Social Security Disability Payments May Cease in 2017

The Congressional Budget Office has come out with a new analysis that says the ability of the Social Security disability fund to make payments may end in 2017. The estimates depend, of course, to some extent on the economy. The CBO's 2011 Long-Term Projections for Social Security reports that "as more members of the baby-boom generation (that is, people born between 1946 and 1964) enter retirement, outlays will increase relative to the size of the economy, whereas tax revenues will remain at an almost constant share of the economy. As a result, the shortfall (in the Disability Insurance (DI)) fund will begin to grow around 2017. The fund that provides Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) may not be able to make payments after 2040.

Laid off workers are also putting financial pressure on disability insurance as well. Some Americans are allowed to make use of the benefits from both of the Social Security programs which worsens the financing problem further. The total number of people who receive some kind of payment from the Social Security funds totals 56 million now. The CBO points out that this year, "Social Security's outlays will total $733 billion, one-fifth of the federal budget; OASI payments will account for about 82 percent of those outlays, and DI "payments, about 18 percent."

The newly released data will challenge Congress and the administration to address the problem just as measures to bring austerity to the federal budget meant to bring down deficits and the national debt begin. So far, politicians have been reluctant to use a cut in Social Security benefits as a way to address high government costs, fearing the wrath of older voters. Some economists argue that Washington has no choice but to lower payments. Federal tax receipts will remain poor unless GDP picks up very sharply. But that is not likely based on most projections for economic growth and unemployment levels over the next three years. Stimulus spending to boost the economy is highly unlikely as Washington looks for ways to take expenses out of the federal system.

Many observers of Washington politics say that Congress and the administration will "kick the can down the road" and allow elected federal officials in office in five years to address the Social Security funding problem when it becomes acute. If the economy is not in a period of hyper-growth by then, the cuts to the programs may have to be radical.

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Johnson Smith

Will have to see that how it will give benefits to the people

September 12 2011 at 7:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe Gonzo

Rick Perry is long on looks but short on brains. Social Security has Never Been a Ponzi scheme. It has been mismanaged and unfair, however.

For the last 25 years, the United States government has been cheating millions of Social Security recipients out of up to 60% of their EARNED benefits due to the unfair WEP and GPO laws. Bills to repeal these laws that have thrown many seniors into complete poverty are never even voted on by our cowardly congress. That's because whenever a bill to repeal these unfair laws they are tied up in committee and never see the light of day.

Our congress people whine that they can't live on their $174,000 per year salaries, yet they have no trouble sleeping at nights when America's senior citizens have been forced into poverty because of this nation's corrupt Social Security laws.

We can’t afford to pay seniors the benefits that they actually earned but we can afford to give away billions to foreign banks and squander over FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS in Iraq and Afghanistan.

September 07 2011 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mighty wizard

Table 3.
Supplemental Security Income recipients, July 2011 Age Recipients Total payments a
(millions of dollars) Average monthly

August 27 2011 at 9:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What an irresponsible article this is. Nobody is talking about disability payments or retirement payments "ceasing" or "payments stopping" in any year. The programs in question are going into DEFICIT. That means there won't be enough funds to pay the full legislated level of benefits. But tax revenues will still be coming in and payments will still be going out. Why are you playing into the scare game of the right wing and the media?

August 24 2011 at 6:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Carly EngageAmerica

With the baby boomers becoming eligible for Social Security and Medicare, healthcare costs will rise to 19.6% of the economy throughout the course of the next two generations ( Spending will exceed taxes collected and will cause Social Security to run colossal deficits. The issue stems from the fact that more people are getting paid for longer periods of time while fewer people are paying into the system.

Social Security is expected to go bankrupt by 2017. All of the following solutions will substantially eliminate these problems. Choose one and let Washington know what you think:
a. Reduce benefit payments by 5% AND increase the retirement age to 70 over time
b. Increase both the employee and employer contribution immediately by 1.1% for income up to $106,800 (its current limit)
c. Reduce benefit payments by 5% AND increase both the employee and employer contribution immediately by 0.05% each year for the next 20 years for income up to $106,800 (its current limit)
d. Remove the $106,800 limit and count all income towards the SS tax
e. Decrease the cost of living adjustment by 1% per year AND raise the retirement age to 67.
f. Tax income over $106,800 at 3%, index the retirement age to longevity AND decrease cost of living adjustment by 0.5%

August 24 2011 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Folks that have paid into social security deserve to get the benefits they were promised. No one has a problem with that. It is the cheats that fake a disability to get tax free ss disability benefits and others that are working the system that are ruining it for everyone. Six percent of public workers where I live go out on disability. That leaves them with a tax free retirement from their public jobs and a tax free ss income. They also start collecting at an earlier age. This is what is ruining it for everyone.

August 24 2011 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rwzahnsr's comment

If folks who contributed to Socialist Insecurity were limited to receiving "the benefits they were promised", they'd receive absolutely NOTHING.

Socialist Insecurity very specifically and overtly stated that payment into the scheme was in no way shape or form a promise of future benefits. The reason for this was that current payments were designed to support CURRENT benefits. So the contributions you make during your working years go to support an existing beneficiary at the time your contributions are made. For you to receive benefits at some future date specifically requires payments from a future contributor. This is in direct oppostion to a traditional retirement savings plan where current contributions are earmarked for FUTURE benefits.

This is also exactly the framework of any ponzi scheme.

August 24 2011 at 9:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who's been to a SS office lately? Go see why the freaken things going broke. Come to AMERICA and you will never have to work again. TAKE, TAKE and TAKE and you don't have to contribute a thing.

August 24 2011 at 12:12 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to racenrazen's comment

I went to my local SSDI office yesterday. I told them that I lived in Tijuana, Mexico and I just moved here to El Paso, Texas. I told them that I was out picking berries when I bent over and felt a pain jolt in my backside. I showed them my medical records that Dr. Diaz gave me and they said that I would start receiving benefitos by the end of the month. I love this country. Rafaela treated me real good at SSDI office. I got my first check last Tuesday. I send my SSDI money back to my wife in Mexico and I still pick the berries here so I can pay for food.

August 24 2011 at 5:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dholden656's comment

You're an idiot.

August 24 2011 at 6:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

For all those disability haters out there, it is my sincere hope you are struck down with a disability and have to undergo the stress and hopelessness that takes over when it happens. I hope too that you become so crippled that you can't even wipe your own ass.

Disability struck me at age 53 and I now live on 40% of what I used to earn. I had a long continuous work record given I've worked steadily since age 16. I'm very fortunate in that I already had a military retirement pension so I'm able to live decently. But still, a sudden loss of over half your income does take some adjustment. I'm also fortunate that I'm a saver and not a spender nor did I even own a home at the time. Funny, it wasn't until I went on disability that I finally broke down and bought a home. Before that I moved too much to bother with ownership. As I said, I'm very fortunate. I have savings and proceeds of a 401k should I ever need them. Most disabled I know scrimp and scrape by month to month. They have no extra money at all and really do little more than exist. Not my idea of living at all.

August 23 2011 at 8:15 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to freddie's comment


August 23 2011 at 7:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

70% of the people i know that are on disability are working for cash,,, if they can work, why are they on disability?

August 23 2011 at 6:55 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to efat53xyz's comment

Sounds like you need to report them.

Odd, I know three people collecting social security disability and only one is working occasionally doing carpentry work. He had a heart attack which did keep him down for a while but now he seems to be fine so he takes on occasional work. The other two don't work at all. And I know of another who should be on SSD but insists on working instead simply because he doesn't want the stigma. He is 57. As it is he misses two or three days of work a week but told me the other day he will stay until they fire him.

August 23 2011 at 7:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply