And taking into consideration the following alarming statistics (Chicago Tribune [October 2011]), it may get tougher to be awarded benefits, which is all the more reason to have an attorney on your side.
• At the current growth rate, the SSDI trust fund, which pays for benefits, won't have enough money to meet its obligations in 2018.
• In September 2011, SSDI paid nearly 8.5 million workers an average of $1,070 per month, an increase of nearly 20 percent from 7.1 million workers when the recession began in December 2007. There were about 3 million recipients in September 1990.
• About 50 percent of all applicants eventually get accepted into the program, and less than 1 percent ever return to work.
• In 2010, more than 50 percent of applicants cited back pain or mental problems as their disabling injury, up from 26 percent of in 1965. Both conditions are among the hardest to evaluate medically.
According to the Social Security Board of Trustees (May 11, 2011), during 2010, an estimated 157 million people had earnings covered by Social Security and paid payroll taxes. However, the combined assets of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds will be exhausted in 2036, one year sooner than projected last year.
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And one last reason to hire an Oklahoma SSDI attorney: The percentage of cases won in Oklahoma is 37.9 percent during the application stage and 16.8 percent at the reconsideration stage. Conversely, the denial rate at application is 62.1 percent and at reconsideration, 83.2 percent.
Statistically, applicants who have an experienced SSDI Oklahoma attorney help them appeal the Social Security Administration's decision to deny benefits (Request for Reconsideration) win more often than those people who go it alone.