In Michigan a large number of disabled individuals, their spouses and their children depend on benefits from the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund. According to recent data, almost 11 million people nationwide were receiving disability benefits under this program with an average monthly benefit of $1,000.
However, as recent developments indicate, the SSDI trust fund is expected to run dry in 22 months. In order to address this concern, disability benefits were reduced by 20 percent, meaning the average income was reduced to $800 per month. The federal government is aware of the situation and both Congress and the President have proposed some temporary solutions. The objective must be to find a long-term solution, however.
The SSDI fund has faced similar challenges in the past but in the government responded by simply transferring funds from other programs run by the Social Security Administration. This reallocation has occurred 11 times since the inception of the fund. Eighty-four percent of Americans are of the opinion that Social Security retirement programs are unable to provide adequate income for retirees, and that something must be done even if it means the wage deductions of those paying into the fund are increased.
With the SSDI program facing a shortfall, there is a chance that current benefits recipients as well as new applicants may face a reduction of benefits in the future. Nonetheless those who need the benefits should apply for them and hope the federal government finds a long-term solution to the funding problems. The process of applying for SSD benefits is complex and it may be a wise decision to seek professional guidance to increase the chances of approval.
Source: Forbes.com, “Social Security Could Be In Worse Shape Than We Thought,” Jamie Hopkins, Feb. 18, 2015