Contact: Linda Fisk
Company: Disability Group, Inc.
Miller Addresses and Counters the Points Critics have Raised Concerning
Social Security Disability Funding
(October 8th, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA) – Today, Ron Miller, Founder and Managing Director of Disability Group, Inc., the nation’s premier disability advocacy firm, noted that the Social Security Disability funding could be quickly restored to solvency for the next 75 years and urged lawmakers to take action now.
Miller noted that although some critics charge that the cost for Social Security Disability programs is too expensive, the rise in federal disability assistance actually stems from demographic factors: the aging of the U.S. population, the growth in women’s employment, and Social Security’s rising retirement age. Other factors, including the economic downturn, also have contributed to the program’s growth, but its costs and caseloads are generally in step with past projections.
Miller noted that a well-established precedent, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, of re-allocating funds between the social security retirement and disability programs could correct the projected deficit . “Lawmakers would have to make significantly larger changes for future beneficiaries if they decide to avoid changes now,” Miller cautions. “If lawmakers do not take action now, then changes necessary to maintain Social Security solvency will be concentrated across fewer years.” Miller said that if Social Security changes are deferred until the trust funds become exhausted in 2033, it might require a much more dramatic course of action, to include a moderate payroll tax increase.
These relatively modest changes in the funding structure are worth the cost, according to Miller, and it seems that perspective is shared by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). After many reports have been issued that are critical of the Social Security Disability programs, a paper strongly defending the programs (Social Security Disability Insurance Is Vital to Workers With Severe Impairments) was published August 9, 2012 by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Miller cited the paper noting that Social Security Disability Insurance program provides modest but vital benefits to workers who become unable to perform substantial work due to serious medical impairment. A sudden and sharp cut in benefits — benefits that recipients depend on for most or all of their income — is unacceptable, according to Miller.
“It’s time for policymakers to agree on a sensible solvency package, to include a re-allocation of funds between the social security retirement and disability funds, which represents a traditional and noncontroversial action that has occurred often in the past,” said Miller.
When the trust funds are depleted, if policymakers took no action, benefits would be cut to whatever level could be covered by incoming tax receipts. According to the CBPP paper, in the case of social security disability insurance, that means disability benefits would be cut by about 21 percent in 2016. If policymakers took no action between now and 2033, benefits would be cut by about one-quarter after that date.
Miller urged lawmakers to take steps reasonably soon to put the entire Social Security Disability program on a sound financial plan and to help protect the most vulnerable of Americans.
About Disability Group Inc.:
Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Disability Group, Inc. (www.disabilitygroup.com) is dedicated to serving the needs of the disabled as the second largest nationwide advocacy group. With locations nationwide, Disability Group, Inc. serves clients’ Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income needs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and all U.S. territories.
For more information, visit www.disabilitygroup.com or call Linda Fisk at 424-243-8337.