Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Growth of 'Disability' in America

NPR provides an interesting look at those the government pronounces "disabled".  I don't know much about the topic, so I found this quite informative (and not the typical slanted NPR social engineering masquerading as reporting).  Here's an excerpt:

But disability has also become a de facto welfare program for people without a lot of education or job skills. But it wasn't supposed to serve this purpose; it's not a retraining program designed to get people back onto their feet. Once people go onto disability, they almost never go back to work. Fewer than 1 percent of those who were on the federal program for disabled workers at the beginning of 2011 have returned to the workforce since then, one economist told me.
People who leave the workforce and go on disability qualify for Medicare, the government health care program that also covers the elderly. They also get disability payments from the government of about $13,000 a year. This isn't great. But if your alternative is a minimum wage job that will pay you at most $15,000 a year, and probably does not include health insurance, disability may be a better option.
But going on disability means you will not work, you will not get a raise, you will not get whatever meaning people get from work. Going on disability means, assuming you rely only on those disability payments, you will be poor for the rest of your life. That's the deal. And it's a deal 14 million Americans have signed up for.


Blogger Realist Theorist said...

I heard a follow-on story on NPR. Missouri has hired a company to go through its welfare rolls, identify people who might qualify for disability, and then help them apply to the SSA. The company gets $2,300 for every case that they take off the state welfare rolls and place on the Federal SSA disability rolls.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Amit Ghate said...

Yeah, they discuss at the end of the article.

7:52 PM  

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