Over 5% of American workers on disability benefits
>Wow! That's a lot of people.
I vaguely remember an article about this over a decade ago and believe the percentage started going up dramatically during the Great Recession.
Is this automation playing out already, do the people here have a hand in this?
In the rust belt, there is a lot of effort by state agencies to get permanently unemployed people on SSDI. Instead of moving to where the jobs are, they encourage doctors to gin up the paperwork to get older people on disability. That way, the money comes from the feds instead of from the state.
This isn't due to automation. This is the people that used to be on welfare.
Republican Congress and Clinton passed welfare reform which basically said you can't be on welfare forever, it's a limited time thing. So millions got kicked out. At that point people started applying for SSDI benefits. Among the medical conditions that permanent disability benefits have been approved for are depression, alcoholism, and bipolar disorder. Along with back pain. There are doctors that specialize in diagnosing people in such a way that they qualify for lifelong disability.
It tends to run in families. You seldom find one person that is nonvisibly disabled, rather a whole house full of them.
It is also extremely popular in these families to get all your kids diagnosed, whether with ADHD or schizophrenia, or whatever you think will bring the most benefits.
Counterpoint: SSA says their SSDI program is "probably not" the new welfare according to a OIG analysis: