Social Security disability on verge of insolvency

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    Aug 22, 2011 2:54 PM GMT
    http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110821/ap_on_go_ot/us_social_security_disability

    Laid-off workers and aging baby boomers are flooding Social Security's disability program with benefit claims, pushing the financially strapped system toward the brink of insolvency.

    Applications are up nearly 50 percent over a decade ago as people with disabilities lose their jobs and can't find new ones in an economy that has shed nearly 7 million jobs.

    The stampede for benefits is adding to a growing backlog of applicants — many wait two years or more before their cases are resolved — and worsening the financial problems of a program that's been running in the red for years.

    New congressional estimates say the trust fund that supports Social Security disability will run out of money by 2017, leaving the program unable to pay full benefits, unless Congress acts. About two decades later, Social Security's much larger retirement fund is projected to run dry as well.

    Much of the focus in Washington has been on fixing Social Security's retirement system. Proposals range from raising the retirement age to means-testing benefits for wealthy retirees. But the disability system is in much worse shape and its problems defy easy solutions.

    The trustees who oversee Social Security are urging Congress to shore up the disability system by reallocating money from the retirement program, just as lawmakers did in 1994. That would provide only short-term relief at the expense of weakening the retirement program.

    Claims for disability benefits typically increase in a bad economy because many disabled people get laid off and can't find a new job. This year, about 3.3 million people are expected to apply for federal disability benefits. That's 700,000 more than in 2008 and 1 million more than a decade ago.
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    Aug 22, 2011 3:20 PM GMT
    Rawr!!! 180% taxes on all the top 50% income earners!
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    Aug 22, 2011 6:00 PM GMT
    Its interesting to me that the best and easiest fix of raising the threshold at which amount payroll deductions are taken from $98,000 to $120,000 is rarely mentioned. Detailed studies have shown this to be the best way to insure solvency of the program that stands to benefit everyone who pays into it.

    SS works on the same principle that INS Co's run their Insurance programs on, many pay in while a few draw from the pool. If the INS Co's see an increase in those who draw compared to those paying in, causing the figures not to work then premiums go up. If conservatives have no problem with the INS Co's, who also make a profit off those premiums, in addition to paying out to those drawing from the pool, why is it so hard for them to swallow the non profit SS program basically operating the same way only on a non profit basis. Everyone wins with SS, but those who die young, which is nothing but the way life is, accidents take life and some live longer than others. so why such dislike from Repub. Conservatives for SS, does it work too well with no one profiting ? What is the problem ?


    There's no reason not raise the age limit too and tweek the cost of living increases along with raising the threshold figures. this is all easy to fix, so why the Repub. Conservative hate for this good program that means so much to our elderly and the disabled ? Some of you against the SS program could end up disabled today on the way home from work, because of an accident, so why be against something that can help you too.
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    Aug 22, 2011 6:43 PM GMT
    realifedad said Its interesting to me that the best and easiest fix of raising the threshold at which amount payroll deductions are taken from $98,000 to $120,000 is rarely mentioned. Detailed studies have shown this to be the best way to insure solvency of the program that stands to benefit everyone who pays into it.

    SS works on the same principle that INS Co's run their Insurance programs on, many pay in while a few draw from the pool. If the INS Co's see an increase in those who draw compared to those paying in, causing the figures not to work then premiums go up. If conservatives have no problem with the INS Co's, who also make a profit off those premiums, in addition to paying out to those drawing from the pool, why is it so hard for them to swallow the non profit SS program basically operating the same way only on a non profit basis. Everyone wins with SS, but those who die young, which is nothing but the way life is, accidents take life and some live longer than others. so why such dislike from Repub. Conservatives for SS, does it work too well with no one profiting ? What is the problem ?


    There's no reason not raise the age limit too and tweek the cost of living increases along with raising the threshold figures. this is all easy to fix, so why the Repub. Conservative hate for this good program that means so much to our elderly and the disabled ? Some of you against the SS program could end up disabled today on the way home from work, because of an accident, so why be against something that can help you too.


    Blame those like Christian who insist that Social Security is a self funding program of those who pay into the program. If you increase the threashold without a commensurate increase in the value to those who are paying more then you are saying that this is just a subsidy to others and is not self funding and based on individual contributions.
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    Aug 22, 2011 7:47 PM GMT
    It is self funded and those who pay in more get more ! some say its a socialistic program within the Republican party too, so are roads and bridges and schools and civic centers and on and on. Country's do exist for the public good and is the very reason for SS and Medicare, the way some republicans talk you would think they only see government as there to "keep us safe" their actions in not wanting to touch the pentagon and always voting to increase its budgets show this to be true when coupled with wanting to cut all social programs.
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    Aug 22, 2011 7:54 PM GMT
    realifedad said It is self funded and those who pay in more get more ! some say its a socialistic program within the Republican party too, so are roads and bridges and schools and civic centers and on and on. Country's do exist for the public good and is the very reason for SS and Medicare, the way some republicans talk you would think they only see government as there to "keep us safe" their actions in not wanting to touch the pentagon and always voting to increase its budgets show this to be true when coupled with wanting to cut all social programs.


    Except what you're arguing for is an increase in the payment threshold by those who won't get more - for the express purpose of keeping the existing commitments funded. Again it's those like Christian who make the claim that these programs are self funded through individual contributions. If you are going to make the argument that this really isn't the case then I think it's a perfectly good solution to have.
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    Aug 22, 2011 8:30 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    realifedad said It is self funded and those who pay in more get more ! some say its a socialistic program within the Republican party too, so are roads and bridges and schools and civic centers and on and on. Country's do exist for the public good and is the very reason for SS and Medicare, the way some republicans talk you would think they only see government as there to "keep us safe" their actions in not wanting to touch the pentagon and always voting to increase its budgets show this to be true when coupled with wanting to cut all social programs.


    Except what you're arguing for is an increase in the payment threshold by those who won't get more - for the express purpose of keeping the existing commitments funded. Again it's those like Christian who make the claim that these programs are self funded through individual contributions. If you are going to make the argument that this really isn't the case then I think it's a perfectly good solution to have.


    riddler - either you don't understand SS or you're being willfully ignorant. SS is self-funded. In fact, it's running a multi-trillion surplus. That Congress keeps stuffing it with IOUs doesn't mean the program's problematic, it means that Congress is.
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    Aug 22, 2011 9:01 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    realifedad said It is self funded and those who pay in more get more ! some say its a socialistic program within the Republican party too, so are roads and bridges and schools and civic centers and on and on. Country's do exist for the public good and is the very reason for SS and Medicare, the way some republicans talk you would think they only see government as there to "keep us safe" their actions in not wanting to touch the pentagon and always voting to increase its budgets show this to be true when coupled with wanting to cut all social programs.


    Except what you're arguing for is an increase in the payment threshold by those who won't get more - for the express purpose of keeping the existing commitments funded. Again it's those like Christian who make the claim that these programs are self funded through individual contributions. If you are going to make the argument that this really isn't the case then I think it's a perfectly good solution to have.


    riddler - either you don't understand SS or you're being willfully ignorant. SS is self-funded. In fact, it's running a multi-trillion surplus. That Congress keeps stuffing it with IOUs doesn't mean the program's problematic, it means that Congress is.


    Are you really so willingly ignorant? You do understand that it has started to go into deficit already and is starting to use up reserves - particularly the SS disability program which is what the article is speaking to which is at the "bring of insolvency".

    New congressional estimates say the trust fund that supports Social Security disability will run out of money by 2017, leaving the program unable to pay full benefits, unless Congress acts. About two decades later, Social Security's much larger retirement fund is projected to run dry as well.


    That you so willingly ignore the fact that these supposed funds aren't actually "funded" with surpluses saved and instead spent by successive congresses both Republican and Democrat speaks to the recklessness that some extremists take - and why we have gotten to this point that these programs will result in the bankruptcy of the US if not reformed. What you so disingenuously choose not to point out are that all "reform" programs are not to existing beneficiaries but rather those are not to retire possibly for decades - recognizing what will happen anyway should the programs not be reformed for the simple fact that there will be greater liabilities than people working to pay for those benefits.
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    Aug 22, 2011 10:20 PM GMT
    Riddler, SS and medicare has never been a line item budget expense, so it won't be in the future either, nor will it be bankrupting the US.

    SS and medicare is a very successfull and very necessary US Government program that has helped every family in the US in some way for going on 75 years and above I named several easy ways to fix the problem with the future projected deficits of the program, that are not just my ideas but have beens studied out by very knowledgeable people. This can easily be fixed, and fixed in a way that even those who may end up paying a little more will get more in the end. In spite of all the talk about getting rid of SS over its problems, cooler heads will prevail and SS will be fixed and continue to benefit millions of Americans.


    The public sees right through these efforts of some republicans to make a huge problem out of an easily fixed problem, just so they can try to get rid of something they don't like.

    So all the scare tactics by the republicans and conservatives to use as an excuse to get rid of the program are quite worthless and will be met by a very determined public outcry. Expect it !! if you think the TBaggers did a lot of yelling about death panels, just wait till the middle and working classes think some idiots will be doing away with the Best Program the US Elderly ever had.