January 1, 2014
Nearly 11 million Americans on disability at the end of 2013
For the 202nd straight month, the number of Americans receiving disability benefits rose. The end of 2013 saw another record set - 10,988,269 Americans now on disabilty, up 6,000 from the end of November.
The average monthly benefit paid to a disabled worker also hit a record of $1,146.43 in December, up from a previous high of $1,130.34 in December of last year.
Spouses of disabled workers also got a record average monthly benefit of $308.13 in December, up from a previous high of $304.31 in August. Children of disabled workers also received a record average monthly benefit of $341.42 in December, up from a previous high of $337.13 in May.
As CNSNews.com reported earlier this month, the number of Americans getting disability benefits now exceeds the entire population of Greece, which is 10,772,967, according to the CIA World Factbook.
The record 10,988,269 total disability beneficiaries in December, included a record 8,942,584 disabled workers (up from 8,941,660 in November), 1,888,624 children of disabled workers, and 157,061 spouses of disabled workers.
When CNSNews.com reported on Dec. 3, 2013 that the number of people taking disability benefits had hit an all-time high as of November, it also incorrectly reported that November was the 202nd straight month that the number of disabled workers in the United States had increased. In fact, November was the 201st straight month that the number of disabled workers in the United States had increased.
The last time the number of disabled workers decreased on a month-to-month basis in the United States was between January and February of 1997, when disabled workers dropped from 4,385,374 to 4,357,251.
Beginning with March 1997, the number of disabled workers in the United States has now increased every month for 202 straight months.
Before issuing blanket condemnations, we should acknowledge the 3.6 million veterans who are disabled to varying degrees. And it's very difficult to weed out those who are gaming the system for a free ride from those workers who were seriously injured on the job and can't work.
Having said that, this number is appalling. A recent GAO report claims that the Social Security Administration paid out $1.3 billion in fraudulent benefits. Many in Congress believe that number to be the tip of the iceberg.
The disability trust fund is going to run out of cash in 2016. Before Congress makes a move to save it, the process of dispensing benefits should be reviewed and reformed top to bottom.
It should never be this easy to defraud the taxpayer.