USA Today reports:
Certain things can cause someone to become disabled — a chronic illness, for example, or an accident. One thing that should not cause people to be categorized as disabled is a recession.
That appears to be happening with Social Security Disability Insurance, the 1950s-era expansion of the program best known for paying retirement benefits. In 2007, 8.9 million people were on disability. Now that number is 10.7 million, a 20% jump in just five years.
While non-economic factors account for part of the increase — including a previous backlog of applicants and an aging population — the linkage between the rising disability rolls and the Great Recession is impossible to ignore.