Since being sworn in on January 6, 2015, the new Congress has initiated a significant rule change in the Social Security program, which could decrease Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments by as much as one-fifth beginning in 2016. If you believe you may be entitled to SSDI benefits for a serious disability that prevents you from returning to work, contact our reputable Social Security Disability lawyers at Rechtman & Spevak today for legal help. With our experienced SSDI attorneys on your side, you can ensure that your legal rights are protected, and pursue the disability benefits you deserve.
Disability and Old Age and Survivors Insurance
The Social Security program has two components: disability insurance and the much larger Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) program, which nearly all Americans become eligible for once they reach retirement age. In the past, Congress has treated the two trust funds as one system, transferring money as needed, in instances where one program has plenty of money and the other is running low. However, a new rule proposed by Congress would prevent lawmakers from moving money from the OASI trust fund to the disability trust fund, despite the fact that the disability program is expected to run out of money as early as next year.
Disability Program Only Solvent Until 2016
According to the 2014 Social Security Trustees Report, the Social Security disability and retirement program together are fully funded up until 2033, which means revenue from payroll taxes and other sources can cover 100% of benefits until 2033, and then 72% of benefits thereafter, as long as money can be reallocated from one program to the other. Taken alone, the OASI trust fund by itself can cover 100% of retirement and survivor’s benefits until 2034, and then 77% of benefits after 2034. The disability insurance trust fund, however, will only cover 100% of disability benefits until 2016, and then can only pay 81% of disability benefits thereafter.
Decrease in SSDI Benefits for Disabled Individuals
In order to avoid a significant decrease in disability benefits next year, Congress would have to temporarily allocate some payroll tax revenue from the retirement and survivor’s program to cover disability benefits, a move Congress has made eleven times in the past. By doing this, Congress would also ensure that workers across the country who have paid into the Social Security program and earned disability benefits would receive the monthly payments they are entitled to. If they fail to take this measure, disability beneficiaries would suffer a 19% cut in their benefits beginning in late 2016.