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Blog

  • As regular readers of SS&Y are aware, the Social Security Administration administers 2 trust funds. The Old Age Survivors Insurance (OAS’) fund pays retirement benefits. The Disability Insurance fund (DI) pays disability benefits. When Congress passed and President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act in November of 2015 to reallocate current contributions between the OASI…

    7+ months ago
  • The Social Security Administration has announced there will be no Cost of Living Adjustment in 2016 for the nearly 65 million Americans drawing Social Security disability, retirement or SSI benefits.  This is because there was no inflation between the third quarter of 2014 and 2015 as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage…

    2+ years ago

News

  • Spring-Summer 2015 Newsletter SSDI Insolvency Looms We’ve known it’s been coming for some time and now it’s on our doorstep. Unless Congress acts the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund (DI Trust Fund) will become insolvent late next year and unable to pay full benefits any longer. Millions of Americans who rely on their disability checks for most, if not all,…

    2+ years ago
  • Fall 2014 Newsletter OBAMACARE UPDATE On October 1st it will have been a year since enrollment began in the Affordable Care Act national health insurance program known as Obamacare. The difficulties in the early weeks and months have been well documented. But where are we a year later… Read the Newsletter in PDF format.   Read the Newsletter in PDF…

    2+ years ago

SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY HEADED FOR INSOLVENCY?

While most of the discussion regarding Social Security insolvency has been about the retirement program, recent Congressional budget estimates have the disability trust fund reaching insolvency in 2017. Full benefits will not be payable at that point. The retirement trust fund, which is separate, won’t reach insolvency until 20 years later.

The culprits are several, including the aging of the Baby-Boomer generation and the persistent recession. Those with disabilities who are working often resort to Social Security when laid off. This year about 3.3 million people are expected to apply for disability, which is 700,000 more than in 2008.

Last year Social Security detected $1.4 billion in overpayments, most to recipients who got jobs or died. Sometimes relatives continue cashing checks.

One possible remedy is stepped-up efforts at collecting overpayments. By increasing the budget for enforcement it is estimated that $12 billion could be saved over 10 years.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has developed a comprehensive plan entitled Back To Black that would theoretically get the disability back on its feet but contains many controversial changes.

Senator Coburn’s plan includes stepped up fraud investigations, increased continuing disability reviews, eliminating the medical improvement standard on CDRs, eliminating the Reconsideration stage (Michigan hasn’t had the Reconsideration stage for years), having government “representatives” at ALJ hearings to argue against the Claimant, and imposing a time limit for benefits where medical improvement is expected.

One proposed change is similar to the gradual increase in the retirement age. Social Security uses the Medical-Vocational Guidelines (known as the “grids”) to evaluate the claims of those aged 50 or older. Up until age 50 a claimant must be disabled from all work. It gets easier to get benefits at 50 (Closely Approaching Advanced Age), easier again at 55 (Advanced Age), and easier still at 60 (Closely Approaching Retirement Age).

The Coburn plan would bump Closely Approaching Advanced Age to 58, Advanced Age to 61 and eliminate the Closely Approaching Retirement Age category entirely.

Call today if you have questions about the Michigan Social Security Disability Attorney and Lawyer Services provided by William Crawforth.

To schedule an appointment call 800-864-1244 or fill out the contact form at the top of this page.

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Washtenaw County Bar Association
  • National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives

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