Is Social Security Disability in a crisis?

The Social Security Disability Insurance program could potentially be insolvent by the end of 2016 unless changes are made.

People who are employed in Michigan can find themselves suddenly disabled to the point where they can no longer work and earn a living. This situation can be caused by the onset of a serious illness, like a brain tumor or a severe stroke. It can also be caused by a work-related accident or illness. Regardless of the reason for a disability, people in these situations need financial assistance to be able to live on a day-to-day basis.

The Social Security Disability Insurance program, established in 1956 by then-president Dwight D. Eisenhower, is intended to provide people unable to work due to a disability with financial benefits. Several decades later, some lawmakers and other experts in the nation are warning of a potential crisis situation in regard to the solvency of SSD.

What facts are causing this concern?

According to Bloomberg Business, the SSDI program could run out of money as soon as late 2016 if no changes are made. It states that there are currently 11 million people receiving SSD benefits yet the costs to run the program outweigh the amount earned through social security taxes by as much as 25 percent.

Some people believe that there are more people claiming-and receiving-these benefits today than actually deserve them. One assertion is that many impairments that are approved for SSDI benefits are far less severe than in decades past and that the ability to earn a living through Social Security Disability is more attractive to some people than actually getting a job.

An article on Alternet.org discusses how a group of lawmakers is trying to force reform of the SSD program. They have indicated they will only approve a reallocation of funds to keep the program going if changes are made. Concerns about fraudulent claims from what may be fake injuries or those that do not truly prevent employment are at the heart of this movement within Congress.

Are the claims true?

It is difficult to know how many or if any claims really are inappropriate. The Social Security Website notes that everyone who files for SSDI benefits must meet their official standards for a medical disability. Claims can be and are denied based upon medical issues as well as non-medical issues. At this time, there are an estimated one million denied SSDI claims awaiting an appeal or review.

What should disabled workers do?

Disabled residents in Michigan should know that they deserve help when tragedy strikes. Working with an attorney when Social Security Disability benefits are needed is recommended.

Keywords: Social Security, disability, insurance, benefits