Aug 20, 2012

Another Think Tank Report On Social Security Disability

     The think tanks are really churning out reports on the Social Security disability programs. The latest comes from  Kathy Ruffing of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Her report includes this interesting chart:
     Claims filed are highly sensitive to business cycle? Note that applications for disability benefits began soaring not in 2008 when unemployment soared but in 1998, ten years earlier, at a time of relatively low unemployment. Note also the inverse relationship between unemployment and the disability claim rate in the early 1980s. How do you explain these facts if claims filed are so sensitive to business cycles?


Anonymous said...

These statitical analysis often fail to consider the forces within the SSA bureaucracy itself. The early part of this decade was marked by "productivity " enhancements that mandated claims be taken from everyone including those individuals who were clearly not insured. Although the chart shows claims per insured individuals, a closer examination might find many technical denials.

Anonymous said...

What happened in the late 1990s that might have affected Social Security applications?! How about changing the rules so that substance abuse was no longer a disabling condition. Oh yeah, the rules for child SSI were revised. So, two big changes that resulted in a number of people being terminated and having to reapply and a number of cases having to be re-evaluated. That could certainly explain the increase in applications in the late 1990s

Anonymous said...

Charles, are you ever happy? You should love this report, since it gives the same reasons you like to give for the increases in applications and awards, none of the suggestions for changes supported by the author would significantly harm your income stream (unlike those mean Republicans who want to toss all the disabled out into the street), and because it is a left-leaning organization.