Are People Who Can Work Collecting Disability Benefits?

One longtime issue that has plagued the Social Security disability system involves claims that there are people who can work collecting disability benefits instead of getting a job.

Recently, some have argued that the decline of the number of prime working age men in our country’s workforce is proof that people who can work are collecting disability benefits. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, in 1967, 96.6 percent of prime-age men (ages 25 to 54) were a part of the US workforce. However, currently, 88.8 percent of prime-age men are part of the American workforce. While some are blaming Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for this decline, the numbers do not back up their claims.

Per Council of Economic Advisors data, increases in the number of SSDI beneficiaries is only responsible for 0.1 percent of the decline of prime-age men’s participation in the US labor force since 1967. Researchers instead point to less good jobs being available for people without bachelor’s degrees and overly strict criminal justice policies as being the reason for the decline in labor force participation amongst prime-age men.

Are People Allowed to Work and Receive Disability Benefits?

As Tulsa disability attorney Steve Troutman explains in this video, in most cases, people are not allowed to work if they receive Social Security disability. However, there are situations where people can work and collect disability benefits.

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