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Social Security disability: a tough road ahead for IL and nation

Published on May 9th, 2012

Social Security is a subject of increased discussion in Illinois and across the country. Many relying on Social Security are concerned about the future of the program. Funding is the looming issue.

As the presidential election draws near, neither political party wants to tackle this issue, especially as it relates to the portion covering Social Security disability insurance. Funding is deteriorating quickly. But an issue of such importance simply cannot be ignored.

Experts stress that this issue will have to be addressed within the next presidential term. Congress must work together to avoid sharp cuts to disability benefits in 2016. This prediction puts the timeframe for trouble two years earlier than the Social Security Administration had predicted just one year ago.

It has also been estimated that the Social Security trust funds for the disabled and elderly will run dry three years earlier than expected, likely by 2033.

Yet again this year, Social Security will likely run a cash deficit of $53 billion. That would be the third year in a row. Add the 2 percent payroll tax cut to this figure and the total will come to somewhere around $165 billion.

The SSDI system is an important resource for many Americans who rely on these services when sidelined by injuries and disabilities. What to do when the payroll tax cuts expire and are no longer credited to Social Security is yet another issue that will demand answers. Again, the future president and Congress will have their hands full attempting to save this system for disabled individuals who need these services to fund their livelihoods.

While Medicare seems a bigger problem in regards to long-term issues, the finances of Social Security have taken a drastic turn for the worse because of the current economic crisis. Due to this unfortunate situation, individuals relying on Social Security funds to live may be hard-pressed in the near future, and even sooner than predicted.

Source: Investor’s Business Daily, “Disability crisis puts social security on 2012 agenda,” Jed Graham, April 23, 2012

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