Monday, November 15, 2010

ALERT: Congressional Budget Office (COB) 2010 Issue Brief on Disability Insurances (SSDI & SSI)

While listening to TV pundits interview incoming Congressional members, I heard some say that the Social Security Disability Insurance programs - SSDI and SSI - need to be reviewed, 'cause with the # of folks on those programs there must be lots of fraud and/or it must be too easy to get approval! OMG(oodness) - WHAT???

Well, of course this just brought my ire up, so I did some research to come up with some facts.

I found this particular CBO - Congressional Budget Office - Report on Social Security Disability Insurance - SSDI & SSI - their Trends and Fiscal Implications - for the future. I've copied for you the intro to that report. It is 8 pages long, and I need to carefully read it and digest it before I can properly advise all of us on what to do. HOWEVER, based on just this intro, I CAN offer the following advice/recommendations:

1) IF YOU HAVE NOT YET APPLIED, OR ARE IN THE PROCESS - email me and get my PROVEN process for documenting and getting corroboration about your symptom impairments on your ADL's: Activities of Daily Living (work and home). In this way you should be able to comply with any potential future process changes.

2) If YOU ARE ALREADY ON SSDI &/OR SSI - STILL email me for the processes. Do the documentation and corroboration work NOW. They you should be better prepared to comply SUCCESSFULLY with whatever changes might come along.

I'm afraid that absent the careful documentation and corroboration on your part AHEAD of time, you might be in trouble long term.

For example: One recommendation offered is to get folks on Disability Insurance BACK TO WORK. If they - meaning Social Security - change the rules in this manner, then the recommended documentation can GREATLY assist you in showing how you cannot perform "WORK OF ANY KIND" - WHATEVER your past work history was!

So, read the following. If you want a copy of the whole paper EMAIL ME - DO NOT SEND ME A PM; I CAN ONLY GET IT TO YOU AS AN EMAIL ATTACHMENT.

THEN, email me and get started on your documentation and corroboration. We cannot fight what may come to pass; but we can be READY to successfully qualify for whatever "rules" are concocted.

Social Security Disability Insurance: Participation Trends and Their Fiscal Implications
July 22, 2010

The Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) program pays cash benefits to nonelderly adults (those younger than age 66) who are judged to be unable to perform “substantial” work because of a disability but who have worked in the past; the program also pays benefits to some of those adults’ dependents. In 2009, the Disability Insurance program paid benefits to almost 8 million disabled beneficiaries and about 2 million of those beneficiaries’ spouses and children.

Between 1970 and 2009, the number of people receiving DI benefits more than tripled, from 2.7 million to 9.7 million (unless otherwise specified, all years are calendar years). That jump, which significantly outpaced the increase in the working-age population during that period, is attributable to several changes—in characteristics of that population, in federal policy, and in opportunities for employment. In addition, during those years, the average inflation-adjusted cost per person receiving DI benefits rose from about $6,900 to about $12,800 (in 2010 dollars). As a result, inflation-adjusted expenditures for the DI program, including administrative costs, increased nearly sevenfold between 1970 and 2009, climbing from $18 billion to $124 billion (in 2010 dollars). Most DI beneficiaries, after a two-year waiting period, are also eligible for Medicare; the cost of those benefits in fiscal year 2009 totaled about $70 billion.

Under current law, the DI program is not financially sustainable. Its expenditures are drawn from the Disability Insurance Trust Fund, which is financed primarily through a payroll tax of 1.8 percent; the fund had a balance of $204 billion at the end of 2009. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that by 2015, the number of people receiving DI benefits will increase to 11.4 million and total expenditures will climb to $147 billion (in 2010 dollars; see Figure 1). However, tax receipts credited to the DI trust fund will be about 20 percent less than those expenditures, and three years later, in 2018, the trust fund will be exhausted, according to CBO’s estimates. Without legislative action to reduce the DI program’s outlays, increase its dedicated federal revenues, or transfer other federal funds to it, the Social Security Administration will not have the legal authority to pay full DI benefits beyond that point.

A number of changes could be implemented to address the trust fund’s projected exhaustion. Some would increase revenues dedicated to the program; others would reduce outlays. One approach to reducing expenditures on DI benefits would be to establish policies that would make work a more viable option for people with disabilities. However, little evidence is available on the effectiveness of such policies, and their costs might more than offset any savings from reductions in DI benefits.