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More than eight million Americans are now collecting disability

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 6th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The number of American workers collecting federal disability payments has climbed to yet another record high of 8,830,026 for the month of January. According to newly released data from the Social Security Administration, these figures are up from 8,827,795 in December.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - February is the 192nd straight month that the number of American workers collecting federal disability payments has increased. The last time the number of Americans collecting disability decreased reaches as far back as January 1997 - and that number of workers taking disability dropped by 249 people, from 4,385,623 in December 1996 to 4,385,374 in January 1997.

As the overall number of Americans collecting disability has increased - so did the ratio of full-time workers to disability beneficiaries has decreased.

In December 1968, 1,295,428 Americans collected disability and 65,630,000 worked full-time. Thus, there were about 51 Americans working full-time for each person collecting disability at that time. The last time the number of disability beneficiaries declined, in January 1997, 4,385,374 Americans collected disability and 104,900,000 worked full-time.

Thus, there were then about 24 Americans working full-time for each person collecting disability.

In January 2013, with a record 8,830,026 Americans collecting disability and 115,918,000 working full-time, there were only 13 Americans working full-time for each person collecting disability.

In related news, the U.S. missed an opportunity to display global leadership on disability rights on December 4, 2012, as the Senate failed to approve ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Senate vote was 61 in favor and 38 opposed, with 66 "yes" votes - two-thirds of the Senate in attendance - needed to consent to ratification.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark civil rights law enacted by Congress in 1990, was the first major piece of national legislation in the world to address systematically the discrimination, barriers, and challenges faced by people with disabilities. In that legislation, the US set out a vision for empowering people with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, full participation, and inclusion and integration into society.

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