Most people think of Social Security as being a retirement-income program, but it also helps those with disabilities make ends meet. Unfortunately, controversy and allegations of abuse have plagued the Social Security Disability Income system for years, and proposed fixes haven't been enough to resolve the real problem.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, looks at the way decisions about disability benefits are made. Dan notes that new Social Security Administration rules would clamp down on the requirement of those seeking benefits to provide all relevant information, even if it goes against their own interest. Lawyers for applicants, however, note that they have a duty to help their clients win. Dan suggests that the better answer is to have the court appoint an impartial third party, similar to a trustee in bankruptcy, to gather information impartially and let the adversarial system work. Otherwise, the ethical quandries are too difficult to navigate.


Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of any companies mentioned in this article. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.