There is always talk of social security benefits cuts and budget cuts to social programs, but the fate of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is especially threatened this year, according to reports. The program provides workers who have paid in with coverage benefits to support them during disability, but how long it will continue to do so is unclear.
Last year, it was revealed by program trustees that Disability Insurance, which so many rely on, is at risk. The program will not be able to pay out benefits at the same rate as it has by the end of 2016, as funds are dwindling. Beneficiaries face substantial cuts in benefits checks if the fund is not fortified.
How Much Left?
According to the latest figures released last summer, the disability fund is being depleted faster than it is being filled. This means beneficiaries face serious consequences. Cuts of 20 percent, or one-fifth of beneficiary income, are expected. For people who rely on SSDI, this will be a serious strain.
SSDI recipients receive varying amounts depending on need but the cuts will be universal if they come, affecting everyone even if to various extents. Whatever beneficiaries normally expect will likely be diminished if the government does not make a move to save the program soon, insiders say.
A Silver Lining?
There may be a silver lining to this story. An article in The Washington Post last summer suggested that, although politically difficult, a Disability Insurance crisis could be an opportunity to get lawmakers motivated for serious reform.
Quick fixes have been proposed to change funding in the short-term but some policy experts believe that the only way to ensure long-term viability for this social security benefit is through an overhaul of the system.