Friday, August 15, 2014

A showdown is coming over Social Security, but it's not about retirement

By Joseph Lawler | August 13, 2014

Social Security is facing a legislative reckoning, regardless of whether lawmakers want it. The trust fund for the disability program will run out in late 2016, Social Security’s Board of Trustees warned in late July.  Without congressional action, disabled workers would immediately face a 25 percent cut in their benefits.

That is a prospect lawmakers cannot easily ignore. Social Security Disability Insurance, while not as politically sensitive as the retirement program, is massive.  There were roughly 11 million disability recipients in 2013, drawing an average of more than $1,100 in monthly benefits, according *to the Congressional Budget Office. The Social Security Administration expects that it will spend nearly $150 billion in fiscal 2015 on SSDI — a large sum even by federal spending standards.

The program's rolls have grown faster than anticipated, expanding sixfold, in the past three decades, leading to an imminent shortfall in the program's finances.......To Read More....

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