The “Other” Social Security Issue: Disability Insurance

By :: June 18th, 2013

Since the George W. Bush Administration, Social Security reform has been atop the federal government’s list of top policy challenges. But when people talk about Social Security, they usually have in mind the Old Age and Survivors piece of the program. There is another critical element, however--Social Security Disability Insurance. And SSDI is suddenly getting lots of attention.

On Friday morning, I’ll be moderating a panel discussion on SSDI. My fellow panelists will be former Social Security Commissioner Ken Apfel; Lisa Ekman, Director of Federal Policy at Health and Disability Advocates;  Gina Livermore, a Senior Researcher at Mathematica Policy Research; and Melissa Favreault, a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute.

And we’re not alone. On Wednesday, the libertarian CATO Institute is holding its own SSDI program.

What’s driving all this attention? In part, it is because SSDI could become insolvent as early as 2016. This concept has limited meaning in the real world but it is an attention-getter.  The program has also been plagued by administrative inefficiencies and allegations of abuse. As a result, Congress is increasingly interested in changes.

I’ll have more to say about SSDI after Friday’s panel. But join us if you are in Washington or listen to an audio version that will be posted after the event. It should be interesting.

 

 

10Comments

  1. Ralph H  ::  10:17 am on June 19th, 2013:

    This is a huge problem, made much worse by the massive layoffs since 2007. For many older ex-workers the choice of SSID or a much lower paying job is the more efficient choice given that most work for cash as a suppliment. Specialist like Binder & Binder practically guarantee sucess and they blanket daytime TV advertising.

    Its funny but my sister, who had been on SSID for over 25 years recenly found a job. It probably was a coincidence that she turned old enough for regular SSI retiremen at the same time.

  2. Michael Bindner  ::  11:33 pm on June 25th, 2013:

    I wish you had invited me. I have provided comments to W&M consistently on this issue.

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