Federal disability insurance payments hit a record $135 billion in fiscal 2012, which ended on Sept. 30.
That was more than the $125 billion that Pentagon paid for procurement of weapons and other equipment during the year.
The number of workers taking disability also climbed to yet a new record in November, rising from the previous record of 8,803,335 in October to 8,805,353 in November.
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.