Social Security and the “Disability Insurance Time Bomb”

The Social Security Trust Fund’s projected 75-year unfunded liabilities is $40 trillion – and growing according to the Wall Street Journal July 15, 2013 .

The “Ticking Time Bomb” within the trust fund is the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) fund.   The SSDI enrollee numbers have soared in recent years with some 11 million American were officially on the SSDI roles in June 2013, collecting a total of nearly $140 billion per year in benefits.  This compares to just 2.7 million in 1970.

Again, the trust fund is now staggering under the weight of a 75 year unfunded liability of “$40 trillion.”

The “looming implosion” from this growng debt obligation has now been pegged to hit by 2016, according to the Social Security Trust Fund Trustees, at which time the fund will be officially “running out of money” – fast.

According to the WSJ, “Disability benefits also pay more than they used to relative to wages, weakening work incentives. And aging population and the increase in women with sufficient work history to qualify have also contributed to the astounding growth of the disability rolls.

Even so, the rising share of 45- to 64-year-olds (the group most at risk for disability and early retirement), due to the aging of the baby boomers, explains only a small part of the disability increases. Disability insurance has clearly become, in part, a form of extended unemployment insurance and early retirement, with Medicare benefits.

More than 20 states today try to shift people from their welfare and Medicaid rolls onto disability insurance and Medicare, which are fully paid for by the federal government. Some unions help their members obtain disability insurance—for instance, when companies are downsizing and laying off workers.”

WSJ continues,”The surge in U.S. disability enrollments has far greater financial implications than the $140 billion spent in 2012 suggests. A new 50-year-old enrollee—the mean age of those who go on disability—will collect to age 66, at which time he or she will transfer to regular Social Security. The present value of disability-insurance benefits, plus Medicare costs, per new disabled worker is more than $300,000. The almost one million new disabled-worker awards in the past 12 months—there were also half a million awards for spouses and children—will cost about $300 billion.”

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America’s SSDI obligations going forward are another prime example of the consequences of ‘disincentivizing’ work.

We are slowly sinking deeper into the social insurance quicksand.

America needs a new plan.

The Leviticus 25 Plan would offer Americans something far better than SSDI, SSI, Food Stamps, Section 8 Housing – and all of the other Means Tested Welfare programs and Income Security Programs currently in place.

If any member of Congress has a better plan, they should step up now.

America can’t wait any longer.

 

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