Last week we discussed possible changes in Social Security benefits that could negatively impact families in New York who rely on Supplemental Security Income. The potential changes were suspected to be part of the president's budget proposal. He proposed changing the way Social Security benefits are adjusted annually with inflation. In a system known as chained CPI, those receiving benefits would receive smaller increases each year, leaving some who rely on programs like Social Security Disability Insurance and SSI worried.
What does Supplemental Security Income mean to you? For many New Yorkers, it means they can put food on the table and pay for their prescriptions. Supplemental Security Income is a federal program that provides compensation to individuals who have been severely injured or are disabled to the point that working is not an option. It is a needs-based program, and many people rely heavily or completely on the compensation they receive to make ends meet. If you asked these people what would happen if the government decided to start giving them less, it's likely many would worry that it would be impossible to get by.
It's no secret that Social Security is floundering. Money is running out, and soon, time will be running out too. Despite that, we've heard little talk about it from prospective politicians on either side of the aisle during this campaign season. So, how bad can it be?
For most of its history, Social Security has been able to sustain itself financially. Unfortunately, that is changing and the federal government currently predicts that the trust fund will be completely depleted by 2036. Yet if the latest report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is to be believed, that date may come sooner, potentially causing financial pain to those New York residents who rely on Social Security disability and similar programs.