Disability Explosion Dragging Down Economic Growth
People will always take advantage of the system that was meant to be a hand up.
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The rapid rise in the number of Americans applying for and entering the Social Security Administration disability program has cost an estimated 0.6% of national output since the start of the recession, representing roughly $95 billion annually in lost economic growth.
Each month, 14 million Americans receive some form of disability check, costing taxpayers an estimated $260 billion (including healthcare costs). That is over three times as much as the $82 billion taxpayers are projected to spend in 2013 on the 47 million individuals receiving food stamps.
“It kind of reminds me of welfare,” said disabled former truck driver James Ottesen. Ottesen told the Wall Street Journal he would “like to get re-educated to do something” because “my body is broke but my mind is not.” Still, says Ottesen, he’s reluctant to leave the disability program because it is like “a blanket covering you, and to walk out from it… at my age, it’s a little intimidating.”