The Social Security Disability Program is kept separate from the Social Security Retirement Program. The Social Security Disability Program is “on the brink of insolvency” according to the Social Security Office of Inspector General. Without any changes, the $142 billion program is projected to be unable to pay all payments as they come due, beginning in 4th quarter 2016.
The Disability Program has been widely reported for many years to be full of waste, fraud and corruption but little has been done to work through those problems. (The recent abrupt cut-off in Kentucky of 100% of an individual’s benefits without any advance notice is certainly not the answer). Without reform, the Disability Program will automatically cut benefits 19% to match the economics: that it is only collecting 81% of total benefits being paid from payroll taxes. There is not enough to go around. Classic fiscal insolvency.
One “solution” being floated is to “borrow” from the Social Security Retirement Program to help “prop- up” the Disability Program a bit longer. This is a bad idea, one designed as a band-aid to kick the can down the road a few more years, and to avoid the “social contract” and political discussions that need to take place. To avoid the need for current politicians concerned about re-election to be forced to make hard choices. It is also manifestly unfair to each and every earner who has paid in to Social Security to fund our own future retirements. “Robbing Peter to pay Paul” by our very own Congress.
Act now to write, email or call your House and Senate representatives to voice your opposition to any effort to move social security retirement dollars in to disability dollars for a short-term band-aid. Kentucky already has enough public sector retirement funding problems to deal with, we don’t need to add private sector on top.