Social Security Disability Fund May Be Exhausted in the Near Future

A‌fter running through five consecutive years of deficits, many experts anticipate that the Social Security Disability ‌Insurance (SSDI) Trust Fund is about to run dry in roughly two years. If Congress fails to take necessary action before 2016, there may be a 19 percent cut to SSDI benefits across the board. For the ordinary citizen depending on this financial lifeline, this would mean a $218 reduction in monthly benefits — from $1,146 to $928, thereby lowering the average benefit below the federal poverty level.

Image Source (CC BY 2.0) by afge via flickr
Image Source (CC BY 2.0) by afge via flickr

According to official reports, nearly 60 million people receive SSDI benefits, including 42 million retired workers and dependents, 11 million disabled workers and 6 million survivors of deceased workers. A sudden reduction of benefits by 19 percent will likely be crippling for many recipients.

From a legal point of view, what can be the possible outcomes of such a cut? Experts and Social Security advocates are of the opinion that if the current trend continues, in all probabilities, this will likely result in a few reforms, making it even more difficult for new applicants to qualify for benefits. On that note, let us take a quick look on what should you ensure to claim your rightful SSDI benefits as of now:

  • Have sufficient “working credits” – In order to fit the bill for Social Security disability benefits, ensure that you have worked for a considerable period of time in the past. The older you are and the more you have worked as of late, the better probability you have of getting affirmed.
  • Make just enough money – As of 2015, your monthly income should not exceed $1,090 ($1,820 a month in case you are visually impaired) so as to be eligible for SSD benefits.
  • Be “disabled” as per the Social Security Administration laws – SSA requires your disability to have lasted for no less than 12 months, or be sufficiently critical that it is required to result in your demise. Additionally, your condition must be on the SSA’s listing of impairments.
  • Be unable to able to earn in any kind of related jobs – In case you are still ready to do some kind of work, regardless of the possibility that it is not the same work you did before, your application will be dismissed.
  • Ensure that all the relevant documents are correctly submitted – Make sure you have submitted all required documentation and evidences about your salary, work history, medical reports etc. and have not knowingly tried to mislead the officials with false, fabricated or erroneous documents.

Additional details are available in the excellent articles here and here.

Speak to an Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer Today

Social Security disability law is complex and will likely only get more complex as Congress attempts to reform the system and may decide to narrow the scope of who qualifies for benefits. At Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, P.A., we offer a free consultation so that you can learn your rights. There are no fees for representation before the Social Security Administration in disability claims, unless we win. We have offices in Dade, Broward and Monroe Counties for your convenience.