“WE TOOK AN ECONOMY THAT WAS ABOUT TO GO INTO A GREAT DEPRESSION AND WE WERE ABLE TO YANK IT OUT AND PUT US BACK ON A PATH TOWARDS GROWTH AND PUTTING PEOPLE BACK TO WROK” OBAMA
BLS data revealed that the number of those who had permanently dropped out of the labor force had soared by 663,00—to 90 million people. The labor participation rate is a horrific 63%. This shell game has hides a number that has been rocketing.
SSDI was created in 1956 to provide income support for permanently disabled individuals aged 50-64. SSDI requires a job history, distinguishing it form SSI or Supplemental Security Income a welfare program for low-income children and adults with severe disabilities, the original purpose was to help people who suffered a crushing injury. What was supposed to be a narrowly tailored program to help individuals who could no longer work has blossomed into a gigantic regulatory budgetary burden that acts more like an unemployment program.
There were 7,442,377 people on SSDI in Jan 2009 when Obama took office now ther are 8,853,614. An increase of 19% in four years.
That’s a kind of ugly secret of the America labor market. Part of the reason our unemployment rates have been low, says MIT economist David Autor “is that a lot of people who would have trouble finding jobs are on a different program”. That is SSDI here is a permanent move from the workforce to the dole.
Chana Joffe-Wait reported “every month 14 million people now get a disability check form the government noting that disability is a “hidden increasingly expensive safety net”.
Its reality striking how rapidly this SSDI is growing how big it’s become and how DC is just afraid of it.
3/2013-collecting federal disability payments reached an all time high 8,853,614 the 194th straight month the number has increased. One out of every 5 social security dollars is spent on disability payments. Fewer than 1% of Americans who go on disability ever get off it. Average payment $1,129.61 per month. This lasts until age 64 when the person is off loaded onto to regular social security. The SS trust fund is projected to run out of cash by 2016.
Take Hale country, AL, where one in four adults of working age is on disability according to NPR.
In Jan 1981, there were 2,857,331 disability recipients. By May 1984, the rolls stood a t 2,563,698 a 10% decrease. The fury at Regan led to the 1984 Disability Benefits Reform Act.
Passed unanimously this law opened the floodgates to widespread fraud by allowing for the first time difficult to measure mental disorders and vague musculoskeletal systems injuries. The rolls have more than tripled under the lax requirements. Today 27% of adult men do not consider themselves part of the work force. Nearly half of the 8.6 million receiving disability in 2011 were disabled because of mood disorders or ailments of the musculoskeletal system and the connective tissue. A 2010 probe of the GAO found that at least 1,500 federal employees improperly received benefits according to CNBC. In addition 62,000 private sector employees in 12 states were healthy enough to get licenses to drive trucks or buses even as they ere collecting disability payments. In 2008 workers owed the government $10.7 billion for overpayments that were made by the social security adm.
TSA worker in CA living in a $1.8 million house raked in more that $100,000 in improper payments. Postal worker in MI was approved for mood and personality disorders and paid $45,000 until caught working full time.
Kathy Ruffing testified there is little evidence that DI benefits are going to people who could support themselves by working. A disabled fire fighter from Milwaukee completed in 7 marathons and one iron man triathlon while collecting $50,000 a year in disability payments. 90% of the retired long island railroad workers who snagged federal occupational disability benefits according the NYT before being busted.
Even sedentary work carries its won se5t of health hazards such as obesity. Sitting is a risk, you’re disabled.
James Sherk of Heritage points out that congress created the “ticket to work” program in 1999, which continue to be touted on the SSA website as a program to help employees return to work while keeping their health coverage. But over the next 7 years, fewer than 1400 claimants used the program to retune to work.
Sources—rush, NYT, whitehoue.gov, cato, Washington post, the Atlantic, cnn, huffington, npr, george will, heritage, abc