Is the need for Social Security Disability reform on the horizon?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) was originally created to provide income for those in St. Louis whose earning potential is impacted either by retirement or disability. While a majority of the funds coming in from payroll taxes is currently allocated to the SSA’s retirement program, changes may be needed to increase the allocation going to the disability program to avoid the need for drastic cuts to those benefits that may be needed as soon as 2016.

While the government has opted to change the SSAs funds allocations in the past, resistance to a current change is driven by those legislators who believe that Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are being abused. The increase in the number of beneficiaries in recent years may seem to support those claims, with the numbers of disabled workers receiving benefits increasing from close to 6 million in 2003 to over 9 million currently.

The SSA’s guidelines for determining disability are meant to identify those who will need supplemental income because of their inability to work for at least one year due to either injury or physical or mental illness. The increase in the number of recipients may necessitate that SSD reform be addressed before dealing with the issue of the reallocation of SSA funds. Part of that reform could include adding incentives to encourage recipients to return to work.

While Social Security reform seems to be a perpetual hot button issue, the benefits remain there for those who need them to support themselves and their families during times when they cannot work. For those needing to stay updated with changes in the SSA, a social security lawyer may be a good resource to go to for that information.

Source: Reuters “COLUMN-Disability is the other Social Security fight we need to have now” Mark Miller, Sep. 05, 2013

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