Many Floridians are suffering from illnesses, conditions or disabilities that make it difficult for them to function and work on a daily basis. People in this situation might need assistance to live. With that in mind, Social Security disability is necessary for them to survive. The various programs from the Social Security Administration are designed to help these people and their families. However, like any government program, it is necessary to have adequate funding to pay for it. Recent SSA news has placed the program's viability in question.
A large number of people - approximately 11 million - across the country receive benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance. Of those, an estimated 1.8 million are children. The program is funded through taxes, but the amount of taxes that are received do not pay for the program in its entirety. Since 2009, SSDI's shortfall amount has grown to $155 billion. The SSA has stated that the funds will run dry in about a year from now. Congressmen from both sides of the political aisle are trying to find ways to fix the system.
If the system is not repaired and the finances of the program are not shored up, there will be a 19 percent reduction in benefits for recipients. That comes to an average of $230 each month per person, sending many to below the poverty line. The idea behind the program was to help people who suffered from permanent disability and could no longer work. However, some people have been using the program to support themselves and have not attempted to get back to work. This and other factors have caused the current shortfall of funding for this important program. There are many ideas under current discussion to bolster the program including transferring funds from Social Security retirement insurance.
SSDI is meant for people who cannot do the work they did previously, nor can they adjust to other kinds of work. Given the fact that the program is in flux, changes are planned in the future with regard to who can qualify for benefits and the amount they will receive.
Regardless of how the program might change in the future, people who need SSDI now should try to understand all of the various requirements and processes involved with the program. When a person is applying for benefits, trying to retain their benefits or questioning whether they have a qualifying disability, speaking to an experienced Social Security attorney can be a good starting point.
Source: INQUISITR.com, "Congress Says 'Fix Social Security Disability Insurance' -- How Much Could You Lose?," Margie Mars, Sept., 30, 2015