Change is coming to the Social Security Disability program based upon the The 2016 Trustees Report that was published this week. It projects that the future finances of the Social Security Disability Trust Fund will require additional funding to remain solvent.
As of January 2016, 60 million Americans, or more that one in six, receive Social Security benefits. About one American family in four receive Social Security Benefits. Approximately 8.9 million disabled workers receive benefits.
The annual report to Congress reflects both short and long term projections. While disabled works paid into Social Security for an average 22 years before becoming disabled, the system is projected to require legislative revision by 2013 to avert a shortfall.
Going forward it will be interesting to see what efforts will be made to subsume state workers' compensation disability indemnification programs into a single payer, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Integration would eliminate the disparities between "reverse offset" and "non-reverse offset" states, as well as the tri-annual adjustment jurisdictions. Another import savings in adoption of the SSDI program universally is that administrative costs amount to less than 1 percent of the program's expenditures.
If Congress fails to act by 2023, the SSDI reserve fund will be only able to pay 89 percent of benefits. Congress has never permitted this hardship to occur for these very vulnerable individuals and their families.
Needless to say that based upon the upheaval presently happening to Workers' Compensation programs throughout the United States, the Trustees Report of 2016 surely provides an open door for radical Congressional action.