Monday, April 16, 2018

Private disability insurance vs Social Security Disability

So, apparently the Government Accounting office was tasked with delving into whether or not the expansion of private disability insurance, obtained through employers, would result in savings to the Social Security Disability Program.

When I read things like this, I get a little suspicious. So someone in the govt has the idea that expanding employer-sponsored disability might result in savings to the Social Security Disability program? That sounds an awful lot like codespeak for the possibility of future SSD cuts.

A few factoids from the article:

1. SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance, covers 96 percent of workers while employer sponsored disability insurance is available to only 33 percent of workers.

2. Private disability insurance tends to be more routinely offered to people who work only in certain jobs and industries (business management and finance, respectively, to use a couple examples).

3. Private disability insurance is sometimes time-limited, whereas Social Security Disability and SSI are subject to periodic review and an individual cannot be taken off their benefits unless the medical evidence indicates that they have medically improved and are no longer disabled.

There are huge differences between SSD and SSI and private disability insurance. And most of the fundamental differences revolve around the fact that PDI is profit-based. Nothing wrong with that, but that's not how citizens should be relative costs to be figured and manipulated.

My own opinion is that I do not trust the U.S. Congress to expand anything that has an analogue in the Social Security system. That's because too many congressman and Senators over the years have shown a special interest in trying cut back Social Security Disability and SSI, and, really, set both programs off on a path toward eventual privatization.

For those who aren't aware of this, for quite some time SSA has only had the budget resources to replace out of all those SSA employees who quit or retire...only 1 out of 3. That sounds just a bit short of sabotage. So, with this and other things in mind, news like this GAO analysis just makes me think that someone in the legislative branch is pursuing some squirrely ideas.

I am a former disability examiner and I publish the website Social Security Disability Resource Center, or SSDRC for short. I also maintain a facebook page for SSDRC (Social Security Disability Blog).

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Neither this blog, nor the facebook page, nor my website are affiliated with the Social Security Administration.