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Federal disability payments hit record high this year

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 20th, 2012
Catholic Online (

Federal disability insurance payments hit a record $135 billion in fiscal 2012, which ended this past September 30. That figure was more than the $124.712 billion the Department of Defense paid this year for procurement of goods and services.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the federal government's Monthly Treasury Statement for September, the number of workers taking disability also climbed to a new record of 8,805,353 in November, rising from the previous record of 8,803,335 in October.

The record $135.097 billion in disability payments that the federal government distributed in fiscal 2012, according to official data published by the Social Security Administration, was an increase of $7.117 billion from the $127.980 billion in disability payments the federal government distributed in fiscal 2011.

Federal disability insurance payments have increased from $104.517 billion to $135.097 billion, a jump of $30.58 billion or 29 percent, in the last four fiscal years. Over the past decade, annual federal disability payments have more than doubled from the $64.156 billion the government paid in fiscal 2002.

Given that the Bureau of Labor Statistics said there were 115,459,000 Americans working full-time in October, the 8,805,353 workers now collecting disability equal about one for each 13 full-time workers.

In November 1968, there were 65,506,000 full-time workers in the United States and 1,291,339 workers collecting disability, or approximately one worker on disability for each 51 full-time workers.

According to the Social Security Administration, in addition to the record 8,805,353 workers collecting disability in November, there were also 163,393 spouses of disabled workers who collected benefits and 1,886,456 children of disabled workers who collected benefits.

The total of 10,855,202 beneficiaries collecting disability as workers, spouses or children in November was also a record-up from the previous record of 10,844,253 set in October.

The record total of 10,855,202 workers, spouses and children collecting disability in November equaled about one for each 10.6 people working full time. From 1968 to present day - that translates from one worker to 10 workers currently collecting disability.

"Any purchase of a good or service by DOD is defined as procurement," the Congressional Research Service says.

In addition to the $124.712 billion DOD spent on procurement in fiscal 2012, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement, it also spent $70.397 billion on research, development, testing and evaluation, and $14.551 billion on military construction.

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