According to multiple news reports, the trustees that oversee the Social Security disability trust fund report the fund will “run out of money” in late 2016. This could have a large effect on RGG Law clients and could potentially impact over 11 million Americans who receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, also known as Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB). Unless Congress acts to supplement the fund with additional appropriations, some sources are predicting these disabled workers could face an automatic 19 percent cut in benefits. The average SSD benefit is around $1,017.00 per month.
Many factors are cited to explain why the trust fund is falling short despite the monthly contribution to the fund from payroll taxes by all wage earners. Persistent unemployment or underemployment over the past 7 to 8 years has reduced the base of workers paying into the fund. Also, the federal government typically invests such revenue in good years into U.S. bonds or securities and then spends the revenue invested in other budget items, essentially leaving only an I.O.U. in the trust fund. There is also a noteworthy rise in the number of Americans applying for and receiving disability benefits.
One solution being considered is shifting revenue from the much larger Social Security retirement fund used to pay retirement benefits to millions of Americans who have reached retirement age. While the retirement fund has its own solvency issues, the trustees at the agency estimate that fund has enough resources to pay full benefits through 2035. This type of bailout of the disability fund has been undertaken by Congress in past years.
Other options being discussed are stricter rules to qualify for disability benefits or more aggressive efforts to identify fraud and waste in the disability program. Of course, increasing payroll taxes is another option, but such a tax increase on working Americans does not seem to have much support from either political party in Washington.
Contact RGG Law Today for Information
RGG Law stays up to date on the latest information regarding social security disability benefits. The disability attorneys at RGG Law are dedicated to getting what’s best for their clients, regardless of the difficult times ahead. Contact one of RGG Law’s disability attorneys today.