U.S. News & World Report released an article1, “The Myth of ‘Out of Control’ Disability Benefits,” which explained the untrue persona that Social Security disability (SSD) has earned in some media recently. The article contents that the hype around the huge growth in disability recipients is unwarranted because this increase was anticipated and is manageable.
1. The increase in disability recipients can be attributed to four factors: population growth, baby boomers aging, more women in the labor force and the rise in Social Security’s full retirement age from 65 to 66. When accounting for these demographic changes, the rate of people receiving disability benefits is a modest increase.
2. Receiving SSD is difficult. There is a drastic difference between the number of SSD applicants and recipients. Most people are denied SSD because the qualification standards are stringent. The benefits go to those who truly need assistance.
3. It’s no surprise that the Social Security disability trust fund will see a shortage in 2016, but there’s a short-term solution for it. Social Security has separate trust funds – one for retirement and one for disability – but they are usually referred to as one fund. Reallocating a percentage of funds to the disability fund from the retirement fund would prevent a 20 percent decrease in benefits.
Join us in shaping the future of Social Security by writing to your lawmaker and expressing a need for change. Ask your U.S. Representative or to help ignite a change within the system to keep Social Security solvent.