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Poor economy keeps Social Security's financial outlook grim

Receiving Social Security disability payments is a benefit for many workers who have suffered an injury or illness on the job. These payments can assist workers as they work to recover. Sometimes the worker can return to work after a time, in other cases those injured at work in New York are unable to return to work and must count on the Social Security Administration for the remainder of their lives.

The Social Security Administration recently announced that it will no longer be able to fully meet its obligations beginning in 2033. This date represents a combined date for both the Social Security retirement program and the Social Security disability system. The actual possible date for depletion of the Social Security disability funds was reported as 2016. This is much sooner than the retirement fund exhaustion date of 2035.

Reports from the Social Security Administration point out that, under current funding, the average Social Security disability recipient receives $1,111 per month. If the fund is exhausted, the payments may be reduced to 75 percent of their current levels. This change could have a large impact on many in New York who count on benefit payments.

There are many ideas to resolve the Social Security problems. These include an increase in the amount of wages subject to the Social Security taxes. Under current rules, the tax rate is 6.2 percent on the first $110,100 of a worker's wages and is paid by both workers and employers.

Reports note that although the Social Security Administration is facing many issues with its benefits programs, it has survived for 77 years and through 13 recessions. Legislators in Congress and elsewhere are working to come to an agreement on the future of the vitally important program. A New York worker who has been injured may do well to watch the progression of any proposed bill as efforts continue. And those suffering from an illness or disability that prevents them from working would do well to submit an application for benefits at the first available opportunity, particularly in view of the fact that it often takes months for the benefit payments to arrive.

Source: NJ.com, "Social Security's finances weakening, thanks to rough economy, high energy prices," April 24, 2012

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