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Social Security disability fund quickly dwindling

The economic downturn that has occurred over the past few years may be putting the Social Security disability fund at risk. With more and more unemployed people that are disabled in states such as Ohio, the fund is quickly dwindling.

According to estimates from Congress, the Social Security disability fund is scheduled to run out of money in 2017. If Congress does not allocate more funds to disability, many disabled people that rely on it as a source of income will be out of money.

With the elimination of almost 7 million jobs, many disabled people were left without income and have had to rely on Social Security disability benefits. Because of this, applications are up 50 percent compared to a decade ago. As more individuals apply, more and more applications pile up. Because the system can only deal with so many applicants at a time, some wait as long as two years to receive benefits.

Many are calling for Congress to remove funds from the Social Security retirement fund and place them into the disability segment. By doing this, some say Congress would help ensure that disabled individuals receive their allotted income for a longer period of time. The last time they did this was 17 years ago, in 1994. In 2038, both portions of Social Security will likely run out of money to pay all of the recipients.

What potential recipients can take away from this is that fewer people will be able to receive disability benefits. A recent congressional report shows that the program would no longer be able to pay about 25 percent of benefits. Hopefully lawmakers will make the necessary changes to help make sure those who truly need disability benefits will be able to receive them, not just now, but in the future as well.

Source: Associated Press, "Social Security disability on verge of insolvency," Stephen Ohlemacher, Aug. 22, 2011

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