On May 31, there was an announcement regarding how long Medicare and Social Security will last. The news for these were not too bad because they are supposed to last until 2026 and 2033. What was not focused on was that the Social Security Disability Insurance program fund that provides payments to workers who are disabled will be depleted by 2016. There are about 8.8 million disabled workers who receive payments from this trust fund. Millions of people are relying on this disability fund to survive and in a few years the payments may be cut down to one-fifth of what they are now. People are now questioning why this is not considered a crisis. A recent article titled "Federal disability program running out of money" presents a few possible reasons that this fact is being overlooked, including:
- The amount of disabled people is a small portion of the population. The author combats this reason by stating that there are about 40 million retired workers receiving Social Security and the number continues to rise as thousands of people reach age 65 every day.
- Elderly people are more organized than others. An argument against this is that elderly people have countless things on their plate between health issues, medical care, dealing with insurance, and social service organizations.
- There are misperceptions regarding disability funds. Many people take advantage of these funds and receive payments for their "injured back" while they continue to perform many other activities without any problems. The author points out that these people do exist and there are people who play the system but at the same time there are many recipients of the funds that have severe and even life-threatening conditions. According to the National Academy of Social Insurance about one in every five males and one in every six females die within the first five years of receiving the disability payments
The government has come up with a few solutions to this problem as an effort to boost the program. The first is a temporary increase of the Disability Insurance program's portion of the Social Security taxes. Increasing the percentage from 1.8% to 2.6% and slowly reducing the amount over the next 17 years until it is back to the original percent. This change is thought to keep the trust fund solvent until 2033. The other suggestion is to slightly raise taxes so workers would have to pay .2% more in taxes to the disability trust fund. This change would add 75 years to the fund's span. The author does not see an increase in taxes as something that legislators will do but something has to be done or over millions of people will be losing their disability payments.
Becoming disabled and not being able to work can be a tragic experience for anyone. If you need help finding a way to support your family contact a Charlotte social security disability attorney from The Law Office of Jack G. Lezman, P.A. as soon as possible.