Those looking to SocialSecurity.gov for help should know that the Social Security disability trust fund is running out of money. So what is causing this to happen?
In a related report by The Inquisitr, as the general Social Security trust funds began running out of money at an accelerated pace, some experts had proposed getting rid of the Social Security tax cap. This was eventually done and the 2014 tax cap rose to $117,000, which allowed benefits to rise by 1.5 percent. But some people are suggesting we get rid of the tax entirely in order to extend the life of the program by at least another 75 years (as in, kick the can so hard that it’s the unborn’s problem entirely).
Near the beginning of 2013, the CBO estimated the disability fund for Social Security was running out of money by 2016:
“The CBO projects that the DI [Disability Insurance] trust fund will be exhausted during the fiscal year 2016. Under current law the Commissioner of Social Security may not pay benefits in excess of the available balances in a trust fund, borrow money for a trust fund, or transfer money from one trust fund to another.”
From the beginning of the great recession in 2008 the number of Social Security disability applications on SocialSecurity.gov increased dramatically, rising between 10 to 21 percent each year. In 2013 alone, the the program paid out over $773 billion in benefits after receiving only $725 billion, leaving a deficit of nearly $48 billion. This means the fund will literally be completely empty in 2016 or 2017. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma led a Senate investigation of the disability program and he claimed Social Security fraud was running rampant:
“Probably a third of everybody on disability, there’s no way that they’re disabled…. It’s nauseating.”
The good news is that these applications started to dip in 2011 and by 2013 they had actually reversed course and decreased by nine percent. Because of this shift it’s possible the SS disability fund may last a little longer past 2016. The bad news is that the politicians in Congress still haven’t done anything about the coming calamity even though it’s been discussed for several years.
The recent increase in the debt ceiling also plays into the problem. If you combine the interest payments on the $17.26 trillion debt and spending on entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid you can see that a budget nightmare looms. Within 15 to 20 years, these parts of the Federal budget are projected to devour all government income in the worst case scenarios. All means all, with no money left over for Social Security, the military, or any other Federal government function. In other words, a complete government shutdown that will require raising taxes and decreasing SS benefits dramatically in order to restore order.
So if you’re going to SocialSecurity.gov to apply for disability, please consider that these funds may dry up within two to three years.