A recent study by the National Bureau of Labor and Statistics indicates that the amount of American workers' compensation claims are at their lowest since 2003. At the same time, workplace accidents are decreasing, according to OSHA.
Yet, the number of workers receiving social security disability payments continues to rise.
If the statistics are correct, then the amount of Social Security disability payments should be decreasing, not growing. If workplaces are apparently safer than they’ve ever been, why is there an increase in people obtaining Social Security benefits?
Over the past 10 years, American disability claims have increased by four to five percent yearly. One in twelve workers is now on disability of some form, although high risk workers such as manual laborers have generally been on the decline by eleven percent since 1973. Social Security is not worker’s compensation.
It is important to remember that you can obtain Social Security for a number of reasons far outside the scope of California worker’s compensation guidelines. For example, you can obtain Social Security benefits from injuries sustained outside of the workplace, whereas you can't do the same for workers' compensation.
As workers in this country age, the growth of higher disability payments will continue become a major turning point. Employees are working well beyond former retirement cut-off years, and placing themselves at greater risk for injury. This risk occurs both on and off the job.
While office jobs get longer and more repetitive in their motion, we’ve seen an increase in the kind of injuries that office workers complain about--injuries that result from repetitive motion, eye strain, and other causes. Employees' activities in their off-work hours may be contributing to these kinds of injuries. To better understand the types of injuries that occur, lawyers and attorneys need to conduct thorough research.
In the meantime, it begs the question of whether or not people have discovered it may be easier to cheat the Social Security system.