Can Employers Help Reduce the Social Security Disability Rolls?

Between the years 2000-2010, the number of Social Security Disability recipients between the ages of 50-59, increased by a whopping 73%! There are some economists who believe that if the trend continues, the Social Security Disability system will be broke by 2017. Whether that forecast is true or not, politicians are determined to cut the costs of Social Security Disability.

One proposal is to institute a sliding scale of payments. That is, SSD benefits would decrease as earnings increase. The system wouldn’t be an “all or nothing” system, but would institute “partial” benefits for part-time or underpaid workers, who are suffering a bona fide disability.

Another proposal is to treat payments made by employers, dependent upon what percentage of its workforce continues to work, rather than receive SSD. Employers which are able to “accommodate” workers, especially handicapped workers, would be “rewarded” by paying lower SSD payroll taxes. That system would be similar to how workers’ compensation premiums are charged, where employers with worse injury and lost time records pay higher premiums.