As troubling as SSDI benefits’ running out of funding in 2015 or 2016 may be, what may be more troubling is that few politicians seem worried about it. Rarely do we hear any mention from President Obama or anyone in Congress about SSDI’s fate. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan remarked, “We’re not trying to fix every problem in America with this [budget]. We’re trying to prevent a crisis, and [SSDI] is not a driver of our debt.”
What Will Happen to SSDI Benefits in Three Years?
One possible outcome will be a cut in SSDI benefits. Starting in 2015 or 2016, there will only be funds to cover 79 percent of the amount of SSDI benefits each month. Using the current monthly average benefit of about $1100, that would mean beneficiaries would have to start making do with $869 a month in financial assistance while they are disabled and unable to work. This is difficult enough for a single person to live off of, let alone a family with small children or pressing medical needs.
Alternatively, the federal government could engage in “creative accounting” to cover SSDI’s shortfall. Montana Senator and Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said SSDI’s financial situation is not as dire as it may appear, as Congress could just bring in money from elsewhere to cover the SSDI shortfall. This would only push SSDI’s financial issues into the future and hasten problems with whatever new source Congress turns to for SSDI funding.
Are you currently receiving SSDI benefits or have you received them in the past? Would a 21 percent reduction in benefits have a major impact on your family’s lifestyle? Our Tulsa OK Social Security disability experts would love to hear about how benefits have helped you through tough times.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers