OT: Disabled Nation -> Record number of Americans collecting Disability Insurance

Wow - sad to see so many of you are disabled.
Up here in socialist Canada, our unemployment payments only last 1 year (52 weeks, not 99 weeks like you have in the US) and we don't have this "federal disability insurance" either.
We have what you might call "workmans comp" - a payroll tax that varies based on the type of work a company does. A low-risk company (say - a software developer) would pay something like 37 cents for every $100 of salary. Someone would have to be injured on the job to collect from this pool of money. It sounds like your "federal disability" money is available to someone regardless if they're injured on the job - or not?
I thought that's what private insurance plans are for (to cover you if you become disabled outside of the workplace).
========================== http://cnsnews.com/news/article/8733461-workers-federal-disability-exceed-population-new-york-city
8,733,461: Workers on Federal 'Disability' Exceed Population of New York City
(CNSNews.com) - A record of 8,733,461 workers took federal disability insurance payments in June 2012, according to the Social Security Administration. That was up from 8,707,185 in May.
It also exceeds the entire population of New York City, which according to the Census Bureau's latest estimate hit 8,244,910 in July 2011.
There has been a dramatic shrinkage in the United States over the past 20 years in the number of workers actually employed and earning paychecks per worker who is not employed and is taking federal disability insurance payments.
In June 1992, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 118,419,000 people employed in the United States, and, according to the Social Security Administration, there were 3,334,333 workers taking federal disability payments. That equaled about 1 person taking disability payments for each 35.5 people actually working.
When President Barack Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, there were 142,187,000 people employed and 7,442,377 workers taking federal disability payments. That equaled about 1 person taking disability payments for each 19.1 people actually working.
In May of this year, there were 142,287,000 people employed, and 8,707,185 workers taking federal disability payments. That equaled 1 worker taking disability payments for each 16.3 people working.
The federal disability payments made to the record 8,733,461 workers in June averaged $1,111.42.
Only 11 states--California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas—have populations in excess of the 8,733,461 workers who took disability payments in June.
New Jersey’s 2010 Census population of 8,807,501 approximates the 8,733,461 workers who collected federal disability insurance in June.
In addition to the 8,733,461 workers taking federal disability payments in June, there were also 165,469 spouses of disabled workers getting federal disability payments and 1,899,756 children of disabled workers getting benefits. That brought the total number of beneficiaries receiving disability insurance payment in June to 10,798,686.
Federal disability insurance is funded by a 1.8 percent payroll tax split between employers and workers. Self-employed people pay the entire 1.8 percent.
The Social Security System’s Disability Insurance Trust Fund has run deficits in each of the last three fiscal years, meaning the government has needed to borrow money to pay disability benefits to the workers claiming them. In fiscal 2009, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund deficit was $8.5 billion. In fiscal 2010, it was $20.8 billion. And in fiscal 2011, it was $25.3 billion.
To be eligible for federal disability insurance payments, a person must have worked long enough to have qualified for the benefits and must also meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of “disabled.”
“We consider you disabled under Social Security rules if: You cannot do work that you did before; we decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death,” says the Social Security Administration.
Whether someone has worked long enough to qualify for federal disability insurance payments depends on their age and the number of “credits” they have earned from the Social Security system.
“Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income,” SSA explains. “You can earn up to four credits each year. The amount needed for a credit changes from year to year. In 2012, for example, you earn one credit for each $1,130 of wages or self-employment income. When you've earned $4,520, you've earned your four credits for the year.”
According to SSA’s formula, someone under 24 years of age would qualify for disability payments if he or she had earned at least 6 credits—or about $6,780—over the three years before they became disabled.
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One of my relatives has been collecting Social Security disability payments for decades. He has serious mental issues like schizophrenia. He started banging his head against the wall and gouging at his eyes when he was a teenager.
He's on strong medication that makes him sort of normal but will never be normal and could never hold a job. I don't know what else we're supposed to do with people like him. Should be just kill them all? He's no harm to other people. I help him with forms and stuff that he needs to fill out. I have no idea how people who don't have support systems manage to fill out those forms, I can hardly manage it.
This article however is put out by an ultra-right website so I'm not sure what the conditions are that lead to their statistics or even whether to believe them. This site:
http://www.hrfuture.net/benefits/disability-claims-increase-in-tough-times.php?Itemid 9
says that disability claims rise during economic downturns, certainly the case in the US now. The stress of not having a job and having to support a family places a large burden on the mental and physical health of people.
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This is fairly well established over many downturns. Nothing really new here. The incidence of fraud also goes up. Saying that the stress of not having a job is enough for disability payments is one of the reasons your family member with a REAL disability has so much trouble getting it and keeping it.
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America is at that awkward stage. It's too late
to work within the system, but too early to shoot
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Disabled Nation -> Record number of Americans collecting Disability Insurance:

In the rural area where I live, the major ambition of many people over 50 is to get "disability". They say it's better than working.
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One of the biggest problems has to do with the lawmakers getting involved in the allocation of disability payments. Let me explain: When I began work out of college in 1968, one of the deductions I chose was to buy disability (income protection) insurance. I paid the premiums every paycheck. I figured that 1) you arre more likely to become disabled than dying, and 2) If I became disabled, I would have done what I could to take care of MYSELF. Wouldn't you know it - I had many hemorages in both retinas due to a fungal infection called histplasmosis. They reated these hemorages with a laser, killing a portion of my retina such that I was barely able to see anything except with what bit of peripheral vision I had left. 3 retina specialists declared me to be disabled. I tried some visual aids that I paid for myself, but my company and I finally came to the conclusion that I should apply for the Long-Term Disability (LTD) benefit with the insurance carrier I had paid premiums to for 22 years. I did so, and was granted LYD status - still with a private insurance carrier. However, after 3 months of payments, I received a letter stating that I was now required to apply for Social Security Disability (SSDI) payments, not only for me, but for my high school age children as well! When I talked with a rep of the insurance co,she said that if I did not apply, that I would be terminated from the private insurance payments - it was the doing of Congress she said, but did NOT say it happened as a result of the insurance lobby doing their duty. What would happen is taht either I would get rejected by SSDI and my LTD payments would continue, or if accepted, the private insurance would reduce their payment to me what ever amount SSDI would pay.
Pretty neat trick if you are an insurance company - commit to pay a recipient a certain amount, then get the federal gov't to help you, thereby retaining that p[ortion paid to the recipient by SSDI and get fatter.
They said by doing this, it would ensure my LTD benefit would last as long as they said it would. I argued that the premium schedule as the determining factor for the longevity of the payments, that they set the premium based on age of the insured and his/her income. I also said that theywere just reinforcing an attitude of "let the government take care of me" instaed of taking responsibility for my own life. It all fell on deaf ears, the LTD payments were reduced by teh SSDI amount, I began receiving SSDI payments, and my 2 children each received 1/2 of my SSDI payment, thereby doubling the SSDI payment to my family.
I am 66 now, and the LTD payments stopped at age 65, but SSDI payments continued, but now were called pure Social Security payments. The payments to my children stopped upon their graduation from high school, but when the oldest graduated, they didn't stop the 1/2 to her, they just gave it to my son who graduated 2 years later, then stopped.
You can see why the disability rolls get larger - the insurance companies bribed congress to make the feds pay part of their tab. It has been good for me, but at a cost to the rest of the population - it is payouts for which there was NO pay-in,and people like me who felt they were doing something right, become part of the irresponsible folks who won't look out for their own satte of affairs.
I'll tell you about the Medicare fiascoI was forced into - but tht's another show ;-).
I apologize for mis-spelled words - I never learned to touch type before I became statutorilly blind. Hunting nd pecking took me almost 30 minutes to type this reply.
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