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Last week This American Life had a piece on the increase in the number of people on Social Security disability. While the segment had many interesting stories, and presented useful background, it got some of the basics wrong. While the story did note the impact of the economic downturn on disability claims, it failed to recognize the actual importance of the economic collapse. Instead the piece turned to a variety of other explanations, for example citing the 1996 welfare reform bill. If we go back to the projections in the 1996 Social Security trustees report, the disability program was projected to cost 1.93 percent of payroll in 2005.