Many individuals and organizations have criticized the public radio show This American Life for its broadcast entitled “Trends With Benefits,” which examined the Social Security disability benefits program. Many critics said that the broadcast inaccurately portrayed SSDI as a “welfare” program, rather than a workers’ insurance program that people have paid into with their taxes.
Kathy Ruffing, a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, pointed out that most of the recent increase in the disability rolls is the result of demographic factors such as the aging baby boom generation. The Center for Economic and Policy Research said that the show failed to recognize the impact of the economic downturn on disability claims. And more than 120 organizations signed a letter by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities calling the report “misleading and inaccurate.”