The COVID-19 pandemic has created a dire situation for the future of Social Security Social Security has two funds – one to pay old-age retirement benefits and the other to pay disability benefits. Both funds have been running dangerously for some time. But now due to the pandemic, the projected timelines for when these two Social Security programs will run out money programs have been considerably shortened.
Before the pandemic the Retirement Trust Fund was projected to be depleted by around 2034, but now it is expected to run dry in 2029. Unemployment due to the pandemic (with about 10 million Americans out of work) has sharply cut tax revenue, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. And the Disability Insurance Trust Fund is in even worse shape: Its reserves could be used up as soon as 2024.
If the fund reserves are used up it doesn’t mean that Social Security benefits will end, but the agency will only be able to pay out in benefits what it is taking in. Projections put the payout under those circumstances at 79 percent of the promised benefits.
But there is hope. These disappointing projections can be reversed if our elected representatives act decisively. Congress must act, because millions of Americans rely on the Social Security benefits they have rightfully earned.