$135B in FY12 Disability Payments Exceeded $125B in Pentagon Procurement Payments

November 20, 2012 - 10:46 AM

Social Security Administration

(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Federal disability insurance payments hit a record $135 billion in fiscal 2012, which ended on Sept. 30.

That was more than the $124.712 billion the Department of Defense paid in fiscal 2012 for procurement of goods and services, according to the federal government's Monthly Treasury Statement for September.

The number of workers taking disability also climbed to yet a new record of 8,805,353 in November, rising from the previous record of 8,803,335 in October.

According to official data published by the Social Security Administration, the record $135.097 billion in disability payments that the federal government distributed in fiscal 2012 was an increase of $7.117 billion from the $127.980 billion in disability payments the federal government distributed in fiscal 2011.

In the last four fiscal years, federal disability payments have increased from $104.517 billion to $135.097 billion, a jump of $30.58 billion or 29 percent. Over the past decade, annual federal disability payments have more than doubled from the $64.156 billion the government paid out in fiscal 2002.

Given that the Bureau of Labor Statistics said there were 115,459,000 Americans working full-time in October, the 8,805,353 workers now collecting disability equal about 1 for each 13 full-time workers.

Forty-four years ago, in November 1968, there were 65,506,000 full-time workers in the United States and 1,291,339 workers collecting disability—or approximately 1 worker on disability for each 51 full-time workers.

In addition to the record 8,805,353 workers collecting disability in November, according to the Social Security Administration, there were also 163,393 spouses of disabled workers who collected benefits and 1,886,456 children of disabled workers who collected benefits.

The total of 10,855,202 beneficiaries collecting disability as workers, spouses or children in November was also a record—up from the previous record of 10,844,253 set in October.

The record total of 10,855,202 workers, spouses and children collecting disability in November equaled about one for each 10.6 people working full time.

"Any purchase of a good or service by DOD is defined as a procurement," says the Congressional Research Service.

In addition to the $124.712 billion DOD spent on procurement in fiscal 2012, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement, it also spent $70.397 billion on research, development, testing and evaluation, and $14.551 billion on military construction.