Report: Disability benefits program still in jeopardy

For several months now, reports on the health of Social Security disability benefits funding have been disappointing, to say the least. The federal program is designed to provide financial support to certain people who are disabled and unable to work, as long as they have contributed to Social Security during their employment history.

However, due in part to the large number of recipients and the seemingly inadequate or absent reforms since the 1980s, the program is again at risk of running out of funds. A recent report indicates that the problem has not been addressed and dramatic changes could be around the corner unless something is done. Not surprisingly, many people have been wondering what impact this may have on current recipients of SSDI and what could it mean for future claims.

If you currently receive SSDI payments, you could be among those most affected by the current state of the disability trust fun. Unless solutions are identified, whether they are short-term or long-term, you could have your benefits cut by about 20 percent next year. If a proposal by President Obama is approved, you could also lose disability benefits altogether if you also collect unemployment benefits. This proposal is intended to encourage disabled workers to find employment.

If you are concerned that you could become disabled in the future, you will also likely be affected by any actions or inaction in terms of stabilizing the disability benefits program. At this point, there are no clear answers for how future recipients could be affected as there have been few concrete proposals made to address the future of the program itself. However, it is possible that you could collect less than current recipients or be subjected to more rigid eligibility requirements.

Changes will need to be made, but if, how and when they happen remains unknown at this point. However, it seems clear that something will need to be done in the near future to protect those who are dependent on these benefits. We will continue to follow any changes or proposals that may develop as the weeks and months go on.

Source: The Washington Post, “A cut to Social Security disability benefits may be around the corner,” Jonnelle Marte, July 23, 2015