How will Baby Boomers Affect Social Security Disability Benefits?
If you currently receive disability or if you may need to apply in the future, then you understand that these benefits can be essential to making ends meet as a family.
The prospect of anything causing benefits to decrease or disappear is a frightening one, but Social Security programs, including disability, are more secure than you might think.
Whether you’re a member of the baby boomer generation or not, you’ve no doubt read or heard rumblings of how the Social Security system can’t handle the aging of America’s biggest generation. Baby boomers are getting older, and many are facing disability themselves.
It’s also true that baby boomers are approaching full retirement age and will therefore be eligible for standard Social Security benefits. The effect of these facts on disability programs isn’t as scary as rumors suggest though.
The Predictions About Social Security
Disability and Social Security retirement, like all other federal programs, have been operating in a budget deficit for years. Tension continues to build in Washington over the need for changes.
Predictions have swirled in D.C. and the media, stating the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Trust Fund will soon be bankrupt, and that benefit reductions may be necessary to solve this budget issue.
The baby boom generation’s impending need for benefits is often cited as incentive for immediate changes. So far though, the federal government hasn’t devised any viable solutions for Social Security reform.
How Social Security is Funded
Every worker in the United States pays into the Social Security fund through employment taxes, with the promise that benefits will be available later on down the road. These tax dollars are meant to pay for retirement and disability benefits for many years to come.
However, the Social Security Trust Fund is overdue for an overhaul. The fund has been operating in a deficit for years, which means that the federal government has deposited money into the fund from other sources so that benefits continue, uninterrupted.
If the Trust is Depleted, How can Benefits Continue?
Although politicians know Social Security needs to be overhauled, they are not about to shut any programs down to accomplish their goals.
They know they can’t leave millions of elderly and disabled Americans without the steady source of essential income Social Security provides. This is why people have continued to receive benefit payments every month, even while politicians in Washington hash out Social Security reform plans.
What it All Means for People Who Get Disability
The uncertainty surrounding Social Security reform issues has many people uneasy, and understandably so. Theories on how the system can be fixed hit the news often these days and frequently state benefit reductions may be required. It can be scary to hear benefits could be cut by as much as 20 percent every month as a budget-fix. Keep in mind though that these kinds of predictions aren’t set in stone.
Politicians know they would do more harm than good by making radical changes to system, especially without careful planning. They know they have to ensure retirement and disability benefits continue to be available. In other words, Social Security benefits aren’t going away, even if budget issues aren’t fixed soon.
These programs will continue and will be there for current and future recipients.
What to do if You Need to Apply for Disability
If you need benefits, don’t be afraid to apply and don’t hesitate to get help with your application from a disability advocate or Social Security attorney. Although many people are denied each year, just remember, denials don’t happen because of depletion of the Social Security Fund.
Even if you’re a baby boomer and worry about how your generation’s sheer numbers will strain the system, you’re not going to be turned down for benefits just because there are budget worries in Washington, D.C.
If you’re denied disability, it will be due to other concerns, like a lack of medical records or insufficient evidence of disability otherwise.
A Social Security advocate or attorney may help you beat these concerns and get the benefits you need.