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New Federal Budget Adds Funds, Crackdowns to Social Security Disability Program

After months of debate by lawmakers over the future of Social Security Disability Insurance program, the program has been restored with funds that will keep it solvent until 2022. That replenishment comes with President Obama's signing a new federal budget earlier this month that reallocates some federal money to the SSDI program, but also comes with caveats to quell the concerns of the program's opponents.

As MetroNews reports, much of the SSDI debate had been drowned out over other national fiscal concerns, namely the debt ceiling and a possible government shutdown. However, many eyes were on a possible SSDI fix since, earlier this year, SSDI Trustees reported an "urgent threat of reserve depletion." Congress conservatives had opposed to saving the program with Social Security retirement funds, which had been the source of numerous SSDI restorations in the past.

In the new federal budget, however, that is basically how the depleted SSDI program will be replenished—money will once again be shifted from the Social Security retirement fund to the SSDI account. The plan also calls for .57% of the 12.4% payroll tax from 2016 to 2018.

Crackdowns on "Gaming the System"

Lawmakers opposing the replenishment of SSDI most frequently cited fraudulent disability claims as a reason to re-evaluate or shutter the program. Perhaps in response to these concerns, the new federal budget also makes money available to assist local governments and law enforcement to investigate and crackdown on SSDI beneficiaries who are collecting money while they are actually able to work.

According to MetroNews, it is estimated that of the nearly 6% of American adults who collect SSDI benefits, less than 1% ever return to work Other reasons for the rise in SSD claims, however, can be attributed to the aging baby-boomer population. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 11 million people depended on SSDI benefits in 2014.

If you are facing a physical or mental condition that is preventing you from working, then you may qualify to receive Social Security Disability benefits. At Coats & Todd, our compassionate and knowledgeable Dallas SSD attorneys have helped countless deserving individuals secure the benefits they deserve from this program.

We are ready to help you navigate this process and give your claim the best chance at acceptance. Contact us today for assistance.