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Congress Has Yet to Replenish Social Security Disability Program

In report last month from the Social Security trustees, officials confirmed what many economists, lawmakers, and advocates have been predicting for some time: without action from Congress, the Social Security Disability program will be depleted by the end of 2016. The depletion would result in a 19% cut in benefits for the nearly 11 million Americans who depend on them.

As The Washington Post reports, the Social Security trustees called for quick action to maintain the program's solvency. "Social Security’s Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund now faces an urgent threat of reserve depletion," the new report stated, "requiring prompt corrective action by lawmakers if sudden reductions or interruptions in benefit payments are to be avoided."

For the last 25 years, whenever there has been a looming threat of SSDI depletion, Congress has agreed to replenish the program with funds from the much more robust Social Security retirement program. This year, however, Republicans are taking a hard line against this method and are demanding a new, long-term solution to keep the program funded.

Several Proposed Solutions

Both Democrats and the White House have offered possible solutions that would at least provide a short-term fix and allow time for larger reform. They have proposed that some payroll taxes be used to keep SSDI funded, or even permanently combining the disability and retirement trusts—which would keep both programs solvent until 2034. The Republicans who control Congress, however, have yet to agree to these solutions, leaving many worried that a dramatic change in Social Security disability could be coming.

"Everybody is in agreement that something needs to happen," said Shai Akabas, the associate director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. "But until the two parties come together on a compromise, that puts people in a high state of uncertainty."

If you are in need of Social Security disability benefits, our dedicated Dallas SSD lawyers at Coats & Todd can help. With more than 40 years of combined legal experience, we have the experience and insight to ensure that your benefits application is exactly what the Social Security Administration is looking for. Even if your application has been rejected, our compassionate team can help you through the appeals process.

Get the benefits you need. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.