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New Jersey governor suggests changes to Social Security


Social Security and its survival is often the topic of many debates between New Jersey's governor and its residents. Many believe that Social Security benefits, including disability benefits, should be provided to everyone who needs them. Workers who can no longer hold gainful employment due to an injury believe that Social Security Disability benefits are a well-earned entitlement. However, the state's governor has a different opinion.

Recently, the New Jersey governor gave a speech advocating cutbacks and changes to the Social Security system for future recipients. The governor's plan calls for raising the mandatory retirement age and setting earning limits for receiving any SS benefit. However, SSD benefits help the disabled worker or resident be self-reliant. The governor stated that he believes Social Security benefits cannot continue to be paid out at the present rate because they will drive the nation into poverty.

All Social Security programs, including Social Security Disability benefits, cost the federal government more than $18 trillion and amount to more than 70 percent of the current administration's budgeted spending. The governor further urged the administration to have an honest conversation with the American people regarding how to continue to pay Social Security and disability benefits at the current rate, given the ever-increasing number of retirees and the drop in full-time workers contributing to the plan.

Current Social Security beneficiaries are mostly elderly or disabled, so there is a disparity between the number of workers contributing to Social Security and those claiming benefits. The governor's proposed changes to Social Security are not retroactive so they would not affect those who already claim benefits. The proposed changes will affect future claims.

With or without change, obtaining Social Security Disability benefits will become more difficult over the next few years due to a shrinking fund. Many may find it beneficial to consult a legal professional to help lessen the chance a claim is rejected.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "N.J Gov. Chris Christie's speech on proposed changes to Social Security," Apr. 14, 2015

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