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Social Security Claims Up 19 Percent

October 2, 2009

Baltimore, Maryland - Due to high unemployment rate and weak economy, many Americans are retiring early at the age of 62 to claim their Social Security benefits. According to government report released on Wednesday, the number of claimants increased by 19 percent in 2009 fiscal year.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) said aging baby-boomers are forced to file for their early retirement claims since there are not enough jobs available for them.

Citing its survey, the agency said more than 2.6 million retirees entered the Social Security system this year from 2.2 million in 2008.

Meanwhile, the number of disabled workers who are receiving the federal assistance has reached to nearly 1 million this year, according to SSA records.

In a statement, SSA Chief Actuary Stephen Goss said that if more people are filing for disability benefits and early retirement claims, the US workforce will be drastically reduced.

Apart from its negative impact to the labor market, the rising number of Social Security claims also put pressure on the agency’s funds. According to analysts, SSA is paying out more benefits than the collection it gets from taxpayers. This trend is expected to continue over the next two years.

With a high unemployment rate of 9.7 percent this year, baby boomers choose early retirement claims at 62 despite that their benefits will be reduced.

If Social Security members will wait for their full retirement age at 66, they will receive a higher monthly benefit.

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