New York Times Analyzes Issues with SSI Disability

From today’s New York Times:

Discussion of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs has been at the forefront of election-year debate. But there has been no discussion of S.S.I. The fact is that expenditures for the S.S.I. program are rising while the economic status of disabled people is on the decline.

The very program that is supposed to be their safety net is actually the source of the problem, experts say. S.S.I. traps many disabled people by limiting their income to levels just above the poverty line, and taking away their cash benefits if they achieve any level of security…

“Instead of helping people achieve their full potential,” David Stapleton, who directs the Mathematica Center for Studying Disability Policy, testified before Congress last month, “the current disability support system has created a poverty trap.” The employment rate for people with disabilities, he said, is just 21 percent of the rate for people without disabilities, down from 32 percent in 1981. The problems stem from the Social Security Administration’s failure in 1974 to structure a program that motivates work. It is relatively easy to accept cash benefits but very hard to get into the workplace. Mr. Stapleton said that Congress had the power to push to change the structure of the program, but that it had not done so.
See full New York Times article here: