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Is social security disability the new welfare?

Freedom4 2012/01/01 06:02:16
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That’s a depressing statistic: nearly one out of every five men between 25 and 54 is not employed. Yes, some of them are happily retired. Some are going to school. And some are taking care of their children. But most don’t fall into any of these categories. They simply aren’t working. They’re managing to get by some other way.


For growing numbers of these men, the federal disability program is a significant source of support. Disabled workers — men and women — received $115 billion in benefits last year and another $75 billion in medical costs. (Disability recipients become eligible for Medicare two years after starting to receive benefits.) That $190 billion sum is the equivalent of about $1,500 in taxes for each American household.


SSDI began in 1956 and was intended to provide benefits for people between 50 and 64 who'd been in the workforce but had developed "any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or to be of long-continued and indefinite duration." At the end of the first year, there were 150,000 Americans receiving SSDI benefits. As Congress serially widened the eligibility criteria—by age, by type and duration of impairment—that number began to grow. Enrollment hit 1 million adults in 1966; by the end of 1977 it was 2.8 million


Since 2007, the number of people collecting social security disability benefits, or SSDI, has grown by 3.4 million. Two new studies, one co-produced by the Obama administration, document a direct relationship between those seeking SSDI after their unemployment benefits run out. With 10.6 million people currently receiving the benefits.

Nationwide, we're talking about well over 4 percent of the adult population.

SSDI benefits are open-ended. Once you qualify for SSDI, you keep getting it until one of three things happens: You die; you reach retirement age (at which point your medical expenses are paid by Medicare); or you stop being eligible, either by getting a job or by getting better. That last criterion accounts for only about 12 percent of those who leave the program in any given year.


Of course, many SSDI recipients are truly incapacitated. Others, however, are certainly employable in some fashion. All of them have had jobs at some point. And since the American workplace is demonstrably not more dangerous to life and limbthan it was 30 or 40 years ago, it's not immediately obvious why a large group of somewhat- or once-impaired people has more trouble getting and keeping jobs than their counterparts did in the recent past.


In the early decades of the program, the largest categories were life-threatening ailments, particularly heart disease and cancer. Today, the single largest category is mental disorders(not including mental retardation). This category has skyrocketed in the last few decades. In 1983, about 50,000 people were given SSDI awards for mental illness; in 2003, it was nearly 200,000—almost a fourfold increase in a generation.


Similar questions apply to the next-largest category, musculoskeletal and connective tissue injuries, a large portion of which is back pain. Does it make sense that a higher percentage of workers have back pain today than did 50 years ago?


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  • Doreen 2012/01/02 00:47:08
    Yes. Many people abuse it
    Doreen
    I am on SSDI and get mad when those who can work get it. I was hit head on by a station wagon while on a little moped and almost died. My ability to work full time and even permanent part time just doesn't exist. I do not understand wanting to claim a disability when one does not exist or one that is not severe enough to keep one from working. I would give anything to not have this disability and be able to work full time or at least permanent part time. Even though I have had several doctors tell me not to because of further damage I work a seasonal job as a waver because it keeps me from going entirely nuts from just keeping house and also allows me to keep putting into the system and not feeling like I am sponging off the system even though I had always worked before my accident. At the time that I started to receive SSDI one could not get it unless they had worked for a long enough period but I do not know if the criteria has gone down. I did work after the accident before I was on SSDI but my disability just got worse and finally a seasonal job was all I could handle ( and that is very questionable ). We are allowed to make a certain amount of money while on SSDI but not enough to live on and for some any type of work is out of the question. I will eventually not...
    I am on SSDI and get mad when those who can work get it. I was hit head on by a station wagon while on a little moped and almost died. My ability to work full time and even permanent part time just doesn't exist. I do not understand wanting to claim a disability when one does not exist or one that is not severe enough to keep one from working. I would give anything to not have this disability and be able to work full time or at least permanent part time. Even though I have had several doctors tell me not to because of further damage I work a seasonal job as a waver because it keeps me from going entirely nuts from just keeping house and also allows me to keep putting into the system and not feeling like I am sponging off the system even though I had always worked before my accident. At the time that I started to receive SSDI one could not get it unless they had worked for a long enough period but I do not know if the criteria has gone down. I did work after the accident before I was on SSDI but my disability just got worse and finally a seasonal job was all I could handle ( and that is very questionable ). We are allowed to make a certain amount of money while on SSDI but not enough to live on and for some any type of work is out of the question. I will eventually not be able to do even my seasonal job because each year that I do do it I furthers my disability and my constant pain becomes worse. I have multiple disabilities both from the accident and from birth but the ones from birth would not have kept me from work and I did work. The disabilities that I see people claim are the same ones that I had from birth and before my accident and I never even thought of not working because of it. My accident made my current disability much worse and created more disabilities including physical. I will say it again, WHY would someone claim this horrible existence when they really do not have to...why?
    (more)
  • Freedom4 Doreen 2012/01/02 01:51:54
    Freedom4
    +1
    I do not think that anyone minds taking care of those that genuinely need it. I went to an inner city HS and everyone there talked about faking back injuries or panic attacks for ssd
  • Doreen Freedom4 2012/01/02 02:00:39
    Doreen
    +1
    That just makes me mad and mostly because they fake something that I would give anything to not have. To think that children are claiming this is just sick.
  • Panloker 2012/01/01 17:57:50
  • AL 2012/01/01 07:36:12
    No, only those handicap utilize it
    AL
    My wife had a failed Back Operation about 4 years ago,in her early 60s. She was put thew hell before they would grant her disability.Now she's now hooked on two pain killing drugs,just to deal with her constent never ending pain! So please don't get the idea its a free ride and a piece of cake to get it either.
  • Freedom4 AL 2012/01/01 17:48:06
    Freedom4
    I do realize that there are many people that need it, but there is aslo a LOT of abuse;

    Two new studies, one of them co-authored by the White House's top economist, show a correlation between when people seek Social Security disability payments and when their unemployment benefits are exhausted. Some economists say that connection shows many people now view the system as an extended unemployment program.

    Mr. Rutledge, using government data, found a spike in the likelihood someone would apply for disability benefits in the month his or her unemployment benefits expire, compared with previous months.

    His findings are similar to those contained in a paper released earlier this month by the White House. That paper, which called for Congress to extend unemployment benefits, released preliminary research from White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger and Columbia Business School instructor Andreas Mueller.

    The researchers found that 10% of jobless workers age 50 to 65 with access to less than $5,000 were likely to file for disability benefits when their unemployment benefits expired, while 1% of such people sought benefits when they had 50 weeks of unemployed benefits left.


    In the 2007 fiscal year, as the economy started to sour, 2.5 million people ap...
    I do realize that there are many people that need it, but there is aslo a LOT of abuse;

    Two new studies, one of them co-authored by the White House's top economist, show a correlation between when people seek Social Security disability payments and when their unemployment benefits are exhausted. Some economists say that connection shows many people now view the system as an extended unemployment program.

    Mr. Rutledge, using government data, found a spike in the likelihood someone would apply for disability benefits in the month his or her unemployment benefits expire, compared with previous months.

    His findings are similar to those contained in a paper released earlier this month by the White House. That paper, which called for Congress to extend unemployment benefits, released preliminary research from White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger and Columbia Business School instructor Andreas Mueller.

    The researchers found that 10% of jobless workers age 50 to 65 with access to less than $5,000 were likely to file for disability benefits when their unemployment benefits expired, while 1% of such people sought benefits when they had 50 weeks of unemployed benefits left.


    In the 2007 fiscal year, as the economy started to sour, 2.5 million people applied for benefits. In fiscal 2011, which ended Sept. 30, 3.3 million tried their luck. The primary disability system paid out $130 billion in benefits in fiscal 2011; it is running a roughly $4 billion monthly deficit and is projected to exhaust its reserves in 2017.
    (more)
  • AL Freedom4 2012/01/02 03:01:11
    AL
    +1
    OF course,I know you're right. Yet did you also know, our own Government sees unemployable drug addicts and grossly over wait people as being Disabled now as well?
  • Bella 2012/01/01 06:32:01
    No, only those handicap utilize it
    Bella
    Interesting choices Abuse is expected unfortunately. My husband was denied for a couple of years and had to get a lawyer
  • lonewolf 2012/01/01 06:06:20
    Yes. Many people abuse it
    lonewolf
    +1
    its a fact

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