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Social Security Disability benefits have uncertain future

Employees who find that they are incapable of returning to work due to a debilitating injury often consider the option of going on disability. These benefits, issued by the Social Security Administration, provide extra income to make sure that disabled individuals are not left behind and can afford food, shelter and other necessities. The rules surrounding Social Security Disability benefits allow for a disabled individual to receive as much as $1,040 per month in income on top of the SSD benefits. Any higher and the benefits will likely be affected.

Many are worried about the future of the Social Security Disability Insurance program as its trust fund is set to become insolvent in the next three years. It is unclear why this is happening, but Congress must act. Either the country’s highest legislative body allows the fund to run dry, reallocates funds from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance fund, increases payroll taxes or performs an overhaul of the system. Whatever option is chosen, it will have to be done by 2016 in order to keep benefits going to disabled individuals at the rates they are receiving right now. If nothing is done or if the fund is allowed to burn out, experts believe that a 20-percent cut in benefits will occur.

Currently, Social Security is expected to run out in 2033. This means that 20 years from now – if nothing is done – the public programs that provide disability benefits and retirement funds will become a thing of the past. In the meantime, individuals who have become disabled should consider applying for benefits. The process can be long and complicated, so applying sooner rather than later is a good idea, as long as your application is properly filled out. An attorney specializing in SSDI benefit application and appeal can help. It is likely that the government will not let SSDI benefits disappear, considering that almost 11 million Americans rely on the benefits provided by the program.

Source: 
Christian Science Monitor, “Trouble for Social Security’s other fund” Margaret Price, Sep. 01, 2013

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