According to a recent news article from the Los Angeles Times, Social Security disability recipients have been a virtual “punching bag” for those who are opposed to funding the United States Social Security Administration (SSA).
However, it seems like they do not have evidence to support their long-standing scapegoating practice. A blue-ribbon Technical Panel group recently performed a full analysis of the Social Security programs and released a report to the Social Security Board of Trustees. A lot of this report focused on the reasons for the somewhat recent increase in the number of Americans receiving disability benefits.
As our Boston disability insurance attorneys can explain, this increase has been fodder for those opposed to increasing funding for Social Security disability fund and have argued the reason for the increase is people abusing the system, committing fraud, and malingering. Malingering is a term used to mean faking or exaggerating the symptoms of a real injury or illness for the purpose of obtaining benefits, instead of going back to work.
The recent report shows that, first of all, the number of disabled Americans is currently on the decline and is expected to decline again in the near future. This seems to suggest the so-called disability roll crisis may be over. Additionally, as the article points out, the increase was not related to a presumed problem of malingering or fraud. Instead, the program changes made by Congress in the 1980s, the economy, and America’s changing demographics were the true reason for the increase in the number of Americans receiving disability benefits.
On the one hand, this is good news for those working to increase funding for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and Supplemental Security Index (SSI). Without this increased funding, there is expected to be 20 percent budgetary shortage, which in turn will result in a 20 percent reduction to all benefits recipients across the board. For the roughly 10 million Americans who receive an average of $1,165 per month, their benefits checks will be cut to $930, on average.
On the other hand, actual financial data and reports like this contain hard facts and come from a credible and reliable source, but none of this seems to matter to those opposed to funding the Social Security disability program. The reason for this is that it makes big headlines and fires up some conservatives to call Social Security disability recipients lazy and talk about how Congress should not be giving more money to what they call a mismanaged program, and this can be helpful during the presidential nomination season.
In reality, whatever people like to say while campaigning, we know the vast majority of Social Security disability recipients in Boston and across the nation are truly disabled and in need of benefits to make ends meet and take care of their families. It is also a reality that, in the end, they will most likely fund the program before it is too late, because, while saying you won’t might be good politics, actually letting 10 million go without benefits is not good politics.
If you or a loved one is seeking Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Social Security panel: The crisis in disability is over, September 26, 2015, by Michael Hiltzik
More Blog Entries:
Rand Paul Says Many Receiving SSDI Benefits Gaming System, Jan. 27, 2015, Boston Social Security Disability Insurance Lawyer Blog