By Michael Hiltzik

The apparent explosion in Social Security disability claimants in recent years has provided endless fodder for critics of the program. Their favored explanation is that the growth in the ranks of the disabled, from 250,000 new claimants a year in 1970 to nearly 900,000 in 2008, comes from fraud or laziness.

A new study by two economists at the Social Security Administration should put that to rest.

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