As the chart shows, between April-June 2012, an estimated 246,000 Americans were added to Social Security’s disability insurance program. In that same time period, only 225,000 American jobs were created.
These alarming numbers, though, are part of a wider trend, as another chart, also set to be released later today, from the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee shows.
Since 2008, 3.6. million Americans have been added to Social Security’s disability insurance program. In that same time period, a net total of 1.3 million jobs were lost.
“Amazingly, while fewer Americans are working than at the end of 2008, 3.6 million Americans have been awarded SSDI benefits over the same period. The growing number of people on disability and other federal benefits, combined with weak economic growth, raises serious concerns about the sustainability of the American economy,” Senator Jeff Sessions, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, says in a statement in response to these new numbers.
“It is clear there is a great need to distinguish between proper and improper disability claims, and to better incentivize and find acceptable work for those who are able. Today only 1 percent of Social Security disability recipients ever return to work. The administration of this program must be improved to avoid sinking our country deeper into debt, to ensure the program remains viable for those with disabilities, and to protect Social Security itself.”
The Budget Committee explains Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) program: “[It] was established in 1956 to provide monthly cash payments to individuals who are unable to perform any substantial, gainful activity due to long-term disability. Benefits are provided by the Disability Insurance Trust Fund, which is financed primarily through a payroll tax of 1.8 percent. While SSDI is funded by federal payroll taxes, eligibility is initially determined by state officials.”