The key point missed is the fact SSDI is insurance.The key point missed is an important one: How long are they on disability? Generally, it is less than ten years--then they hit FRA (Full Retirement Age) and they go on Social Security (i.e. they are *off* SSDI).Part of the determination to establish eligibility for SSDI is the ability to get a job that reasonably exists in the US economy. And therein lies the rub. Many of the jobs those people did no longer exist in the US economy, so the ability to get a similar/comparable job no longer exists. Medically, they are not able to work their old job--so they are (by definition) disabled and this out of the workforce.Retraining would not be cost-effective due to their relatively short remaining time in the workforce (maybe 5-9 years). As a national policy, it is less expensive to put people into disability for a relatively short period than any available reasonable alternative.
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