What does the future hold for the Social Security Disability Insurance program? Will its trust fund be replenished in the next couple years or will reserves run out in 2016 as predicted? If the reserves do run out, what happens to the millions of Americans depending on their Social Security Disability benefits?
These questions are on the minds of SSD recipients, politicians, policymakers and others. Although the issue of money set aside for SSD (as opposed to old-age retirement) can largely be solved by Congress, this particular Congress has proven itself to be among the least productive in American history. And if trends continue, it seems likely that the SSD trust fund will be used as a political bargaining chip.
Analysts have predicted that if lawmakers stall and the trust fund runs out, all SSD beneficiaries could see their monthly payments cut by about 20 percent. Nationally, benefits average about $1,100 per month. In actual dollars, a 20 percent cut might not seem very significant. However, most SSD recipients live on very fixed incomes and have difficulty making ends meet as it is. A 20 percent cut could be devastating to individuals and families with no other sources of income.
Thankfully, there is still time to prevent this from happening. But in order to make sure that legislators do not try to use the SSD trust fund as leverage for other gains, average Americans must make their voices heard. If you or someone you know relies on Social Security Disability benefits and cannot afford to lose or reduce them, please contact your members of Congress and speak up for SSDI.
Source: NBC News, “Disabled Recipients of Social Security Fund Face Hefty Benefits Cut,” Martha C. White, June 10, 2014