Approved claims may have risen more quickly in 2008 at the Social Security Disability Insurance program than at private disability insurers.

The Council for Disability Awareness, Portland, Maine, is reporting that finding in a summary of results from an analysis of SSDI program data and a survey of the 15 CDA member disability insurance companies.

SSDI applications rose 5.9% in 2008, to 2.3 million, and the number of workers approved for SSDI benefits increased 8.7%, to 895,000, the CDA reports.

The percentage of workers covered by the SSDI program who are receiving SSDI benefits increased to 4.8% in 2008, from 3.5% in 1998.

At CDA member companies, the number of individuals receiving long-term disability benefits payments increased 1.5% in 2008, to 573,500, and 30% of the member companies’ LTD claimants do not qualify for SSDI benefits, the CDA says.

Because of the aging of the U.S. workforce, the percentage of claims filed by workers under age 50 has been declining, and the number filed by workers over that age has been increasing.

But 27% of the survey participants said the overall claims rate has stayed about the same, and 64% said the incidence rate has been falling.

Only 1 of the participating companies said the recession has had any noticeable effect on disability claims.