Kathy Ruffing at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities gives a good antidote to the alarmist reports about the state of the Social Security Disability Trust Fund. Ruffing reminds us that money has been reallocated from one trust fund to another in the past and that this will happen again this time.
The reasons for the increase in the number of people drawing Social Security disability benefits are primarily the aging of the baby boom population, the increase in the number of women in the workforce and the increase in the full retirement age.
Ruffing's piece does include a chart showing an age and gender adjusted increase in the prevalence of disability over the last 15 years, although not a dramatic one. I have added the chart to the left. The chart is based upon a study done by Social Security's actuarial staff. The study includes some interesting projections on the prevalence of disability in the future. Basically, the actuaries have no clue. They think that the rate of people going on Social Security disability benefits could go up dramatically or down dramatically or not change all that much. They just can't say.