Social Security: Just a Bump in the Road

For years, politicians have made news by declaring that the Social Security system is running out of money. Various proposals are made to revitalize or abolish Social Security. People who receive Social Security Disability benefits worry that they could lose the only income they have. Critics contend that widespread fraud has caused millions to be wasted on those who are not truly disabled. A closer look at the numbers shows that the system can be fixed if some relatively minor changes are made.

Social Security trustees released new information recently to demonstrate how much the program will cost in the future. Starting in 2010, the costs of Social Security will start to increase from the current amount, and will continue to increase until 2030. After 2030, the amount needed for funding levels off and remains constant. The amount of money that will be coming in to support the system will begin to fall below the amount needed around 2020. However, the difference between the amount spent and the money received is very minor. Small adjustments could close the gap.

Proposals have called for the decrease of benefits, thinking that if less money is being distributed, less money will be necessary for funding. Critics contend that cutting benefits is a short-sighted attempt at a solution. By addressing only how to stop the spending, avenues for additional revenue are ignored. By increasing the amounts that high wage earners need to pay in payroll taxes, the system could recover enough money to support itself.

And cutting benefits because of potential fraud harms those who depend upon Social Security payments.

Many first-time applicants for disability benefits often find that their initial application has been denied. Even when the applicant presents information from medical professionals, they still find themselves waiting. While it may be frustrating for those who are unable to work to have to go through this process, the agency wants to ensure that benefits are falling into the hands of those who are truly disabled. If you have questions about a Social Security disability issue, speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

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