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Percent deemed disabled falls sharply

February 4th, 2013 · No Comments · Blog, Featured Home Page Post

Numbers from the Social Security Administration show that the percent of persons found disabled has fallen to nearly one-third in 2012–the lowest level in many years.  In other words, nearly two-thirds of those who applied for Social Security disability benefits whose cases were decided in 2012 were found not disabled and denied benefits.  For those found disabled, the average monthly Social Security benefit is a little over $1,100 per month in 2012.

These numbers call into question recent criticism from many quarters that the Social Security disability program is out of control.  As Paul Krugman recently noted, critics have argued that “[t]he growing number of Americans receiving disability payments has … become a symbol of our economic and moral decay; we’re becoming a nation of malingerers.”  Instead, research from Cathy Ruffing at Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that the past increases in the disability rolls were the result of demographics.

Tom Yates, Health & Disability Advocates

 

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