The Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) program has grown substantially over the last 50 years. Recently, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that the program’s trust fund will be exhausted within the next few years absent action by Congress. This has prompted calls for reform of the program. Unfortunately, the analysis really does not address the difficulties the program has, and instead become an excuse to cut the program.
One such argument notes that much of the growth is due to loosening eligibility standards, attractive benefits and an application process that cannot distinguish “truly disabled workers and those who should be rejected.”
The last reason is an interesting distinction to draw, as it implies that the SSDI program accepts workers who should be rejected. Moreover, as a driver of growth, it presumes that there are vast numbers of workers who are not truly disabled who are receiving SSDI
The problem is they tend to produce either no evidence of such fraud, or a single, anecdotal example, often that was discovered by the SSDI system, and attempt to generalize this as the norm.
The SSDI program has one of the most difficult applications process of any benefits program and is one reason why so many Ohio residents work with a SSDI attorney, to ensure their application is accurately completed and reducing the likelihood that their claim will be denied or delayed.
The problems with funding have been primarily due to Congress refusing to adjust the funding formula to meet current demands. The increase in cost of the system was predicted 20 years ago, but Congress has ignored the problem and refused to act.
Source: The Daily Caller, “Social Security Disability Insurance needs urgent reform,” MacMillin Slobobien, July 29, 2013