On Sunday, I heard Billy Cunningham and his leadoff guest Wayne Allen Root whine about the huge number of Americans collecting disability benefits and this morning Fats Limbaugh also chimed in and it's spreading, so I thought I would look at the basic data from the Social Security Administration. The latest numbers are for the year ending December 2010 and here's a chart I made from a downloadable Excel file.
The RED line is the total number of people receiving benefits. In addition to workers, it includes spouses and dependent children.
The BLUE line is the total number of workers receiving benefits.
On the bottom axis are the years, 1982-2010 inclusive.
The wingnuts are trying to claim that people are scamming the system but the simpler explanation is an aging population.