Being unemployed for too long reportedly is driving people mad and costing taxpayers billions of dollars in mental illness and other disability claims.
The New York Post reported Sunday that as unemployment checks run out, many jobless are trying to gain government benefits by declaring themselves unhealthy.
More than 10.5 million people -- about 5.3 percent of the population aged 25 and 64 -- received disability checks in January from the federal government, the Post wrote, a 18 percent jump from before the recession.
Among those claiming disability, 43 percent are asking for benefits because of mental illness, the Post wrote. A growing number of those people are older, former white-collar workers.
Disability claims come from the Social Security Trust Fund, which is set to go broke in 2018. Congress last week agreed to dip into the revenue stream to give a 2-percentage point tax break to working Americans.
The Post noted that the more people file for disability claims, the better for the unemployment picture since those people are removed from the jobless rolls.