Potential cuts to SSD Benefits Coming in 2016

What do Social Security cuts mean to disability recipients?

Social Security disability benefits could be cut by as much as 20 percent by the end of 2016.

A recently released report found the trust fund will be depleted by the fourth quarter of next year, leaving the Social Security Administration with only enough funds to pay 81 percent of benefits. Congress has presently failed to agree to a compromise funding bill.

However, some experts believe Congress may act at the 11th hour to reform the program by redirecting payroll taxes, but this would only be a short-term fix. Meanwhile, the cuts could impact 10.9 million disability benefit recipients. Moreover, the entire Social Security fund needs to be overhauled or the trust fund used for retirement benefits will be depleted by 2035.

That being said, lawmakers could also devise a short-term fix to increase funding for the disability program, but that would entail changing the benefits. For example, one proposal from the White House would preclude people who receive unemployment benefits from receiving Social Security disability benefits.

But this will only be a band aid as lawmakers still need to come up with a comprehensive plan to stabilize funding for the entire Social Security program. The federal government has not taken significant action to reform Social Security since the Reagan Administration. At that time a bipartisan commission called for hiking the payroll tax, and gradually raising the retirement age.

Today’s Congress, however, seems far less likely to compromise, and this adversely affects Social Security disability benefits. Compounding the problem is the inefficient management of the program by the administration which may have resulted in over payments to some recipients. This may contribute to the trust fund not being able to sufficiently cover present recipients and others who may become disabled.

If you believe you are entitled to disability benefits under the Social Security program, contact an attorney today to protect your rights.