In recent years, many of us in New York have read about or heard about the financial challenges the Social Security Administration is facing. While all of the programs operated by the SSA are in trouble, Social Security Disability Insurance seems to be in more dire need than others. According to a recent announcement by the program’s trustees, the trust fund that supports disability benefits will be empty by 2016.
New York residents who live with disabilities know how financially challenging it can be. People who receive disability benefits are unable to work for a year or longer, so the monthly checks from the SSA are often the only thing keeping them afloat. The idea of their main source of income running dry is undoubtedly a frightening scenario to consider.
While recipients of disability benefits will not be completely out of luck, if the SSA continues paying out more in benefits than it takes in, there will be cuts. Right now, disability benefit recipients get $977.42 per month on average. However, that amount could be cut by 20 to 30 percent — nearly $300 for some people. For those who have no other income, $300 may leave some unable to pay rent or even put food on the table.
Although some people who have short-term disabilities may be able to return to work by then, those who have long-term or lifetime disabilities may have some serious adjustments to make if this impending problem isn’t solved. Hopefully, however, lawmakers will come up with a solution that protects these individuals from having to suffer through financial hardship.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Number of the Week: Disability Fund Three Years From Insolvency,” Phil Izzo, June 1, 2013