Social Security disability benefits to decrease in coming years

For many Americans, Social Security disability benefits are a saving grace. If a person has a serious medical condition, it can be challenging to support oneself. Social Security disability benefits can help those with illnesses, injuries, and mental health conditions. For those who rely on the Social Security Administration for receiving these benefits, coming changes could be difficult.

The Social Security Administration reportedly has been giving out more money in benefits than it has been taking in for quite a while now. This is due in part to the fact that many more people are receiving disability benefits now than in years past. This means that within the next several years, those receiving disability benefits will not receive as much per month. An article indicates that recipients’ monthly checks may decrease by 21 percent.

Losing one-fifth of one’s disability benefits would be a drastic change and quite challenging. The Social Security Administration provides very helpful benefits for many who are in need of help. However, this change could alienate some.

According to a recent report from the RAND Corporation, approximately 23 percent of people who apply for Social Security disability benefits are classified as “marginal.” In other words, this group of people has disabilities that are not so serious that they cannot work at all. The same RAND report indicates that some of these “marginal” people could earn more money by working than receiving disability benefits.

If these people lose one-fifth of their disability benefits, this could especially be true. Those who rely on disability benefits may want to look into how future changes would impact their disability benefits. As it can take a significant amount of time to process disability claims, looking into the issue before the Social Security Administration actually decreases benefits would be smart.

Source: Deseret News, “Disability insurance is in trouble as more Americans apply for benefits,” Mercedes White, Nov. 21, 2012

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