Supporting Work: A Proposal for Modernizing the U.S. Disability Insurance System

Posted by randee chafkin - On December 03, 2010 (EST)

On December 3, 2010, the Center for American Progress and Hamilton Project issued a Report, "Supporting Work: A Proposal for Modernizing the U.S. Disability Insurance System."

Excerpts from the Report:

The Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program has served to protect U.S. workers and their families from poverty and loss of medical care in the event of work-limiting disability since its inception in 1956. The program has become a crucial piece of the U.S. social safety net, and it creates substantial net benefits for citizens.
In the ensuing fifty years since the program’s introduction, medical care and assistive technologies for treating and accommodating work-limiting disabilities have advanced, the physical demands of the workplace have lessened, and the societal consensus on the proper objective for treatment of disabled workers has greatly evolved. The SSDI program was designed to provide income support (and, after 1965, medical care) to workers transitioning from employment to early retirement and, in many cases, death. This goal was progressive for its time but is no longer aligned with current societal objectives. A modern disability insurance system should properly focus on assisting individuals with disabilities to maintain economic self-sufficiency and to enjoy the many benefits of gainful employment.

Thsi Report provides a proposal for universal private disability insurance as a blueprint for modernizing the structure of the SSDI program. Once in place, the reformed program will better support workers with disabilities to remain employed and encourage their self-sufficiency. It also will reduce the dual wastes stemming from spending too few societal resources on helping individuals with disabilities remain employed and too many societal resources on supporting unnecessary long-term dependency of individuals who could be self-sufficient with the appropriate accommodation and support.

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Modified On : December 03, 2010
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