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Could immigration reform affect Social Security benefits?

Published on May 10th, 2013

As we’ve mentioned to readers of our blog in past posts there is a general public fear that Social Security funds are running out faster than the money can be replenished. Though lawmakers are fairly confident that Social Security Disability benefits will not be affected by a funds shortage, few beneficiaries, including many here in Illinois, are as convinced.

By pushing the new immigration bill through the Senate, some politicians say, millions of new workers will be added to the system, boosting Social Security by an estimated $240 million over the next decade. An increase in tax revenue will also mean an increased amount of money for Social Security Disability as well, which continues to see an increase in applications every year.

Experts say Medicare could also see a boost of about $64 billion. But with constant roadblocks from certain politicians, some people fear the boost to the economy might be a pipe dream. There is no doubting that more money is needed to fund SSA programs; as we’ve said before, millions of Americans rely on assistance from these programs to function in their daily lives. Without such programs, poverty rates would soar nationwide. Some state representatives, in an effort to pass immigration reform, are pointing to this fact, explaining that adding more people into the workforce could prevent this problem from occurring in the first place.

While some politicians are still focusing on the impact this bill will have on immigration law, there is no doubting the positive impact it could have on the economy, employment rates, and most importantly Social Security. It is simply a waiting game now to see if those opposed to the bill will see that a lot of good could come from passing this legislation.

Source: The Boston Globe, “Immigration bill may boost Social Security, study finds,” Erica Werner, May 9, 2013

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