Tags: disability | benefits | Social Security | insurance

WaPo: Enrollment in Worker Disability Program Soaring

By    |   Tuesday, 24 September 2013 07:50 AM

The number of former workers receiving Social Security disability benefits has soared, leading government officials to estimate the program's trust fund will run out of money by 2016.

The number of former workers receiving benefits jumped to 8.8 billion last year from 5 million in 2000 — a 76 percent increase, The Washington Post reports. Another 2.1 million spouses and children also garner benefits.

The numbers have particularly grown since the economy weakened in 2007. Employers were quick to dump workers with health problems, according to The Post.

Editor’s Note:
Weird Trick Adds $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks

These people who lost their jobs found it difficult to secure a new one, leading many of them to turn to the disability program, the paper says.

However, officials are concerned that people who aren't really disabled are receiving benefits.

Some of the problem is outright fraud, but a bigger issue is the vagueness of the criteria for receiving benefits, policymakers told The Post.

A worker might have a condition like back pain, which is difficult to document precisely. He may be able to handle the pain on his job but apply for disability after he loses it.

Reuters columnist Mark Miller doesn't see abuse as the main concern for disability insurance. "Most of the growth [in the number of beneficiaries] is due to simple demographics," he writes.

"The boomer cohort has moved into the years when they are more likely to be disabled. The rates double from age 40 to 50, and again from 50 to 60, and the sharp jump in female labor force participation rates means more women are covered by SSDI [Social Security disability insurance]."

Editor’s Note: Weird Trick Adds $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks

Related Stories:

Boskin: Social Security Disability Insurance Fund May Implode in 2016

Report: Social Security Made $1.3B in Improper Disability Payments

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The number of former workers receiving Social Security disability benefits has soared, leading government officials to estimate the program's trust fund will run out of money by 2016.
disability,benefits,Social Security,insurance
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2013-50-24
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 07:50 AM
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