St. Louis residents may have heard quite a bit in the news lately about the increases in the number of beneficiaries receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. While the reasons behind this increase in the benefit population remain a hotly contested issue, another problem potentially looms large for the federal assistance program: possible financial insolvency.
In 2013, the Social Security Administration (SSA) paid out $10 billion to over 8.9 million beneficiaries. Yet these gaudy benefit numbers hide a nationwide trend showing that approvals for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) have steadily declined since 2010. This decline in approvals has only served to add fuel to the argument made by critics that the SSA requirements for disability benefits need to be revised.
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It often seems like the only news that comes out about the Social Security Disability (SSD) programs these days is bad. Accusations of benefit fraud seem to be rampant. And with recent stories circulating around St. Louis claiming that the program was recently found to have paid out millions to non-eligible beneficiaries, those accusations will most likely continue to grow, especially as the program faces an inevitable fiscal crisis in the coming years.
While it often seems as though the only news that comes out about the Social Security Disability (SSD) beneficiary program is bad news, it should still be remembered that the Social Security Administration (SSA) helps millions of disabled Americans through the benefits this program provides. And despite the perception that many may have about the stringency of the SSA's requirements to qualify for such benefits, statistics show that the number of beneficiaries participating in this program has rose significantly in the last twenty years.