Since 2010, Social Security’s total expenditures have exceeded non-interest income of its combined trust funds at a deficit of $49 billion.[i]
Social Security’s trustee report has continued to project deficits that have, unfortunately, come to fruition. In 2011, the deficit was around $45 billion with US taxpayers expending over $132 billion – more than the annual budget of the Departments of Labor, Commerce, Interior, Justice, and Agriculture combined. In the 2012 fiscal year, Social Security and Medicare accounted for nearly 40 percent of the federal expenditures with a deficit of $55 billion. According to the trustees report, the deficit will likely reach $75 billion in the next few years. Moreover, without any policy changes, Social Security will only be able to pay full benefits until around 2033; thereafter, only about 75% of benefits would be available.[ii]
In fact, the report further projects that by 2016 the Disability Insurance trust fund will be completely exhausted with Medicare’s fund to be depleted shortly thereafter. Therefore, it’s not surprising that Americans are concerned about their future and financial well-being or that Congress has come under scrutiny to act promptly in addressing changes to the long-term financial support of the program. The trustees report urges lawmakers to “address the financial challenges facing Social Security and Medicare as soon as possible. Taking action sooner rather than later will leave more options and more time available to phase in changes so that the public has adequate time to prepare.”[iii]
Many critics have been pushing for a comprehensive solvency package, covering retirement and disability Social Security programs. Others push for stricter scrutiny in disability cases to help decrease the amount of applicants who receive an approval – a trend that seems to be in effect despite these even harsher recommendations and yet the deficit continues to grow.[iv] We understand the concern and criticism about the current state of Social Security benefits, and the ever-changing rules impacting approval rates. Call us today to set up a free consultation and let our experienced Michigan Social Security Disability attorneys help you get approved.
[i] For full reports by year, see http://www.ssa.gov/oact/tr/index.html.
[ii] See http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3753.
[iii] See http://www.ssa.gov/oact/tr/index/html.
[iv] See Article ‘Social Security Trends Affecting Applications and Awards’ for more information.