By Kristin Samuelson, Chicago Tribune –
CHICAGO — The unemployment rate for people with disabilities averaged 14.6 percent for the first quarter of 2012, almost 74 percent higher than the 8.4 percent rate for those with no disabilities, according to a recent study by Allsup, a Belleville, Ill.-based provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services.
During the fourth quarter of 2011, the rate for those with disabilities had dropped to 13.2 percent, and 8.1 percent for those without disabilities, the study found.
During the first quarter of 2012, 724,746 people with disabilities applied for Social Security Disability Insurance, up from 660,712 the previous quarter and 720,119 a year earlier.
“Overall, in 2011, nearly 2.9 million individuals were unable to continue to work because of a disability and applied for SSDI,” according to an Allsup press release. “Nearly 1.8 million SSDI claims are pending with an average cumulative wait time of more than 800 days, according to Allsup’s analysis of the Social Security disability backlog.”
Allsup began conducting this study in the first quarter of 2009. It is based on non-seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.