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2012 was yet another record for Americans collecting disability

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 18th, 2012
Catholic Online (

New data collected by the Social Security Administration reveals that 8,786,049 American workers were collecting federal disability insurance payments this month, yet another record for the number of Americans on disability.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 8,786,049 workers taking federal disability in September is a net increase of 18,108 from the 8,767,941 workers who took federal disability the month previously in August.

The number of American workers taking federal disability payments has increased four-fold over the past 45 years, relative to the number actually working.

In August of 1967, 74,767,000 Americans were working and 1,152,861 were taking federal disability insurance. That means that at that time there were about 65 Americans working for each worker collecting disability.

In August 2012, 142,101,000 Americans were working and 8,767,941 were on disability, in essence there were only 16.2 people working for each person collecting disability.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a record 88,921,000 Americans were "not in the labor force" in August. These figures included Americans who were at least 16 years old, who were not in the military or in an institution such as a prison or a nursing home, and who did not have a job - or had not actively sought one in the last four weeks.

According to the BLS, only 63.5 percent of the civilian population in August, i.e., those over 16, who were not in the military or in an institution participated in the labor force, the lowest level of labor force participation in 31 years. To participate in the labor force a person must either have a job or at least be actively trying to find one.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a person is considered to have a work disability if one or more of the following conditions are met:

1. Identified by the March supplement question "Does anyone in this household have a health problem or disability which prevents them from working or which limits the kind or amount of work they can do?"

2. Identified by the March supplement question AIs there anyone in this household who ever retired or left a job for health reasons?"

3. Identified by the core questionnaire as currently not in the labor force because of a disability.

4. Identified by the March supplement as a person who did not work at all in the previous year because of illness or disability.

5. Under 65 years old and covered by Medicare in previous year.

6. Under 65 years old and received Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in previous year.

7. Received VA disability income in previous year.


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