off the charts

You are here

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...

“Debt Prioritization” = Default by Another Name

May 9, 2013

The House narrowly approved a “debt prioritization” measure today that would — in case of a prolonged standoff over raising the debt ceiling — direct the Treasury to pay bondholders and Social Security recipients first.


Not So Hale and Hearty: Explaining Disability Rates in One Alabama County

April 15, 2013

News stories and bloggers continue to point to Hale County, Alabama, as the prototypical example of a place where many residents receive federal disability benefits.  But, Hale County is anything but typical.

We think that about one in five Hale County residents between 20 and...

No Surprise: Disability Beneficiaries Experience High Death Rates

April 4, 2013

We’ve written a lot about the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which pays modest benefits (averaging $1,100 a month) to people who have worked substantially in the past but can’t anymore because of a severe and long-lasting medical impairment...

SSI Provides Critical Support for Disabled Kids and Their Families

March 27, 2013

National Public Radio (NPR) is running a series of reports about the disability programs that the Social Security Administration (SSA) runs.  While my posts earlier this week (see here and here...

The State of Disability

March 26, 2013

National Public Radio is running a series of reports about the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) program, as I mentioned yesterday.  One of its pieces focused on Hale County,...

The Facts About Disability Insurance

March 25, 2013

National Public Radio (NPR) is running a series of stories about the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) program.  Its first was extremely unbalanced and repeated some of the oft-claimed myths about DI.  Here’s the truth.

DI provides modest but vital benefits to workers who become unable to perform substantial work...

Failure to Fund Disability Reviews Is Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

March 11, 2013

Unless the Senate strikes a blow for responsible governance, Congress is on track to continue shortchanging efforts to weed out improper benefit payments in Social Security disability insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) — efforts that reduce future...