For the last two years, we have been hearing a lot about how the Social Security disability fund will run out of money in late 2016 if nothing is done. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program comprise what people are talking about when they refer to Social Security disability. The United States Social Security Administration (SSA) administers both the SSDI and SSI programs, and the benefits money comes from the agency’s disability fund.
In addition to the disability fund, there is also a Social Security retirement fund. That fund is used to pay for the Social Security retirement benefits people are generally referring to when they say someone is collecting Social Security. While SSA administers both funds, the money, which is collected in the form of tax withholdings, must be maintained in separate funds, because they are for separate purposes. However, until Congress passed a recent law, if the money was running low in one fund, it could easily borrow money from the other fund, so that there was no reduction in benefits. This is what has happened several times during the roughly 60 years the disability program has been in existence. Continue reading