People on Disability Payments Hits Record 8.7 Million

Submitted by Shane on

In June of this year, more than 8.7 million individuals received Social Security Disability benefits with an average benefit payment of $1,111.42. The increase in individuals who are now receiving disability benefits reflects the change in the number of Americans who are actually employed in the United States – a number that has been shrinking steadily over the past 20 years.

What does this mean to the Social Security Administration (SSA), and what should it mean to taxpayers? Individuals who are employed by companies pay a payroll tax of 1.8 percent that is split between the employee and their employer. If an individual is self-employed, they are required to pay the full 1.8 percent tax themselves. It is the money that is paid by these taxpayers that pays the Social Security Disability benefits.

Unfortunately, the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund has been in the deficit each year for the past three fiscal years. This has resulted in the federal government needing to borrow money from other resources in order to pay Social Security Disability benefits. While everyone has been yelling for Social Security reform for quite some time, the fact that beneficiaries are at an all-time high and the Trust Fund is in the deficit causes even more reason for concern.

If the government is unable to pay out disability benefits and is doing what can be compared to “robbing Peter to pay Paul”, then eventually the funds will go dry and there will be no way to pay the benefits that disability recipients are entitled to. Because of this, the government must take measures now to protect benefits in the future. That may mean raising the disability tax (whether it be for a minority of taxpayers or across the board), but even a small increase in the 1.8 percent tax can equate to significant improvement in the condition of the Social Security system.

While no one is in immediate threat of not receiving their Social Security Disability checks just yet, that may prove to be a real threat in the future if certain measures are not taken. While our governmental leaders take measures to correct our Social Security woes, the increasing number of beneficiaries who rely on this system call for changes to occur sooner rather than later. If the government waits too long to take Social Security changes seriously, the situation may snowball into a drastic situation that will impact millions of Americans across the country.

Add new comment

Find Out If I Qualify for Benefits!