As a growing number of Americans seek assistance, the program is facing serious challenges.
It is now being estimated that the Social Security Administration’s funds to cover the costs of disability insurance will have been entirely spent in four years’ time.
This will mean that the benefits will shrink for over 9 million disabled workers and their families.
Income taxes will be providing enough money for only 79 percent of the disability insurance benefit, which will mean that – assuming the same number of individuals remain covered by the program – the monthly checks that are received by families of disabled workers will drop by 21 percent.
A document released by the Congressional Budget office has attempted to explain the problem.
According to a disability insurance news report that the office has released, the reason that the United States is facing this situation is that since the creation of the program, the amount of money spent on benefits payouts is now nine times greater, whereas the amount of funds being added to the program has increased by only five times. Some of this can be explained through the significantly larger number of Americans who are applying to receive these benefits.
The report showed that in 1970, approximately 1.3 percent of adults of working age – that is, from 20 and 64 years old – were receiving some kind of disability insurance benefits. By 2011, this proportion had multiplied to 4.5 percent. Part of this spike can be explained by the far greater number of women who have entered into the workforce since that time, says the report. However, it also points out that this does not explain the full increase.
As the case load for Social Security Disability Insurance has increased, there has also been a decrease by a half to the rate of disabled workers who are employed. This has become the case in spite of the fact that there have been new protections for disabled workers implemented by the Americans with Disabilities Act. According ot the RAND Corporation September 2012 report, it has also occurred regardless of the fact that the jobs, as a whole, have become less physically demanding, and there has been a relative stability to the health of the working age adult population.