Not only do we live longer as a society, but medical technology and treatment increase the rate of survival for certain diseases and injuries that previously had a high mortality rate.  Again, successful medical treatment does not guarantee there will not be lingering effects or new limitations for the survivor that preclude them from working.  In conjunction with these medical advances, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have create a new generation of veterans.[1] United States veterans are a part of the group with higher survival rates from physical injuries due to medical advances.  They are also exposed to conditions that are ripe for creating potentially disabling mental health impairments, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  The combination of scientific gains, an aging and growing population, and a decade of war are all components leading to higher rate of disability claims.


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About Citizens Disability, LLC:  Since 2010, Citizens Disability has been America’s premier Social Security Disability institution. Their mission is to give a voice to the millions of Americans who are disabled and unable to work- helping them receive the Social Security Disability benefits to which they may be entitled.

For more information about Citizens Disability, LLC visit the company’s website: citizensdisability.com

[1] Social Security Administration, Selected Data From Social Security’s Disability Program, http://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/dibStat.html.

[2] Life expectancy at birth for the total population in 2011 was 78.7 years.  National Vital Statics Reports, Deaths:

Preliminary Date for 2011, U.S. Dep’t. of Health and Hum. Servs. Oct. 10, 2012, available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr61/nvsr61_06.pdf.