KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Large Increase Seen In Social Security Disability Applications

The Fiscal Times reports on the rapidly growing number of people applying for Social Security retirement benefits and federal disability insurance because of the poor economy and job market. "Last year, applications totaled 2.6 million for retirement benefits and over 3 million for disability benefits - both representing modest increases over the previous year. The Social Security Trust Fund provides both retirement benefits and payments to disabled Americans. … Thomas Foley, deputy director of the World Institute on Disability in California, described the crisis facing many disabled people as 'a perfect storm' of the baby boom bubble, the economic downturn and the housing market collapse."

According to the report, the economy is closely tied to the number of people applying for benefits. "'Generally, whenever there is an economic downturn there is an uptake for disability benefits,' said Andy Imparto, president of the American Association of People with Disabilities. 'If they lose a job, disability is a way to replace income'" (DePaul, 4/4). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.