Anyone in New York receiving Social Security Disability benefits is worried about the future. How long will disability benefits be around? Will they be cut in years to come, or will they disappear completely?
This is a big issue for those who depend on disability payments to make ends meet. As anyone who receives these benefits knows, they are often a last resort, when disabled Americans are unable to work and have no other options.
A recent Congressional Budget Office shared some not-so-great news. The Social Security disability trust fund is expected to be gone by 2017, a year sooner than previously thought. If Congress lets this happen, disability benefits could be cut across the board by about 18%, a crippling change for many disability recipients.
What is Congress going to do? There is an option available to Congress. Social Security is made up of two separate trust funds, the Old Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund and the Disability Insurance trust fund. The former has $2.4 billion in interest-bearing IOUs from the Treasury Department, but the latter is down to $180 billion.
Congress could pass a law that would allow the trusts to share or transfer funds, allowing disailbity benefits to go on without massive cuts. The question now is – will lawmakers be proactive and fix the real problems with Social Security, or will they wait until the last minute and jam a bandaid bill through? Only time will tell.