According to a study by disability appeals and compliance services provider Allsup, the unemployment rate in Q4 2012 for people with disabilities was at a four-year low. Also at a four-year low was the rate of people with disabilities applying for Social Security Disability Insurance. While these new data support the idea that unemployment for workers with disabilities is improving, the unemployment rate for these workers is still 70 percent higher than for workers without disabilities.
During Q4 2012, the average rate of unemployment for people with disabilities was 12.4 percent while for those without disabilities the rate was 7.3 percent. Comparatively, the rate for people with disabilities in Q3 2012 was 13.7 percent compared to 7.9 percent for workers with no disabilities.
“The discrepancy in the employment rate between people with no disabilities and people with disabilities is concerning,” Tricia Blazier, personal financial planning manager for Allsup, said. “If more people with disabilities capable of working were provided the opportunity to do so, the trust fund for the Social Security disability program would be stronger. These individuals would be paying into the trust fund just as other workers do.”
In 2016, payroll tax revenues for disability benefits will fall to only 79 percent of annual costs, indicating a 21 percent cut for the severely disabled who are unable to work. In Q4 2012, more than 8.8 million disabled workers received an average monthly benefit of $1,130 while over 2 million immediate family members of disabled workers received a monthly average benefit of $334.