There has been a number of discussions in Washington about the future of social security in the country. Some argue that it needs major reform. To compound matters, the sum of the President’s actions in recent months seem to imply that disability benefits and social security itself may soon be in danger.
Cost of Social Security Continues to Rise
The Social Security Disability Insurance program has continued to grow in costs over the past few years. In fact, reports estimate that it cost $143 billion back in 2015. As the costs continue to rise, officials are now saying that the disability part of the Social Security Trust Fund may well be completely exhausted by year 2022. Should this happen, benefits would automatically be cut for everyone.
In the past, lawmakers acted urgently to stabilize the disability fund. In fact, in 2015, they transferred funds from Social Security's main trust fund to help fund disability. This time around, however, this kind of 'fix' may no longer work. That's because the scenario has become more complicated than in previous years.
More Americans Would Rather Go On Disability Than Work, Putting Eligibility in Question
For starters, less people in America are participating in the workforce. Unexpectedly, a significant percentage of these people are so-called prime-age males, or those between the ages of 25 and 54 years old. Some experts argue that these working age males have decided to stop working altogether to receive disability benefits.
According to the current rules for Social Security Disability Insurance, one factor that determines a person's eligibility for social disability is their inability to engage in any kind of work that provides significant payment. Some argue that this rule encourages able bodied individuals not to seek any employment opportunity. This is why many say it’s time to institute reforms, one that would strike the balance between encouraging able workers to return to the labor force while ensuring those who are disabled remain eligible for benefits.
The President's Recent Appointments Question Social Security's Future
As America's Social Security Disability Insurance struggles to keep up with its new reality, President Donald Trump's recent actions have also been cause for concern when it comes to social security's future altogether. For starters, President Trump appointed Tom Price as the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
If anything, Price is known for his anti-social security views. Experts say the new health secretary has long wanted to dismantle several programs that benefit Americans. These include Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. This is why many believe that Price may put the Social Security Disability Insurance program's future in jeopardy.
Moreover, it’s also likely that Price may propose changes that can affect one's social security disability eligibility. This is what some believe especially now that one former adviser to President Reagan is rallying for the social security eligibility age to be raised from age 67 to 70.
Aside from this, President's Trump's appointment of Mick Mulvaney has also become a cause for concern among social security supporters. Mulvaney is also a hardline supporter of cutting both social security and Medicare. And now that he has a significant influence over various agencies that administer these programs, Mulvaney is expected to use his position to cut social security altogether. Should he succeed, this would prevent any individual from receiving benefits should they become disabled as a result of their job or old age.
At the same time, President Trump is also looking into the possibility of eliminating payroll tax altogether. This presents a problem for social security as it secures its funding from this particular form of tax.
While the future of social security disability may seem uncertain today, Americans can still continue to receive benefits when they are physically unable to work for a living. To help your hospital serve these patients better, it's always best to work with a professional eligibility management services company that can assist in determining a patient's eligibility for social security.
Five Ways Donald Trump Has Broken His Promise To Protect Social Security, Medicare And Medicaid In His First 100 Days, huffingtonpost.com
The Social Security disability program needs reform, washingtonpost.com
Pete is the Vice President of Sales & Client Services at DECO Recovery Management. He covers the Mid Atlantic region and specializes in Medicaid related topics. It is DECO’s Mission to maximize reimbursement to our clients by leveraging innovative technology, processes and compassionate advocates to provide exemplary service.
Categories: Social Security Disability Eligibility