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About That SSD Crisis ...

ssd ssi approved.jpgA recent story in the Los Angeles Times reinforces what this blog has been saying for some time: The so-called "crisis" in the Social Security Disability (SSD) program has been largely manufactured by opponents of Social Security in general and the disability program in particular. The story is well-worth reading in its entirety, but you can read a summary here.

According to the story, a recently released report from the Social Security Technical Panel shows that supposed problems with the SSD program will disappear without much, if any, congressional intervention of the kind currently required by SSD opponents in Congress.

Why? The quick answer is that the program will grow much more slowly than in recent years, and making projections based on immediate past experience gives the wrong answers to questions about the viability of the program.

This is not something that will happen in the future. According to the report, the number of people receiving disability benefits is expected to decline this year for the first time in 30 years.

The report echoes what we have been saying all along. An increase in SSD claims has been the result of demographic changes. Such changes include the baby boom bulge, the aging of the population and the entrance of women into thework force. Other causes of the increase include changes in eligibility rules and the state of the U.S. economy.

In short, there is no mystery and some of the nation's leading economists and retirement experts agree that there is no need to make draconian cuts in the program - cuts that would not save the United States much money, but would leave even more individual SSD recipients in poverty.

The article concluded by saying that the demographic crisis is almost over. However, congressional opponents may substitute a made-up fiscal crisis so they can destroy a program that has helped millions of disabled people since its modest beginnings in 1956.

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