Excerpt from: USA Today (click for full article)
The Social Security disability program, which is funded by workers' payroll deductions, is intended to help people who get sick or injured and no longer can work.
As the nation ages and effects of the recession linger, millions are applying for disability benefits, and Social Security can't work through the claims fast enough.
Pressure is building on the system because aging Baby Boomers, many still in the workforce, are more prone to injury as they get older. The recession also caused many who were hanging on to jobs despite chronic medical issues to apply for benefits when they lost those jobs.
Most applicants are rejected in their initial written request because they fail to supply enough evidence of a disability. After two rejections, their next step is an appeal before a judge. Applicants, on average, now wait 10 and one-half months in Arizona for those hearings. Judicial approval rates vary greatly across both the state and nation.