How Social Security Disability Insurance Works

November 13, 2017

Most people think of Social Security as a retirement benefit, and that's understandable. Among the 61 million Americans receiving Social Security at the end of 2016, 68%--44.3 million people--were retired.

But Social Security's broad aim is to protect against the risk of lost income from work. The income loss might be due to retirement, disability, or to a survivor after the death of a family breadwinner. Last year, 14% of Social Security beneficiaries (10.6 million people) were...

Disabled, and trapped in a bureaucratic backlog

November 9, 2017
The Washington Times

Economic opportunity for all is the cornerstone of the American dream. There are many individuals, however, who face obstacles in reaching this opportunity because of their disability. These individuals have just as strong a desire to be self-sufficient as individuals without disabilities, but desire alone is not enough; the labor force participation rate for people with disabilities is just over 20 percent, compared to nearly 70 percent for people without disabilities.

One avenue for...

Advocates call for creative ideas on Social Security

October 30, 2017
Pensions & Investments

The lack of political will to address a looming Social Security funding crisis is prompting some people to get creative with ideas for making the system last longer or having the private sector be more involved.

"A major reform should focus on retirement security writ large," said Shai Akabas, director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. After a special commission formed by the center spent 2014 and 2015 looking at the U.S. retirement system, "the main...

Congress tries to squeeze more out of Social Security, wrecking its customer service

October 20, 2017
Los Angeles Times

Column by Michael Hiltzik

Since they’ve been unsuccessful (thus far) at cutting Social Security benefits, congressional Republicans are continuing to resort to the backdoor assault on the program by starving its administrative budget. In the latest versions of the agency’s budget under consideration in Washington, the House is planning to keep the budget at the same inadequate funding level as the current year. The ever more ambitious Senate is trying to cut it by $400 million, or...