SSDI Often Left Out of Funding Discussions
August 25th, 2017 by Attorney John Colvin
In its annual report, the Social Security Board of Trustees discusses at length revenue shortfalls that could lead to a depletion of Social Security retirement benefits. The trustees also propose a solution: reducing benefits by 17 percent, or generating revenue. If the government takes no action, by 2035, Social Security will be able to pay only 75 percent of benefits.
In discussions of funding, Social Security Disability benefits are often a footnote. But millions of people rely on these funds as their primary source of income; and unless the government makes funding SSDI a priority, it will exhaust its trust funds by 2028 and will be generating enough revenue to cover only 93 percent of benefits.
A Troubling Agenda
The provisional White House budget released in May proposes cutting $70 billion in funding for SSDI over the next 10 years. But the trustees’ report projects that by the year 2030, 11.5 million people (including spouses and children of disabled workers) will be collecting SSDI – and that’s an increase of about a million people from 2017.
Disability correlates strongly with age. In December 2016, this was the breakdown of disability recipients among the working population:
- Age 60-66: 17.8 percent
- Age 55-59: 12.3 percent
- Age 50-54: 7.7 percent
- Age 45-49: 5 percent
- Age 40-44: 3.4 percent
- Age 35-39: 1.5 percent
- Age 25-29: 0.7 percent
- Under age 25: 0.2 percent.
The oldest members of the Baby Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, reached age 62 (which used to be the legal retirement age) in 2008. The age at which one is eligible for retirement benefits is now 67, and the youngest Boomers will reach that age by 2031. According to a study in 2013, Boomers are living longer than previous generations, but they are not healthier. That significantly increases the odds of their needing SSDI – and perhaps hastening the depletion of SSD trust funds.
The first members of the Millennial generation, born between 1982 and 2004, will reach age 60 in 2042. Millennials have surpassed Boomers as the largest generation – their projected population in 2050 is roughly 80 million. And if there are no SSDI benefits, and no Social Security retirement benefits as this generation grows older, that could mean the United States is facing one of the largest economic and public health crises in history.
Currently, it appears that one factor is actually helping SSDI remain solvent: The case backlog is so extreme that the trust fund isn’t being depleted as rapidly as predicted. Initially, the fund was set to run dry by 2023, but backlogs have pushed that date to 2028. For people waiting on disability payments, however, the case backlog is a source of frustration.
John R. Colvin, Attorney at Law, has successfully represented clients throughout Tennessee and Alabama who have needed help with SSDI claims. For 20 years, he has been helping people put their lives back on track, and he is ready to help you. For advice on how to proceed next or if you have any questions about this topic, call 1-931-962-1044 or submit this online form. Put his bold approach and client focus to work for you.