Will Social Security Disability Cuts Affect My Benefits?
We’ve all seen the frightening headlines in the news: “Social Security is Running Out of Money”. Many of our disabled clients are wondering if this is true – and if it is, what this will mean for their Social Security disability benefits.
In this article our Social Security lawyers explain some of the “cold hard facts” to help you understand what is going on with Social Security Disability Benefits and potential cuts.
How Social Security Disability is Funded
Social Security Disability is a Federal (National) program designed to provide assistance to people with documented and approved disabilities. Financial benefits to disabled individuals (along with certain family members) are paid out if enough work has been completed, and enough Social Security tax has been paid, to qualify.
The taxes paid by American workers are placed into an account called the “Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund.” Previously, more money was paid into the Fund from taxes, than was paid out of the Fund to disabled workers. So the Fund was in good shape.
The Social Security Disability “Deficit”
However, for the past several years, more money has been paid out than has been paid in through taxes. The money has to come from somewhere – so this means the Federal government has been forced to take dollars from other sources in order to pay monthly disability benefits to recipients.
By the end of 2016 it is estimated that there will only be enough funding (money coming in) to cover 80% of the disability benefit claims being paid out. This means that the “deficit” (shortfall) of 20% will have to either come from other sources OR benefits will have to be cut by 20%!
Although a lot of “debate” has occurred by politicians, so far Congress has not been able to come up with (and agree upon) a viable solution. And, if no solution is put in place, there simply will be 20% too little in the fund to pay all disability benefits.
Proposed Social Security Disability “Cuts”
In 2015, the average amount received by a Social Security disability recipient was $1,165 per month. And some recipients receive up to $2,663 per month.
Even with proposed “reforms” experts generally agree that the ever-increasing size and cost of the Social Security program means some future cuts are almost inevitable.
If cuts to the Social Security disability program are made, they will likely be applied to all of the 10.9 million Americans receiving benefits across the board. In other words, no one will lose their entire benefit – but everyone will likely see some reduction in their benefit amount.
So while it is not time to “panic” it is probably a good time to “prepare” for possible benefit cuts – and put into place some careful financial planning.
Will Social Security Disability Cuts Affect Future Approvals?
Already, the vast majority of Social Security disability applicants are denied. In 2010, for example, 65% of first-time applicants were denied and 87% of reconsiderations were denied.
One possible scenario to “save” Social Security could possibly be denying an even higher percentage of claims. How much any future cuts will impact those applying for benefits is yet to be determined, though.
Our Lawyers Help Collect Social Security Disability
Working with an experienced social security disability insurance lawyer now – before these changes may be implemented – probably guarantees the best possible chance for a new applicant to receive a rapid approval.
Our Social Security lawyers care deeply about our disabled clients and are monitoring the situation carefully. We will do everything we can to secure you the maximum benefits now – and in the uncertain future of Social Security.
Our lawyers have helped hundreds of individuals in Orange County, including Santa Ana, Anaheim & Irvine, collect the maximum Social Security Disability for which they qualify. Call us today for your free consultation.