Bloomberg News is reporting that Social Security Disability’s trust fund will run out of money in 2016, and that if Congress does nothing, benefits payable to recipients will automatically be cut by 21%.
No one expects that Congress will let this happen, but we may see a legislative bargain whereby the disability trust fund is shored up in exchange for additional limitations on eligibility. I am already seeing a trend where claimants under the age of 50 are facing more scrutiny and judges who approve a high percentage of cases are being eased out of the agency.
It would not surprise me at all to see Social Security disability to establish a system whereby a judge could find someone partially disabled, and thus eligible for less money. The VA already uses a percentage system – a disabled veteran can be found 60% disabled, for example and thus eligible for 60% of full disability pay.
We may also see means testing whereby a SSDI recipient’s assets are considered when determining how much he will be paid.
None of these changes are imminent but I think it is safe to say that the Social Security disability system cannot continue on its present course