Sunday, November 18, 2007

Social Security Disability System Breaking Down

An article in the Albuquerque Tribune highlighted the ever-growing problem of the disability backlog and presented some hard and biting statistics on the status of the social security disability system.

1. At the end of the month of September, there were more than three quarter of a million Americans waiting for a social security disability hearing date.

2. The average disability benefits recipient does not receive a huge monthly check by any means. In fact, the average benefit is $989.00 per month. Little wonder that a sizeable percentage of disability beneficiaries, even after being awarded disability benefits, must still rely on the help and assistance of friends and family.

3. While the number of disability cases filed within the social security disability system has grown, and continues to grow (only natural considering the growth of the nation's population as well as the fact that the population is getting older, on average), the social security administration, which relies on Congress to fund its operations, has seen a continual decline in the number of workers. As the article states, SSA had 82,000 employees in 1972, while it has just 60,000 today. And, today, the workload for remaining social security employees is much harder and much more stressful, which is why we will soon see significant waves of retirements coming out of this agency.

4. Congress has shorted the SSA budget requests for the retirement and disability system, over the last decade, by approximately one billion dollars.

As one polictician (Senator Bingaman) quoted in the article said, the social security disability system is breaking down "because of our failure to fund the administration of the program".

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

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