Millions of people rely on the Social Security disability program to help make ends meet after having suffered a disabling mental or physical impairment. Workers pay into the Social Security system during their working lives through payroll tax deductions. The money is credited to trust funds, which are used to pay benefits to people who qualify for the programs associated with the trust funds (as a note, Supplemental Security Income benefits are financed through general tax revenues and not associated with the Social Security trust funds).
People in Southern California may have heard that the trustees who oversee the SSA trust funds have projected that the retirement fund is expected to become insolvent around the year 2033. But, the trust fund that is associated with the disability benefits program run by the SSA is expected to run short much sooner; the trustees believe that the disability trust fund will become insolvent in 2016, which could affect payments to beneficiaries of the program.
Two representatives in the U.S. House introduced a bill last week that is aimed at strengthening the system.
Over the years, lawmakers have floated ideas to reform the Social Security system. However, significant changes to strengthen the financial resources of the system have not occurred since the 1980s. Back then, the trust fund issue was on the radar and a commission was set up to avert a financial meltdown.
The two lawmakers have introduced a bill in the House to have Congress set up a bipartisan commission to address Social Security’s financial woes and make recommendations to fix the program before the finances begin to run short.
Source: Washington Post, “Congressmen propose new commission to fix Social Security,” Jonnelle Marte, May 30, 2014