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Disability Benefits Are Hard to Get — Even in Recessions

September 3, 2013

We’ve noted before that economic downturns generally spur more applications for Social Security disability benefits — but have a much smaller effect on awards.  (See graph.)  That usual pattern is based on...

Happy 78th Birthday, Social Security!

August 14, 2013

Social Security marks its 78th birthday today.  This highly successful program pays benefits to 57 million Americans.  It’s the single most important source of income for its elderly beneficiaries, contributing on average two-thirds of income...

Ways and Means Mum on Revenue Increases for Social Security in Bowles-Simpson, Domenici-Rivlin

August 7, 2013

The House Ways and Means Committee has invited members of the public to comment on the Bowles-Simpson and Domenici-Rivlin plans to restore solvency to Social Security.

But there’s a...

U.S. Seniors Are a Hard-Working Bunch

July 17, 2013

Financial pressures are leading many European Union (EU) countries to encourage older workers to remain in the labor force, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reports.  By way of comparison, U.S. seniors are more likely to be in the workforce than their peers in almost every other developed country....

Disability Insurance Provides Vital Benefits to Vulnerable Workers

July 15, 2013

A new Urban Institute report on the economic status and demographic characteristics of Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries echoes what we’ve said before in our report and testimony: ...

Latest Piece on Disability Insurance Doesn’t Tell the Full Story

June 28, 2013

A recent Associated Press story on Social Security’s Disability Insurance (DI) program raised some important issues but, like much of the recent spate of coverage of this...

How to Shore Up Social Security

June 21, 2013

We pointed out yesterday that Social Security faces a significant, but manageable, shortfall, as we explain in our just-released annual analysis of the Social Security trustees’ report.  Here’s how policymakers should plan to...

What You Need to Know About Social Security’s Solvency

June 20, 2013

Our annual analysis of the Social Security trustees’ report, which we published earlier this week, follows up on our earlier statement and distills what policymakers and citizens most need to know about the 200-plus page...

Starving the Watchdogs Is Bad Policy

June 7, 2013

Bloomberg’s Evan Soltas correctly points out that Congress could do more to fund “program-integrity” efforts across the federal government, including at the Social Security Administration (SSA).  We have long agreed (see...

What to Look for in Friday’s Social Security Trustees’ 2013 Report

May 29, 2013

Social Security’s trustees will release their annual review of the program’s finances on Friday.  We’re not sure what the report will say, but fluctuations from year to year in the trustees’ long-term estimates are normal.  A variety of economic and demographic uncertainties affect Social Security, and the actuaries constantly...