Q: Is the Social Security disability benefits fund solvent?
For what may feel like forever, national headlines and financial analysts have warned of the impending insolvency of the Social Security retirement fund and have urged major program changes so the money paid into the fund– through the payroll taxes of generations of Americans– will be there for them to support them after they retire.
Some of the suggestions for dealing with the problem have included pushing back retirement ages, adjusting the amount of the benefits, and increasing payroll taxes. Currently, the retirement fund is projected to become insolvent in only 16 years.
For those who qualify for Social Security disability insurance benefits (“SSDI”), the future is much brighter.
Thanks in part to a “temporary reallocation” of $120 billion from the Old-Age Survivors Insurance program “(OASI”) and improvements to the SSDI program, in just about 3 years the projected insolvency of the Social Security disability benefits fund has unexpectedly been pushed back nearly 3 decades–from 2016 all the way to 2052. Here are some reasons for this remarkable “save”:
- fraud-reducing administrative changes
- initial determination process improvements
- appeals determination process improvements
- helping people stay at work.
In addition to those changes, the SSDI program has been strengthened by the improving economy —more people are working and generating increased payroll tax revenue, the number of SSDI applications is down, and the worker recovery rate is “higher-than-normal” due to reductions in disability review backlog.
There are now more jobs open than people to fill them, which means there are also more jobs for those with disabilities.
While no one ever expects to become disabled and need SSDI benefits, the extended projected solvency of the program and the many changes in recent years to expedite the processing of SSDI appeals and initial claims are much-needed good news for those who rely on these benefits to survive.
If you or a loved one needs assistance applying for SSDI benefits or appealing a denial of benefits, the Disability Attorneys of Arizona at Roeschke Law can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.
From our offices in Tempe, Phoenix, and Tucson, we help disabled people and their families throughout Arizona in all aspects of disability law.