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SSD fund extended to 2016

Suffering a disability in Pennsylvania can be challenging physically or mentally as well as financially. Fortunately, Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSD, can be a big help by enabling people to receive financial benefits when they are no longer able to work. SSD, which was at risk of experiencing cuts in its fund in 2016, was recently extended through 2022.

President Obama signed an act early in November called the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. This budget agreement extended the SSD fund's solvency through the year 2022, thus avoiding cuts of an estimated 20 percent in benefits for those who are disabled. This extension is due in part to a shifting of funds from Social Security's trust fund to the fund for SSD.

As part of the extension, efforts will be made to eradicate abuse, waste and fraud in the system. There will also be new projects that will test whether certain approaches are viable for helping disability beneficiaries to find employment. SSD is available only to people who have the most serious, long-term disabilities and have put money into the fund through their paychecks. Recipients must be unable to earn even poverty-level wages at jobs in the economy due to their disabilities.

The fact that SSD benefits will be extended several more years is good news for disabled individuals who need these benefits the most. However, the process of filing a claim for benefits can be tricky. Proper legal guidance may help people in Pennsylvania successfully pursue the benefits to which they are entitled.

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