October 6, 2009 | Diane Johnson | 1 Comment Because of the thousands of job losses and a spike in early retirement claims due to laid off workers, social security has a long battle ahead. Not only is social security on the pathway to bankruptcy, but there are now more seniors seeking social security. Social Security currently and over the next two years will pay out more in benefits than it collects in payroll taxes. Retirees contributed to the fund throughout their working lives and now it's failing them. Between 2010 and 2011 estimates predict the deficits will reach $19 billion. These deficits won't affect the payout that seniors are getting but they will add to the federal deficit. Since the recession, Social Security officials have received 23 percent more applications for retirement benefits and 20 percent more for disability claims. Officials expected these claims to rise because of the growing numbers of baby boomers that are reaching retirement age. Although with the economy the way it is, officials have seen thousands more applications than they expected. These ever increasing numbers have an explanation behind them. Some of the first workers to lose their jobs were potential retirees. As a result they opted to retire, when they might otherwise have continued working. However, the recession has forced many other potential retirees to keep working. Many saw their life savings disappear before their eyes and now they have to work and try to save up a nest egg again, with retirement age fast approaching. Unfortunately, many seniors are facing the choice of whether to accept social security or not. Some are trying to put it off as long as possible and find other jobs, because the longer they wait to take Social Security the higher their monthly check will be. Even though many workers want to put off their Social Security benefits, they are struggling to find work. With limited jobs, and lots of workers available, many employers prefer hiring younger workers. So these baby boomers are not only facing young college graduates, but also young professionals that have families to support. Most retirees are able to pay most of their bills, but it can be difficult if they have lots of prescriptions and no health insurance. Most seniors want to keep working so they have more money than just what they need in order to pay bills. Over 2.2 million people applied for Social Security retirement benefits from October through July and at the same time the year before it was 1.8 million. This means early retirements are not only hurting the country in the short-run but also the long-run. Social Security will have run out of funds by 2037, because of the way it is set up. Unless Congress acts: the program is going to fail. Over 43 million retirees and 9.5 million disabled Americans are dependent on Social Security. The system will not be able to support them and future retirees unless Congress takes action.