Outdated Stats Used to Support Attacks on Social Security

The Los Angeles Times recently ran a great article debunking a recent Wall Street Journal piece that attacked Social Security recipients.

“… Put it all together, and what you get is an op-ed that appears to be based on statistics but whose import is political. Its implicit theme seems to be that disability appeals are suspect by nature, and judges who approve more than the average must be up to no good. As we’ve written before, this is a variation on ancient conservative attacks on the “undeserving poor.”

Disability benefits, in truth, are hard to get; only about 40% of applicants end up with payments, even after all appeals are exhausted. Wait times are long, and the average benefit of $1,165 per month is not lavish (recipients are permitted to earn another $1,070 or so without losing their benefit). Disability applications have started to decline, largely because the demographic and economic drivers of the rise in disability claims since about 2008 have already peaked.

But calling it “a benefit bonanza”? No one thrown out of work by a disability and living on $1,165 month after meeting the program’s stringent approval standards would define it that way. Full story here