Friday, August 26, 2011

Social Security – Disability almost insolvent

I read this headline the other day and immediately clicked on the link to read more.  I am on Social Security – Disability (SS-D) and insolvency does not sound good.

Because of the number of laid-off workers and the aging baby-boomers (watch it … I resemble one of them) that SS-D is being flooded with claims.  The system was already in financial difficulty and this new surge has applications up over 50% this decade.  The growing number of applicants has further clogged the application approval process.  Some applicants have to wait up to two years for approval and this puts an even greater financial strain on families.

2017 is the date

A new congressional study shows SS-D could run out of money by 2017.  In recent years the focus has been on fixing the Social Security – Retirement program.  The problem is that SS-D is in much worse shape and there are no easy solutions.  Three major problems have crippled the system:
  1. Claims for SS-D always increase during a bad economy because the disabled find it much more difficult to find jobs that fit their abilities.
  2. The number of baby-bummers getting ready to retire at age 66 or 67.  However, if the person qualifies for disability, he or she can get full benefits earlier.
  3. If a person qualifies for SS-D, he or she is also eligible for Medicare after a two year waiting period.
The article goes on to say …

“As policymakers work to improve the disability system, they are faced with two major issues: Legitimate applicants often have to wait years to get benefits while many others get payments they don't deserve.
Last year, Social Security detected $1.4 billion in overpayments to disability beneficiaries, mostly to people who got jobs and no longer qualified, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.
… the application process can be a nightmare for legitimate applicants. About two-thirds of initial applications are rejected. Most of these people drop their claims, but for those willing go through an appeals process that can take two years or more, chances are good they eventually will get benefits.”
Patience is a virtue, but it is difficult to be patient when your financial wellbeing is crumbling around you.  
patience slogan 
If you are considering applying for SS-D, consider reading the “Social Security -Disability Guide” that can be found on the KDA website.  Many people have used the guide and found that it worked for them.  And, most importantly, a denial does not mean “NO”, it just means you have to appeal the denial and prove your case.

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