House investigators: Disability judges too lax

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. House investigators say Social Security is approving state-rejected claims for disability benefits at strikingly high rates for people who might not deserve them. Compounding the problem, the agency often fails to do required follow-up reviews to make sure people still qualify for benefits months or years later.

Claims for benefits have increased by 25 percent since 2007, pushing the fund that supports the disability program to the brink of insolvency. Social Security officials say the primary driver of the increase is a surge in baby boomers more prone to disabilities as they age but not quite old enough to qualify for retirement benefits.

Investigators from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee say management problems also add to the financial problems of the cash-strapped program.

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