Record number of Americans claiming federal disability
What's behind skyrocketing figure?
- Duration 4:25
- Date Jul 3, 2012
What's behind skyrocketing figure?
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This -- this morning a record number of American workers are now claiming federal disability insurance.
More than eight point seven million people in this country now getting federal checks for this it.
That figure actually exceeds.
The entire population of New York City and has been steadily on -- as for the past twenty years really John fund is the national affairs comments -- the national review and he joins national morning John good to have -- here active.
You know tax militant is surprising especially given the fact that there are so many more measures that are -- acted to prevent workplace.
Injury is and you know also you've got physical therapy that's better than ever so was so why would this number -- don't up of the same.
Well sadly there are a lot of people who are in financial trouble especially in their fifties and sixties having trouble finding work at that age.
And getting on federal disability.
Whether it's valid or not valid is a good option for them because think about it.
-- it's not something like unemployment goes away after a while once you get qualified for disability -- -- -- forever the payments keep coming.
And after two years on disability no matter what your age you automatically qualify for Medicare and so whether your valid or invalid.
It's a good deal.
Yeah -- me touch -- really this the most significant point of all of this valley it.
Or in the ballot and we you know I tweeted about this story this morning.
And -- got some responses from people saying look I wanna be on disability I'm on oxygen 24 SATA and I'm doing -- -- But but what everyone wants to separate air and -- valid cases and the end about cases and it's simply doesn't make any sense at these numbers would be rising at such a rapid pace especially.
Given longevity and everything else that's in -- right.
You look I don't want any angry emails from people who say they're on disability for good reason most people are the vast majority of people.
But there's also a cottage industry in this country.
A physical therapists and doctors who will test you out and they'll find some disability -- be just over the line to qualify you for the federal payment.
And maybe it's not a chronic disability may -- something goes away after awhile but once you get on the federal disability -- no -- gonna take you off here easily.
And of course it should come as a surprise that this is underfunded.
And -- at the levels that people are are cashing in on these benefits.
We simply can't can't keep them right.
Well all of us pay about one point 8% of our income into a federal disability fund through so -- security.
We're all paying that bill.
The problem is it's running out of money.
'cause we've seen a 120%.
Increase in inflation adjusted increase.
And the cost of the program in the last fifteen years it's gonna run out of money in 26 team -- when he's seventy that's just around the corner.
I mean it's amazing that just twenty years ago there were 3.3.
Million people on this program and night that eight nearly eight and a half million.
On this program it just it it boggles the mind to it and we think about all the things we talked about including food stamps that there's -- there's the numbers vs New York City more people -- on disability insurance in this country -- all the people who live.
In New York City -- you've got you know huge numbers of people on food stamps you've got -- growing numbers of people.
On disability and and we're becoming more and more reliant on government tax.
Well senator Tom -- has some ways to clean up the system.
And perhaps detect waste fraud and abuse but the real answer is we've had -- federal government's policies haven't allowed this economy to grow very much in the last three or four years.
And we need to get this economy growing again once this economy -- growing again some people were able to find jobs they won't feel the temptation to apply for disability if they really don't need it.
Yeah that mean that that's a great point and the other question is just sort of you know with a -- ambitious a similar issue it used to be sort of sending that nobody really wanted to.
To get to that point you know you really tried not to be in a position where you wanted to accept.
That government handout but those kind of statements seems to have changed dramatically in this country as well John.
Lamar thought -- of course -- change because the federal government now has contests and songs and jingles and commercials urging you to sign up for food stamps so it's not just that it's available if you need it they're actively looking for customers as if they were a business while I guess they're in the business of dependency.
I'm John thank you very much reason to think about today is left us with bad John -- joining us this morning.
From Washington many thanks.