In the latest development in Congress' debate over the future of the Social Security disability program (SSD), the White House has offered a new fiscal plan that would prevent the program from running out of funds in 2016. In the White House's proposed budget, $330 billion dollars would be added to the SSD fund starting in 2016, money that would last until 2033 and result in zero cuts in benefits for those currently covered.
In the past, the SSD fund was replenished periodically by funds from the Social Security retirement program, but recently, Republicans in the House of Representatives have moved to end this practice. Representatives have alleged that not only is this process detrimental to the retirement program, but that the SSD program is riddled with fraudulent claims. Under the Republicans' new restrictions, if the SSD fund was not replenished in 2016, 11 million Americans' SSD insurance benefits would be cut by 20%.
As reported by Politico late last month, details of the White House's new plan are as follows:
- A temporary adjustment of federal payroll tax distribution
- A 0.9 percent increase in SDD funding from 2016 to 2020 from the tax
- An accumulation of reserves that will last until 2033
However, to many Republicans in Congress, this new plan is just a variation on the old method of replenishing SSD funds and does not recognize a larger funding crisis. They also note that the White House's new budget does not address that Social Security retirement program, which is much larger than SSD, is predicted to run out of funds by 2034.
The Social Security Disability Debate Continues
As many Republicans are calling for the White House to offer more solutions, other politicians are optimistic that a bi-partisan agreement is likely to come for the SSD program in 2016. Either way, both Republicans and Democrats seem to have mobilized to save SSD during this critical time. As acting Commissioner of Social Security Administration Carolyn Colvin has advised Congress, while lasting reform for SSD benefits is needed, immediate action is required to help millions of Americans who need them now.
If you or a loved one cannot work and is need of Social Security disability benefits, then we invite you to contact us at Coats & Todd. One of our dedicated Dallas SSD lawyers is ready to speak with you today.