As Congress Dithers, Clock Continues to Tick on Disability Fund
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 31, 2014 - Unless changes are made, the Social Security disability fund will run out of money by end of 2016.
Capitol Hill's notorious procrastination could soon impact millions of Americans receiving Social Security disability payments. Within the next three years, Congress must come up with a plan to keep the program financially afloat.
And given federal lawmakers’ proclivity for adopting short-term fixes at the eleventh hour, disabled workers may have to wait for a significant period before even finding about any stopgap measure that Congress passes.
As it stands, the trust fund for Social Security disability benefits will be insolvent no later than 2017 unless Congress finds a way to replenish it. If lawmakers do not refill the fund, the program will only be able to distribute an estimated 80 percent of earmarked benefits to the 8.8 million Americans who depend on them and of the benefits paid to spouses and dependents when the disabled worker is the primary beneficiary.
A Congressional election will be looming at the same time the fund is scheduled to run short of money, so there will eventually be a political incentive to solve the quandary. Even so, lawmakers have defied political winds before, engaging in brinkmanship during the federal sequestration and in the government shutdown crises of recent years.
“It is unconscionable that members of Congress would leave disabled Americans hanging while they play political chess,” said David Magann, an attorney in Tampa, Florida who specializes in serving the legal needs of Social Security disability recipients. “It seems to always be a matter of how close to a deadline Congress is willing to come before seeking a solution.”
To enact one frequently proposed solution, Congress could transfer funds from the Social Security retirement fund into the disability fund. Currently, 12.4 percent of the first $117,000 of a worker’s wages go toward Social Security — half paid by the employer and half by the employee — with one of every seven of those dollars set aside for the disability fund.
However, such an action would only resolve the concern for a few years. Were Congress to readjust the allocated amounts to the two funds, Social Security trustees have concluded that both funds would run out of money in 2033, after which only 77 percent of promised benefits could be met. “Regardless of the plan Congress chooses, such so-called solutions will not resolve the problem,” Magann said. “They only kick the can down the road.”
David W. Magann, P.A.
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175
4012 Gunn Highway #165
Tampa, Florida 33618
View Larger Map
- SSA is Heading For Delays Again After Recent Cutbacks & Years of Improvement
Service Cuts, Computer Problems Cloud Social Security’s 79th Birthday: The Social Security Administration should have reason to celebrate. After all, August 14, 2014, marked the 79th anniversary of the day when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, which ushered in the landmark entitlement program. However, the agency’s birthday was a less than cheerful […]
- SSA is Ramping Up Disability Reviews in 2014
The Social Security Disability Benefits Reform Act of 1984 (“DBRA 1984”) was passed by a unanimous, bipartisan vote in the House and Senate (99-0) in September 1984. President Reagan signed the law on October 9, 1984, when it became Pub. L. No. 98-460. One of the main provisions required “medical improvement” before benefits could be terminated where […]
- Never Allow A Non-Attorney to Represent You At Your Social Security Hearing!
You should NOT have a non-attorney clerk at your hearing? This seems obvious, but several Florida law firms and any company identifying themselves as “Experts”, some who are advertising on TV, are sending non-attorney clerks to Social Security Hearings simply because its cheaper for them to do so rather than have an actual attorney appear. How in […]
- Do Not Believe Non-Lawyer Websites Who Post 95% Success Rates!
Continually we see claimants who have had a non-lawyer representative whose company boasts a 95% success rate when in fact it is simply not true. No lawyer website can ethically advertise with success rates in percentages because it is misleading and yes, unethical. Each claim is different and if it is to good to be true, […]
- Missing Your Social Security Statements? SSA’s New Policy
SSA has recently changed its policy regarding the availability of the annual Social Security Statement. Effective May 1, 2012, SSA will begin to provide real-time online access to the Statement with the release of the new “MySocialSecurity” portal, www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement. In March 2011, due to budget issues, SSA suspended the mailing of all annual Social […]