Social Security Disability Funding: Has Congress Acted?

As we reported recently in our blog, unless Congress does something soon to help with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) funding, the program may run out of money by 2016.

Well, political action started quickly. According to the Los Angeles Times, on the first day of Congress last week, GOP members brought forth a controversial reform effort for the SSDI program, with members adding a parliamentary rule presenting obstacles to reallocate money between SSDI and the Old Age and Survivors Insurance program.

In the past, during budget deliberations, politicians reallocated funds from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance program to help fund SSDI. The Times reported that there is enough money in the two pots to keep both programs solvent until 2033.

The new rule enacted by the House Republican caucus prohibits the reallocation of money unless it is accompanied by “benefit cuts or tax increases that improve the solvency of the combined trust funds.”

According to the Times, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare said the rule makes the reallocation of funds impossible as it “mandates either benefit cuts across the board, which aren’t politically palatable, or a payroll tax increase, which isn’t palatable to the GOP.”

Following the rule change, many Republicans released statements. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Tex.) said that a reallocation would be only a temporary solution and that real changes need to be made to “the fraud-plagued disability program,” according to the Washington Post.

Any politician making this argument should check his or her facts, as it is estimated by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities that fraud constitutes less than 1 percent of SSDI paid benefits. In fact, even though fraud is rare, the SSA has already begun to implement changes and is developing analytics to detect instances of possible fraud.

Should I Speak to an Attorney About Social Security Disability?

Remember, a person can only collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits if he or she cannot work. Anyone acting as if great instances of fraud are common is simply grasping at straws, as the data shows it is not true.

SSDI recipients should not be treated in a way that makes them sound entitled. To collect benefits, a person must have accumulated work credits, so he or she must have a work history and paid into the system.

For more information about the SSDI process, you can speak with our attorneys. We will continue to follow news on funding and update you as much as possible.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security Disability lawyers

Troutman Touts: People who commit Social Security fraud face the threat of criminal prosecution.


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