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Does Financial Crunch Puts Social Security Disability in Jeopardy? Part 2 of 2

In our previous blog post we discussed some of the political and financial issues facing the Social Security Disability trust fund. We continue this discussion in the following post.

Some experts believe that Congressional opponents of SSD will exact a price for adjusting the allocation to funnel more money into the SSD trust fund, either by reducing benefits or requiring recipients to work, or some combination of both. If nothing is done, then benefits will have to be reduced by around 20 percent, Given that at least half of current SSD recipients live in poverty, cutting current benefits will just swell the ranks of people needing other benefits such as food stamps. It could increase the number of homeless people, cause children to develop school problems and increase poverty-related crime. In short, the ripple effect of cutting disability benefits will almost certainly cost more than keeping SSD benefits at their current level through reallocation or a tiny increase in the tax rate that funds the program.

Critics of the disability insurance program point to fraud, but studies have shown that fraud is committed by a tiny minority of SSD recipients. They also say that recipients are getting rich off the system, but the average monthly SSD benefit is slightly more than $1,100 a month. They argue that workers are using SSD as a supplemental unemployment system in bad economic times, but studies have shown that even though disability applications increase in bad economic times, the populations applying for disability and unemployment benefits come from two different groups.

Although there are many conflicting opinions about the future of the Social Security Disability program, one thing is certain: It will continue to be difficult to obtain disability benefits. Currently, only about 34 percent of applicants are approved, and that number could become even lower if opponents of the system have their way. Given this uncertainty, it is important to develop a claim or appeal for SSD benefits as fully as possible to avoiding being turned down and forced to appeal. Get help with your claim or appeal from Binder & Binder®, America's most successful Social Security Disability advocates. Call them, tell them your story and find out what they can do to help obtain the benefits you need and deserve.

Source: NBC News, "Disabled Recipients of Social Security Fund Face Hefty Benefits Cut," Jun. 10, 2014.

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