Originally designed to be a tailored program to assist individuals with disabilities who could no longer work has turned into a huge budgetary burden that seems to be run more like an unemployment fund. The SSDI program has seen an increase of individuals claiming benefits in the past two years of recession and unemployment. Basically this makes it seem that despite the rigorous application process and strict regulations of the SSDI program that apparently many people are abusing the system to obtain government benefits. Unlike unemployment benefits there is to time limit to this coverage because people who are approved for SSDI are generally assumed to be permanently disabled to an extent that keeps them from maintaining employment.
Over the past 50 years there have been so many advances medically and in rehabilitative technology as well as a trend away from physically exertive jobs that many people who once were considered disabled and unable to work would now be able to retain some sort of employment. Yet the SSDI program has not changes its coverage policies or the rules to adapt to these advances.
There are propositions being submitted to add essentially private sector Disability Insurance to employer’s benefits which would cover up to 2 years of disability benefits, before an employee would be allowed to apply for SSDI.
There is no easy answer but it’s clear to see that something needs to change in the SSDI program or every worker who has a slight disability that hinders their work performance will be let go by their employer because there are many unemployed workers to take their place. These disabled workers will then be able to sit back and collect a monthly payment for the rest of their lives without ever having to seek another type of employment or go through any evaluations of their disability once approved.