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Posts by Kathy Ruffing

4 Reasons Why Disability Insurance Is Especially Important to Less-Educated Workers

May 4, 2017

Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) — which pays modest but vital benefits to people with severe and long-lasting medical impairments who can no longer support themselves by working — is especially important to workers who’ve earned only a high-school diploma, or less (see graph)....

Disability Insurance (DI) Receipt is Highest Among Older Workers With Limited Education

U.S. Disability Benefits Modest by International Standards

November 1, 2016

U.S. spending on public disability benefits remains low by international standards, new figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show (see graph).

As our chart book shows, the...

U.S. Spends Comparatively Little on Public Disability Benefits

Even Disability Recipients Who Recover Have Limited Work Capacity

July 14, 2016

Most Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries whose benefits stop because their medical condition has improved have little capacity for substantial and sustained work, a new study finds.  It’s further...


CBO’s Social Security Projections No Cause for Alarm

February 16, 2016

The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) financial projections for Social Security — published in June and clarified this month — paint a gloomier outlook than those...

CBO More Pessimistic About Social Security Finances than Trustees, Technical Panel

Disability Insurance Has Many Safeguards Against Fraud and Abuse

September 21, 2015

Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) maintains high levels of program integrity, despite periodic claims to the contrary, and the program has many safeguards against fraud and abuse.

  • Strict eligibility standards.  DI’s most potent defense against
  • ...
Only About 4 of 10 Disability Insurance Applications Are Ultimately Allowed

What the 2015 Trustees’ Report Says About Social Security

September 10, 2015

With Social Security a likely topic in the 2016 presidential campaign, our analysis of this year’s Social Security trustees’ report...

Social Security's Growth Roughly Tracks Population's Aging

It’s Hard to Qualify for Disability Insurance

August 7, 2015

Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) aids people who, because of a severe medical impairment, can no longer support themselves by working — a catastrophe that...

Fewer Than Half of Disability Insurance Applications Are Ultimately Allowed

Happy Birthday, Social Security Disability Insurance!

July 31, 2015

In the midst of birthday season — as we’ve marked the 50th anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare on July 30 and we’ll mark the 80th birthday of Social Security retirement on...

Disability Rates Rise With Age

“One Social Security” Bill a Worthwhile Approach to Programs’ Trust Funds

July 29, 2015

Policymakers must replenish Social Security’s disability fund by late 2016 to prevent a one-fifth cut in benefits.  A proposal from Rep. Xavier Becerra, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means...

Hand on Wheelchair

Awaiting the 2015 Social Security and Medicare Trustees' Reports

July 21, 2015

Though we don't know what the reports will say, we expect they'll reinforce what we've explained before: that Social Security and Medicare face real but manageable financial challenges, and are not unaffordable or "bankrupt."