We keep hearing that Social Security disability benefit payments are soaring. They're going through the roof. It's ruinous how rapidly disability payments are rising. Funny thing about that. It's not happening, at least not anymore. Below is a chart showing Disability Insurance Benefits payments over the last two years. I know the chart contains some extraneous information but I couldn't copy just the month and the total benefit payments. Notice that benefit payments have gone up in the last two years by 8%, which is certainly significant but hardly a disastrous increase considering the aging of the baby boom population and considering the 3.6% cost of living adjustment at the end of 2011 and the 1.7% cost of living adjustment at the end of 2012. More interesting is that the increase in benefit payments has ground to a halt over about the last year. We seem to be near stasis. This is exactly what the actuaries have been predicting. Once the number of baby boomers reaching full retirement age, making them no longer eligible for disability benefits, started equaling the number reaching their prime years for disability, the boom in disability claims would be over. Well, it's happened. It's right there in the numbers you see below. Total benefit payments in June 2013 were less than they were nine months earlier in September 2012, despite the intervening cost of living adjustment.
|Cyclical payments b||Medicare
|Total||Cycle 1||Cycle 2||Cycle 3||Cycle 4|
|2013||Jun||c 11,734||10,136||5,717||1,460||1,457||1,501||475||c 1,123|