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The Social Security Reform Debate Rages On


Posted on Oct 15, 2013

Entitlement reform has sparked tremendous debate across New England and the United States. One of the most talked about aspects of this reform is Social Security reform and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.

In 2012, the SSDI system cost a record-breaking $135 billion. As the amount paid out in SSDI increases, the debates over Social Security reform have become polarized.

Those who defend the program say that the reason the program’s necessity is increasing is due to the technical and demographic changes. This includes an aging workforce and the increase in women in the workforce.

On the other side of the debate, critics suggest the program contains inconsistent eligibility requirements. Because of that, the requirements are easily manipulated—making it easier for fraud to occur and draining the system of its budget. Critics also believe that there are few incentives to help disabled people get healthy and return to the workforce.

New data supports Social Security reform. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco recently reported that the there was a growth in SSDI cases from 2.3% to 4.7% from 1980 to 2011. This rate of growth is twice that of the working-age population as a whole. In addition, they found that technical and demographic factors only accounted for 56 percent of the program’s growth. This means that 44 percent of the growth came from defects in the system.

Recent Congressional Budget Office reports suggest that the future costs of SSDI will be higher than projected. Although some of the growth was inevitable, there is still a need for Social Security reform.

As Massachusetts Social Security disability attorneys, we want to see reform happen in a way that eliminates fraud and puts the SSDI money back in the pockets of the people who need it the most.

 

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John L. Keefe
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