[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Cop Claims Freedom of Speech Does Not Give Citizens the Right to Question Police

Here’s how much corporations paid US senators to fast-track the TPP bill

Obama Judge Cites America’s ’Complicated History’ of Racism and Xenophobia In Fifth Circuit Dissent

Towards a Militarized Police State in America? Explosive New Revelations over “Jade Helm 15 Exercise” and Potential False Flags

Massachusetts town takes new approach to opiate addiction

Washington Protects Its Lies With More Lies

Cops Refuse To Arrest Officer Caught Shooting At 20 Children For Playing Near His House

Glenn Greenwald, IÂ’m sorry: Why I changed my mind on Edward Snowden

Congressional sellout on TPP Fast Track

K-9 saves Hancock County deputy from ambush attack

Drug War Fail: Doctors Now Creating More Heroin Addicts than Drug Dealers

Free-Range Maryland Family Cleared of Child Neglect Charge

Number of arrests in Baltimore plunge as violence rises

Insane Clown Posse Fans Labeled as “Hate Group” Classified as Criminal Organization by FBI

Cops Turn into Bullies After they’re Filmed Breaking the Very Laws they are Supposed to Enforce

Home News National Federal appeals court deals blow to President Obama’s amnesty

I have to bake my own birthday cake

Alabama PacSun store removes T-shirt with upside-down American flag design after picture goes viral

Mom arrested, shackled over son's unexcused school absences

Florida Crowd Assaults Police Officer Trying to Make Arrest

Rio Rancho police officer shot, suspect at large

The NSA’s Technotyranny: One Nation Under Surveillance

The Decline of Christian America

Obama is a creepy pedophile

Sorry......Not All Lives Matter

Memorial Weekend Music Thread

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: None Are Safe from the State's Plundering Parasites

FOP Publishes Essay Saying #AllLivesMatter is “BullS**t” - Insists that Only “Blue Lives” Matter

Nevada case is latest to test 'stand your ground' laws

How is it that you foget Memorial Day on voting day?

Lest ye forget, the clinton dead

Charges Dropped Against Cop Caught Having Sex With Cows

Is having a loving family an unfair advantage?

Memorial Day Tribute

General John Kelly's Speech About Two Marines In The Path Of A Truck Bomb Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/john-kellys-speech-about-marines-in-ramadi-2013-6#ixzz3b9wTJx8I

Byron Allen President Obama 'White President in Black Face'

Thousands of bikers gather in Washington to honor vets

Jerry Brown Pushes Traffic Debt ‘Amnesty’ for Poor: ‘It’s a Hellhole of Desperation’

Art Garfunkel On Paul Simon: I 'Created A Monster'

Lake Mead Water Level Mysteriously Plunges After Nevada Quake

New Orleans Cop Shot Dead in Cruiser

Welcome new members.

DUI Checkpoints Just the Tip of the Iceberg, Cops Now Going Directly into Bars with Breathalyzers

NSA Gets Smackdown! Senate Kills Bill to Extend the Domestic Spy State

DOJ Official: Slavery to Blame for Riots in Ferguson and Baltimore

Church members push to use marijuana during religious services

WSJ Reporter To Hillary: ‘Hill, Can I Ride On Your Lap To The White House?’

Enon Tabernacle honors law enforcement agencies

Pastor Calls Police & Lied About Being Shot and Robbed by a Black Man and His Bi-Racial Family

Secret Pentagon Report Reveals US "Created" ISIS As A "Tool" To Overthrow Syria's President Assad


Status: Not Logged In; Sign In

Business
See other Business Articles

Title: Disabled Americans Shrink Size of U.S. Labor Force
Source: Bloomberg
URL Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012- ... k-size-of-u-s-labor-force.html
Published: May 3, 2012
Author: Alex Kowalski
Post Date: 2012-05-03 11:32:52 by Brian S
Keywords: None
Views: 165

Michael White says he wishes he still could pluck the bass line to Hank Williams Jr.’s “Born to Boogie” and pay bills with money he earns himself. High unemployment -- along with ailments that he says render his fingers inoperative and make him cough up blood -- have dashed his hopes.

White is among the 1.6 million Americans who’ve claimed Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, since the 18- month recession began in 2007. When the slump reduced demand for tow-truck drivers, the 60-year-old Fort Myers, Florida, resident, who has also worked as a musician, lost the job he’d held for five years and started collecting unemployment benefits.

Complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, diabetes and other medical problems then made it impossible for him to return to a labor market that lacks opportunities for people with health problems and those in better shape.

“I can’t stress enough that I’d rather be working, but my health has gotten the worst of me, and any place I would have applied wouldn’t have hired me,” White says.

The number of workers receiving SSDI jumped 22 percent to 8.7 million in April from 7.1 million in December 2007, Social Security data show. That helps explain as much as one quarter of the decline in the U.S. labor-force participation rate during the period, according to economists at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley.

Expiring Benefits

The participation rate -- the share of working-age people holding a job or seeking one -- was 63.8 percent in March after falling to a three-decade low of 63.7 percent in January. Disability recipients may account for as much as 0.5 percentage point of the more than 2 point drop since the end of 2007, the economists calculate, and that contribution could grow when some extended unemployment benefits expire at the end of this year.

“How we measure and understand what’s going on in the economy can be influenced by the degree to which various public- support programs are available and being used,” said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan in New York. “With a rising number of disability beneficiaries, there are both lower unemployment rates and lower participation rates.”

More light may be shed tomorrow on the participation rate, when the Labor Department releases its April payroll report. Employers probably added 160,000 new workers last month, while the jobless rate held at 8.2 percent, according to the median forecasts of economists in Bloomberg News surveys.

Nearing Exhaustion

The White House argued in December that emergency unemployment insurance should be continued, partly because some recipients probably would apply for SSDI as their benefits neared exhaustion. Congress extended the payments in February.

“Workers on SSDI rarely return to the labor force, resulting in a loss to society of the economic contribution those workers could have made,” said the report, which was written by the National Economic Council, Domestic Policy Council, Labor Department and President’s Council of Economic Advisers. “Thus, keeping the long-term unemployed in the labor force should be a priority.”

More than 99 percent of all SSDI beneficiaries remain in the program until retirement age, David Greenlaw, a managing director in New York at Morgan Stanley, wrote in a March research note, citing government data. The program provides an average of $1,111 in monthly income to eligible workers with a physical or mental impairment that will last at least 12 months or result in death, according to Social Security.

Record Applications

The number of people collecting disability surged as the economy contracted, with the share of the U.S. population between the ages of 25 and 64 on SSDI climbing to a record-high 5.3 percent in March from 4.5 percent in 2007. Applications per 1,000 working-age people rose to 18 last year from 8 in 1990.

The gain follows a pattern typical of recessions because Social Security requires that claimants be unable to “engage in any substantial gainful activity,” a stipulation more easily satisfied when jobs are scarce and wages get cut, according to Virginia Reno, vice-president for income security policy at the National Academy of Social Insurance in Washington.

“Impediments to work are compounded for people with disabilities when the economy turns sour and there are simply fewer jobs and greater competition for the jobs that remain,” Reno said. Her group researches the impact of social insurance on economic security.

Unemployment Among Disabled

Unemployment among the disabled rose by 7.6 percentage points to 16.9 percent -- in August 2009 and June 2011 -- from 9.3 percent in June 2008, when the government began tracking the data. The comparable measure for healthy people climbed 4.8 points to a peak of 10.4 percent in January 2010.

White’s weekly income fell to about $800 as the recession struck, even though he often worked every day, from as much as $2,000 when the towing business was booming, he says. As towing jobs contracted nationally to 48,300 in 2010 from a peak of 52,800 in 2008, he was laid off and filed for unemployment insurance in September 2009, receiving about $1,200 a month.

Meanwhile, White says his health deteriorated: His COPD morphed into emphysema, he was diagnosed with diabetes, his fingers began to ache from neuropathy and he obtained a breathing device to combat sleep apnea. The former bass player for cover band Boston Post Road no longer could hold his guitar.

White says he routinely searched for eight to 10 jobs a week, more than required to keep his unemployment benefits, and would have taken any available position so long as his health permitted. No opportunities came up in the tight labor market, and anticipating his unemployment would run out, he applied for SSDI. He says he was approved in about five months.

Difficult Decision

The decision to go on disability can be difficult for people who’ve lost their job and then realize their health prevents them from working, said Sean Libby, vice president of corporate development at Freedom Disability, the advocacy company that helped White obtain SSDI. Unemployment insurance requires that applicants search for job opportunities, while disability insurance requires they be unable to work.

“You’re trying to make something gray into something black and white by saying, ‘On this date I woke up and I could no longer work,’” Libby said.

That gray area may be working to the advantage of some unemployed, according to economists David Autor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and Mark Duggan at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in Philadelphia. Because SSDI awards have soared even as the health of Americans has improved, SSDI “appears in practice to function like a nonemployability insurance program for a subset of beneficiaries,” they wrote in a 2006 research paper.

Lax Screening Procedures

Less-stringent screening procedures, more attractive benefits and a waning need for less-skilled workers have bolstered SSDI rolls, they said. In addition, “difficult-to- verify disorders,” including muscle pain and mental illness, more easily qualify for SSDI under program reforms, Autor wrote in a 2011 paper. The aging baby-boom population, changes in Americans’ health conditions and the entry of women into the workforce weren’t the driving forces behind the gain in SSDI, Autor wrote.

Kia Green, a Social Security spokeswoman, hadn’t responded to an e-mail request for comments as of 7:30 p.m. yesterday.

Based on current trends, 7 percent of the nonelderly adult population could be receiving disability benefits by 2018, Richard Burkhauser and Mary Daly wrote in the spring issue of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. That’s two years after the SSDI program will run through its trust fund, according to an April report by the Social Security trustees.

Costs Increase

Costs have increased with the rolls: The program spent $132 billion last year, more than twice as much as in 2000. Once the trust fund dries up, the program’s incoming revenue will be enough to cover only about 80 percent of scheduled benefits, the trustees said.

To help reduce the strain on the system and make it possible for more disabled people to remain in the labor force, Burkhauser, a policy professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and Daly, associate research director at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, argued SSDI should be modified. They said raising taxes on businesses with a larger share of employees on SSDI would provide an incentive for these companies to offer the employees better accommodations and rehabilitation programs that prolong their ability to work.

The current program, which assumes that disability and employment are “mutually exclusive” is “both archaic and fiscally unsustainable,” they said. “Fundamental reforms, if done well, can lower projected long-term costs for taxpayers, make the evaluative tasks of disability administrators less difficult and, importantly, improve the short- and long-run opportunities of people with disabilities.”

Post Comment   Private Reply   Ignore Thread  


[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Please report web page problems, questions and comments to webmaster@libertysflame.com