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More people than ever before in need of disability benefits

One New Jersey woman applied for Social Security disability benefits after her unemployment benefits ran out three years ago. The 36-year-old quit her job when joint pain made it too unbearable to work. She was later diagnosed with Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

The woman was denied Social Security disability benefits twice. In October, she found out she had finally qualified.

It appears the woman from New Jersey is not alone in her effort to seek out disability benefits. Government officials say there have been a growing number of applications for Social Security disability benefits, and it appears the high unemployment rate is directly correlated.

In 2002, 7.2 million Americans collected disability benefits. Today, that number has risen to close to 11 million.

According to the news source, many more people with moderate or potentially manageable health issues are applying for disability benefits because they cannot find work and their unemployment benefits have run out.

One Florida woman was unable to find work after taking a buyout from the telephone company she worked for. She has had hearing problems all her life. Previously, that didn't disqualify her from jobs, but it appears to be doing that this time around.

Many people who are unable to work because of an injury or illness rely on Social Security disability benefits. While it provides millions of Americans with a much needed income, the influx in applications is draining the system.

The Social Security disability benefit system has a $4 billion monthly deficit. At this rate, the system will be drained in just five years.

Those who are unable to work and looking to begin collecting disability benefits may consider working with an attorney. An attorney can help individuals navigate through the system. More importantly, an attorney can help them collect the benefits they are entitled to.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Jobless Tap Disability Fund," Damian Paletta and Dionne Searcey, Dec. 28, 2011

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