I’ve written about this problem before here at TAH. And I knew then the problem was bad.
But I didn’t realize how bad the problem had become. The problem is far bigger than I thought originally.
When all costs are totaled, the Federal government is now spending more to support those who are “disabled” than it is on classic “welfare” and food stamps – combined. The government is now making over 14 million Social Security disability payments each month – or more than 5 million more the nearly 9 million monthly payments I noted in my previous article.
The problem seems to be getting worse as the economy “recovers”, too. Since 2009, an average of 100,000 more people are applying for disability each month than new jobs are being created. And less than 1% of those who became “disabled” since the beginning of 2011 have returned to the labor force – in spite of the statutory requirement that a person be unable to perform any type of useful work in order to receive Social Security disability payments at all.
The overall cost to taxpayers today, including healthcare for these “disabled” folks? Try about $260 billion – annually. And increasing.
Oh, and did I mention that people who are drawing “disability” from the SSA are not even counted as part of the US labor force, even if they’re actually able to work in some capacity? God only knows what the US unemployment rate would be if Federal law were enforced regarding the criteria for receiving SSA disability payments rather than being widely ignored. But you can bet it would be far higher than it is today.
A lady from (of all places) NPR – Chana Joffe-Walt – has researched the problem in great detail and discusses the issue here. IMO her article is definitely worth a read. And it’s depressing as hell.
Here’s one final bit of “good news”: according to the Social Security chief actuary, the SSA disability insurance program will run out of funds in 2016. That’s about 3 years from now.
In the 1980s, we heard about “welfare queens”. They’re largely gone today. But from what I see, it looks like they’ve been replaced by “disability drones”.
Damn. Just . . . damn.