Social Security Disability Insurance: Worthwhile or Wasteful?

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As the economic climate continues to suffer, the number of former workers seeking Social Security disability benefits has spiked.

Ten years ago, roughly five million disabled workers collected Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Today, more than eight million ex-workers do. And as the economic climate of America continues to suffer, the number of SSDI applications continues to rise. This year, they’re up 21 percent over last year.

But with the increased number of SSDI recipients and applicants come increased questions: Namely, what conditions qualify people for SSDI? Should it be harder or easier to collect? And is there a way to cut down on its annual $200 billion price tag while still providing for those who need it?

James Ledbetter has been covering this topic for Slate; he believes SSDI has become overly expensive, destructive, and out of control.

Paul Nolan also weighs in. An attorney who specializes in Social Security disability cases, he believes the process to collect SSDI is too burdensome for applicants.