It’s the new Obanomy. If you can’t get a job. You can always get disability. The number of US workers claiming disability insurance increased by 22 percent in 5 years, coinciding with an economic recession.
1.6 million Americans got on the disability rolls, moving them up from 7.1 million to 8.7 million. And 99 percent of the people on those rolls stay on them until retirement age. And the total cost of all that is around 130 billion dollars a year. And some questions are being asked.
In 1960, some 455,000 workers were receiving disability payments. In 2011, the number was 8,600,000. In 1960, the percentage of the economically active 18-to-64 population receiving disability benefits was 0.65%. In 2010, it was 5.6%.
Eberstadt points out that in 1960, only one-fifth of disability benefits went to those with “mood disorders” and “musculoskeletal” problems. In 2011, nearly half of those on disability voiced such complaints.
Between 1996 and 2011, the private sector generated 8.8 million new jobs, and 4.1 million people entered the disability rolls.
The ratio of disability cases to new jobs has been even worse during the sluggish recovery from the 2007-2009 recession. Between January 2010 and December 2011, there were 1,730,000 new jobs and 790,000 new people collecting disability.
In 2011, 15% of disability recipients were in their 30s or early 40s. Concludes Eberstadt, “Collecting disability is an increasingly important profession in America these says.”
And like most government professions, including Newark city council member or White House Czar or EPA eco-fascist, it’s one of the few that plays.