Many Americans continue to question if Social Security — and disability programs, in particular — will run out of funds for benefits in the near future. Because of the number of baby boomers retiring or becoming unable to work, workers intentionally or unintentionally scamming the system and expanded definitions of what constitutes a disability, many people worry that they will no longer receive the benefits around which they planned their futures.
According to the Social Security Administration Trustees Report summary, their concern is valid. In fact, the Trustees state that the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program faces the most immediate financing shortfall of all the Social Security programs. While all Social Security expenditures have exceeded and continue to exceed their income, SSD is projected to be depleted by 2016. The Trustees state that only immediate action by legislators will resolve this problem.
According to Forbes, SSD faces depletion because it essentially has replaced unemployment. Forbes notes that spikes in disability spending coincide with each recession and increases in unemployment rates. Basically, relaxed disability eligibility criteria — making it easier to obtain benefits — coupled with a payout formula that awards higher benefits to disabled former workers whose income was low, form the root of the bankruptcy problem.
While the SSD program and Social Security in general clearly need reform, you should still be able to collect the disability benefits you need now. If you are disabled and are no longer able to work, contact an experienced SSD attorney to help ensure you are not unfairly denied the benefits you deserve.