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Social Security Disability fund faces looming crisis


Based on data from last year, roughly 10.9 million people in the United States receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. For many of these people, including some in the Houston area, their reliance on SSD benefits is the result of an injury from a work accident. On the other hand, some people receive SSD benefits because of a disability that arose outside of the workplace, but is severe enough that it prevents them from working.

The Social Security trustees recently released their annual report on the state of Social Security programs. The report showed that the SSD program, in particular, is in serious financial trouble. Specifically, by the end of 2016, the SSD trust fund will generate only enough income to pay a portion of the benefits that injured or disabled people currently receive.

The report stated that unless Congress takes swift action, beneficiaries will see their payments from SSD cut by roughly 20 percent by the end of 2016. That is a dire outlook for millions of people who rely on these benefits to pay their monthly bills. Some experts do believe, however, that Congress can step up and find a way to come up with at least a short-term solution for this looming problem.

Nobody has a crystal ball and can say with certainty what will happen with the funding for the SSD program during the next few years. Regardless of what happens and whether Congress acts, people who suffer a disability or injury and cannot work, should understand their options for applying for benefits. An experienced Social Security attorney may be able to help Houston area residents with attempting to receive their SSD benefits.

Source: The Washington Post, "A cut to Social Security disability benefits may be around the corner," Jonnelle Marte, July 25, 2015

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