After hearing about how the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs would run out of money late next year, there was a great deal of fear that nearly 11 million Americans would face a 20 percent cut in their monthly benefits checks.
Fortunately, Congress was able to come to an agreement about how to save the benefits program for the next few years, and President Barack Obama recently passed that piece of legislation into law. A recent article from Forbes takes a look at what this means for the American public in both the short term and long term.
One of the concerns of the author of the article is that the legislation that made the changes to the Social Security disability budget disregards the so-called bipartisan spending limits and at the same time fails to the address the long-term problems with the system. He also speaks of an alleged recent surge in abuse of the system. This is essentially the argument that most of the claimants receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are exaggerating or completely faking their disabilities, so they can stay home and collect a check instead of going to work.
This could not be farther from the truth, and, as our Boston disability attorneys know from years of experience, the vast majority of claimants receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are genuinely disabled and very much in need of benefits. These disability benefits recipients would much rather be working and be free from their respective disability conditions, but since that is not possible, they are very much dependent on the benefits they receive each month.
In addition to the argument about benefits fraud, there is also the issue that Congress has known for decades that the disability fund would run out of money at a certain predictable time and would require more money to be allocated to avoid having to cut benefits across the board. The last time this happened was in the 1990s, and more money was, in fact, allocated, allowing the program to be funded until late next year. With the latest budget deal, the program will have funding to operate for the next three years, but we will likely be facing the same budgetary shortage and dilemma at that time.
It is for this reason that opponents of the recent budget increase feel that more money should not be added to the program until a real long-term solution is worked out, which will prevent the program from running out of money in the future. However, in reality, while changes may be needed, there is no excuse for letting millions of Americans go without benefits, or suffer a 20 percent cut in their benefits. This is the reason that, despite all of the campaign speeches about how they would never support a short-term budget increase, most congress members ultimately went along with what turned out to be a bipartisan bill. It seems just bad politics to let millions of disabled Americans suffer in an election year.
If you or a loved one is seeking Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Social Security Disability Insurance: A Fix Put Off For Another Year (Or Seven), November 5, 2015, Forbes, by Eric Peterson
More Blog Entries:
Social Security Disability Claims Process, Jan. 23, 2015, Boston Social Security Disability Insurance Lawyer Blog