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Regarding Rand Paul's claims about disability

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Headlines were recently made by Rand Paul when he voiced his opinion on disability, stating that 50 percent of the people who were collecting had common ailments, such as back pain and anxiety. He said that all people deal with these things, saying that the people collecting on those grounds were abusing the system.

As can be imagined, these remarks cause quite a stir. He was basically saying that a lot of people didn't deserve their disability checks. He wasn't being fully serious with his numbers- - the 50 percent was noted more as a shot in the dark than anything based on hard data -- but it's still an interesting position to investigate.

One thing that is intriguing to note is that there has been a sharp rise in the amount of people getting disability since 1980. In the three decades after that -- ending in 2010 -- the amount of people collecting skyrocketed by 187 percent.

However, some people have said that this has less to do with people scamming the system and more to do with baby boomers getting older. As people age, disability becomes more common, and the baby boomers, who represent a significant part of the population, have been getting to that age -- from 45 to 64 years old.

Another reason is the rise of women in the workforce. There are more women working in 2010 than there were in the 1970s. This means that they can now collect, when they could not previously.

If you ever need to seek disability benefits in California, be sure that you know what has to be done, legally speaking, to get those benefits.

Source: Washington Post, "Rand Paul’s claim that ‘over half of the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts’" Glenn Kessler, Jan. 24, 2015

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