Why are more Americans receiving Social Security disability insurance benefits?
You hear a lot of talk about this. But the reasons are logical and not mysterious. It is certainly not because people don’t want to work any more.
The baby-boomers have reached the age where disability is more likely. This is just a bulge in the population that was expected.
More women have earned enough work credits to qualify for this program. Before, they would be disabled but the SSI disability program or their families would support them.
The full-retirement age for Social Security increased from 65 to 66. So people who already get Social Security disability at age 65 stay on it for another year until age 66, instead of their checks being renamed “retirement.” And people who become disabled between their 65th and 66th birthdays will have to try to get “disability” checks instead of “retirement” checks, and now have to prove disability and lose a 5-month waiting period.
Other public or private programs have been cut back, so disabled people who were hidden in those programs now have to qualify for Social Security disability. Welfare, unemployment, pensions, and many other benefits have been scaled back, not fully protecting people who are affected by the recession.
For more, take a look at the testimony of Social Security’s chief actuary, the person who is supposed to figure this out: http://www.ssa.gov/legislation/testimony_120211.html
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