Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Budget short takes:
Choosing disability over fruitless job seeking


At a Wall Street Journal economics blog, Sara Murray points out

...for each percentage point increase in the unemployment rate, disability rolls increase anywhere from 2% to 7%. Some studies show that effect grows larger in the following two years. Those increases, if they prove true again in this recession, could increase the strain on an already stressed disability system.

I know two people who would be classified as simply "unemployed" in the current recession if they hadn't decided that it was worth the extreme hassles involved in winning a long term disability status that pays them something out of Social Security.

I'm not implying that they aren't disabled; working a full time job would be a very difficult stretch for either of them. But if job prospects had seemed more promising, they might have kept looking. Knowing that we are in such deep recession, they opted to use what energy they had to get through the process to collect disability benefits (we do after all pay for them via Social Security taxes.)

H/t Ezra Klein.

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