Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Social Security Disability Broke In 2016 : Fraud

As noted here previously, SSDI is being used as an unemployment revenue instrument to replace the compensation they lost as the maximum number of weeks for conversional unemployment expired. It has been noted millions of SSDI recipients have been shown to be scamming the system by claiming their inability to work.

Worse, judges in the justice system are compliant in ruling in favor of even obvious cases where the individual does not have a good case for disability. Also, the Social Security organization makes little effort to actively make changes to solve this problem of fraud.

It's the natural way of things today, it's just to much work and effort to do the right thing. To get along, it's just easier to go along. That the system is imploding on it's self is bad but those that are in charge know beyond a doubt, the taxpayer will bail them out as they always do. The only problem with this strategy is now that that it's not just the government is broke, the taxpayer is about bleed dry.

What then? No money left to scam? What happens to the system? Does anyone care?

 Not All Disabilities are Alike
Source: Pam Villarreal, "Not All Disabilities Are Alike: Implementing a Rating System for SSDI," National Center for Policy Analysis, June 9, 2015.

June 9, 2015

Despite today's workplace accommodations for the disabled, improved diagnoses and treatments, and less physically demanding jobs, the number of individuals receiving disability payments has increased dramatically over previous decades.  Prior to 1990, the annual percentage of workers receiving benefits grew about half a percent per year.

Since 1990, the percentage of workers receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits has grown an average of 4.8 percent annually.  As a result, the Disability Trust Fund, which is funded by 1.8 percentage points of the payroll tax (split evenly between workers and employers), is expected to be depleted by the end of 2016. As of December 2013:
  • There were 10.2 million individual disabled workers, disabled widowers or disabled adult children receiving Social Security Disability.
  • Disabled beneficiaries ages 18 to 64 were 4.8 percent of the total nonsenior adult population.
  • The average beneficiary age was 53 years and the average monthly benefit was $1,146.
Unfortunately, despite these numbers, there is little political will for a complete overhaul of SSDI.  Policymakers have proposed just a few reforms, mainly focused on efforts to combat fraud.  But more could be done regarding how beneficiaries are paid and how to provide better work incentives:
  • Restructure the all-or-nothing payment system to reflect varying degrees of disability, as does the Veterans' Disability system.  A lower level of benefit payments could be awarded to individuals who have a higher probability of improvement.
  • Eliminate the "Ticket to Work" program and lift the maximum monthly income limit for work. The current SSDI system offers a voluntary "Ticket to Work" program in which beneficiaries can work for up to three years without losing their disability benefits.
  • However, the program had little effect on beneficiaries returning to work. In exchange for a reduction in payments due to rating disability by degree, the monthly maximum limit on labor income ($1,090 in 2015) that disqualifies a beneficiary from receiving disability benefits could be eliminated.

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