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56 million people now collects Social Security benefits and twenty million of them that's 36%.
That are retired workers -- all the -- all the front.
-- -- members of deceased retired workers.
A joined the company from Texas is Thomas saving.
-- -- of the social security and Medicare trust fund and economics professor at Texas and M university.
Professor could you explain to is really fast and short shop to the point why this explosion in disability payments.
I think it's very simple first.
You -- the recession so you've had a huge increase eighty.
A 40% increase in the number of people applying cannot just jump in right that what -- out why.
OK a recession is not synonymous with -- people being disabled.
No it's not but yeah after never that 60% of the people who were on the disability rolls around there for.
Muscular skeletal things and and mental disorders well muscular scalable things are arthritis or those kind things that he.
That are pretty nebulous in the second we -- mental disorders and certainly being unemployed cause mental difficulties so if you're looking at that.
And if you are unemployed.
You're more likely to apply for disability so that that's what's happened and I think we've had this huge increase in the number of people say it's a something -- -- order.
80% increase in the number of applications not the number of people awarded.
But still you have the number of people warden and you second -- you have is you have a very big increase the baby boomers are getting older.
As they get older they naturally would become more alike.
-- be more likely to be disabled and if there are unemployed certainly.
That that would be their natural way to go.
It looks like a lot of people are gaming the system -- -- used the would fraud but the system is being game and that by propose voting.
The original intent of Social Security which surely he was a pension scheme.
Yes right but the disability came in separately from social security and and is it as it began.
It was really only for fifty year old and older and and and once you relaxed.
The the ward system.
So that you could do it for mental and other things then you got younger people on disability when people -- on disability.
They don't get off now that that's happened but although lately.
The age distribution industry the disability awards have -- gotten older because of the baby boomers and they view they're just dominate the demographics are dominating the system right now.
And once you get disability.
You got it you're not likely to be taken off its all you.
In other words this is a -- that is a huge liability going forward which is is growing and growing and growing I mean this is bad news.
It's bad news in that sense that -- and and because of the baby boom the size of the baby boom generation is what we're looking.
And it's big and it's only now just reaching that 65 year old.
So that if we're looking at the next two decades where the baby boomers move through the system.
We certainly are going to see.
A greater incidence of -- right now about five and a half percent of covered workers are indeed disabled while the one out of nineteen.
It's it's almost a frightening prospect but so thank you for pointing this out -- is in straightforward academic tones we really appreciate this professor Thomas say that thanks for joining us thank you.
-- thank you.
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