Robert D. Paulbeck, Attorney at Law
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No...Social Security is not out of money

For individuals who rely on Social Security benefits, as well as those who are applying to obtain these important resources, the political landscape can often be a source of anxiety. Pundits and media outlets have debated the solvency of Social Security for the past several years, often relying on projections without fully explaining the basic information.

It is important to understand that financial projections are only generally based on the current state of the economy, jobs, tax revenue and laws. All are subject to change. However, even under the current set of factors that must be considered, Social Security is not running out of money. What do the current financial records indicate for the future of the Social Security disability trust fund that pays SSDI benefits?

At the current pace of the economy, the trust fund that pays SSDI benefits is expected to continue to grow through at least 2019. If nothing changes, the trust fund will not run out of money in the next three years, but will actually increase in value. Often the trust fund that pays seniors and survivors (which is formally a separate fund than the SSDI pool of assets) is the focus of media articles. Assets in that fund are expected to continue to grow for a much longer period of time.

Social Security Funded Is Subject To Change

Lawmakers, however, has significant power to change the rules on how Social Security is funded. Reform is a hot political topic. The National Academy of Social Insurance recently conducted a multigenerational survey that found a significant majority of American taxpayers favor increasing Social Security taxes to keep the programs offered by the administration strong.

The survey further showed that public opinion strongly favors increased minimum benefit calculations, as well as more favorable cost of living adjustments (COLA). Currently, the COLA calculations are based upon the state of the economy, including GDP growth.

For workers who have suffered a disabling condition, SSDI benefits are a vital resource. Unfortunately, initial claims for SSDI benefits are often denied. It is critical for a person who can longer work due to a disabling physical or mental condition to speak with an experienced SSDI lawyer who can provide advice and guidance in seeking these federal benefits.

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