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Social Security Budget Problems and Politicians

As nearly 9 million Americans currently receiving Social Security disability benefits worry their benefits will be cut by as much as 20 percent in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2016, and millions more Americans who are currently applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are worried their applications will be denied, many politicians are using the predicted budgetary crisis as an opportunity to make speeches and get support in the upcoming presidential election.

congress.jpgAccording to a recent news report from News Max, this issue has become so sensitive to those involved that Republican candidates in the presidential election may be forced to address the issue directly and propose concrete solutions. This is different than what we have seen so far, where prospective candidates for the office have only been saying the system is broken and needs a major reform, without suggesting any type of plan to do this. As millions of Americans are continuing to worry about their level of benefits, the author of this article suggests this might change.

Meanwhile, congressional democrats and President Barack Obama has called for money to be shifted from the Social Security retirement fund to the Social Security disability fund. While money for both funds comes largely from Social Security withholdings from employee’s paychecks, the money is allocated for separate programs, because federal law requires each Social Security program to maintain a separate budget, since they were created for different purposes.

However, while both retirement and disability funds will eventually run out, the retirement fund has enough money to maintain all benefits payments for nearly 20 years, while the disability fund will run out of funding in less than two years. In the past when this problem has arisen, Congress has authorized funding be reallocated from one fund to the other to prevent a reduction of benefits. However, the GOP passed a measure in January of this year preventing money from being reallocated.

Unfortunately, nobody has proposed an alternative to shifting money to prevent millions of disabled Americans from suffering substantial harm from the impending budgetary cliff.

As our Boston social security disability lawyers are aware, the budgetary requirements of each program are not the same, either. It is estimated it would take the amount of money to run the retirement fund for only a single year to fully fund the Social Security disability fund for almost the next 20 years.

It is likely the Senate will be forced to vote on this issue in a matter of weeks, and this would require presidential hopefuls such as Rand Paul to enter the debate. In recent months, Senator Paul has suggested most claimants of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are pretending to be too disabled to work, because they would rather stay home and collect benefits checks than go to work. However, as we are all too aware, the vast majority of disability claimants are suffering from serious injuries and illness and are in desperate need of benefits to care for themselves and their families.

If you are seeking Social Security Disability benefits in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:
National Journal: Social Security Cliff Could Be Key 2016 GOP Issue, April 9, 2015, News Max
More Blog Entries:

SSDI Approvals Lowest in Five Years, June 20, 2014, Boston Social Security Disability Lawyers Blog