The fact remains that making it more difficult to qualify for SSDI, and cutting SSDI benefits, would be a “kick the can down the road” approach that won’t have any measurable impact on American taxpayers, or the federal deficit. That strategy may appear pennywise today, but will prove to be pound foolish tomorrow.
Some great information in this article, even if written from a political point of view. It is not easy to get disability and those that do have serious medical conditions. Even many who are denied have serious issues that may leave them very limited options for working.
Further, Social Security’s Disability program will not be broke in 2018. 2018 will be the year that the disability part of the trust fund runs out. But what is the trust fund? The trust fund is the pool of money saved up over the years (like a savings account). The fund is used to make up the difference between the benefits that need to be paid to disability claimants and the money that is currently being brought in by FICA taxes. Social Security Retirement has a trust fund as well.
Why is the trust fund running out? For a variety of reasons, the biggest being that there are fewer workers per beneficiary today then there were 30, 40, 50 years ago. In addition, the baby boomer generation is in the prime disability and retirement age groups (50-70). While the number of people on the rolls has increased, the percentage of the eligible population on the rolls has not. What this truly means is that the reason for the increase in the number of people on disability has less to do with the economy and more to do with the overall total number of people eligible for the program has increased.
Congress can make changes to the trust fund. They have in the past. Will they in the future is anyone’s guess. But like this article points out, the overall repercussions from pulling out the safety net may have a far more negative impact on this country than any fix that Congress may try.