Disabled Nation

More Americans Receiving Disability Insurance than Finding Jobs


A report from the Congressional Budget Office today showed that over the last three months more Americans have begun receiving Social Security Disability Insurance than have found jobs. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), the Ranking Member on the Senate Budget Committee, said in a statement:

Amazingly, while fewer Americans are working than at the end of 2008, 3.6 million Americans have been awarded SSDI benefits over the same period. …

It is clear there is a great need to distinguish between proper and improper disability claims, and to better incentivize and find acceptable work for those who are able. Today only 1 percent of Social Security disability recipients ever return to work.

It is important to note that after two years, SSDI recipients are eligible for Medicare coverage. The report shows that in 2011, Medicare paid $80 billion for SSDI beneficiaries, with the Disability Insurance program costing a total of $128 billion that year. As of May 2012, 8.7 million disabled workers were collecting Social Security Disability Insurance.