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Social and Behavioral Sciences

Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative

Social Security

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The Urgency Of Reforming Entitlement Programs: The Case Of Social Security Disability Insurance, Mark Duggan Aug 2013

The Urgency Of Reforming Entitlement Programs: The Case Of Social Security Disability Insurance, Mark Duggan

Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative

Enrollment in the Social Security Disability Insurance program has risen significantly since the late 1980s; consequently, program expenditures have far outpaced revenues and the SSDI trust fund is projected to hit zero in 2016. Moreover, the SSDI program, as currently administered, discourages applicants and recipients of benefits from seeking and returning to work, thereby reducing federal tax revenues at a time when deficit reduction is critical. The SSDI program can and must be reformed. Reconsidering the medical eligibility criteria for benefits, promoting earlier medical interventions, allowing for SSA representation at appeal hearings on benefit decisions, enacting time limits for some ...