Letter re: Disability benefits on rise in Ohio since 2008

Barkan Meizlish , May 13, 2015

March 16, 2015 

Shannon Bateson

Dear Editor:

On behalf of Columbus Social Security Disability attorneys, I need to correct misconceptions and false statements that an article written by Mark Williams (“Disability benefits on rise in Ohio since 2008”, March 13) presented.

First, Funk guessed that “many collecting disability benefits are 25 to 39” but in fact the average age of people receiving disabled worker benefits in 2013 was 53.4 and it has increased steadily since 1996. In Ohio, only 11.6% of the individuals receiving disability benefits are under the age of 40. And, the number of new claims being filed are decreasing as well.

Second, the Social Security Disability system is anything but lenient and empathetic.  In order to be found disabled, an individual must prove that he or she is unable to engage in any type of employment, including such jobs as a parking lot attendant, or silverware wrapper.  Since 2011, the number of claims approved by SSA at the Administrative Law Judge hearing level has fallen from 58% to 41% in Ohio as of February 2015. That means, in simple terms, that SSA denies 6 out of every 10 claims, after all levels of appeal.

Finally, in Ohio, a disabled individual will be waiting almost 2 ½ years to have his or her claim heard by an administrative law judge. During that time, the claimant will have no income. This can lead to foreclosures, bankruptcies, homelessness, and even death, before the claim can be heard.

Click here to see the published letter.

The letter was in response to this article –http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2015/03/13/disability-benefits-on-rise-in-ohio-since-2008.html  


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