Social Security Programs Are Stable but SSDI Needs Help

Posted on Aug 04, 2015

The Social Security programs are stable, and are serving the American people well, the Social Security trustees revealed in their recently released annual report. The report serves as both a “status update” and a reminder of the vital protections provided by Social Security to nearly all American workers and their families for more than 50 years.

The Trustees Report predicts that the combined Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Trust Funds have sufficient reserves to pay full benefits until 2034. This estimate provides one more year of solvency than was predicted in last year’s Trustees Report.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a core component of our nation’s Social Security system, and provides critical assistance for individuals faced with serious disability, illness or injury before they reach retirement.

“The Trustees Report shows that current estimates about Social Security Disability Insurance are right in line with actuarial predictions, and the program will continue to serve nearly 9 million American workers who rely on its modest but crucial coverage in a time of physical and financial strain,” said Barbara Silverstone, Executive Director, National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR). “The program is delivering on its promise to the American people, and provides needed income to those no longer able to support themselves through work.”

However, the Trustees Report also suggests an urgent call for our nation’s leaders to enact legislative changes that will secure Social Security into the future. Unless Congress acts, the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund will be unable to pay full benefits beginning in late 2016. Congress can support the Disability Insurance Trust Fund by reallocating payroll tax revenues to account for demographic shifts and solve the short-term funding gap. Such reallocations have occurred multiple times in the past, both to and from the Disability Insurance Trust Fund and the Retirement Insurance Trust Fund, with bipartisan support.

“The Social Security program celebrates its 80th birthday this year, a great achievement for this piece of America’s social infrastructure,” said Timothy Cuddigan, President, NOSSCR. “As advocates for Social Security claimants and beneficiaries, NOSSCR members see the value of this program every day – particularly the Disability Insurance component. The release of this report gives us an opportunity to highlight the real benefits it provides to the American people, while also highlighting the urgent need for reallocation.”

 

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