Don't Give SSDI a Bailout

August 19, 2014

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Trust Fund is set to go bankrupt in 2016. As a solution to this funding problem, some have suggested transferring funds from the Social Security Trust Fund and moving it into the Disability Fund. According to Rachel Greszler, senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, this is not the answer.

According to Greszler, Social Security is even poorer than the Social Security Disability Fund. Its unfunded liability is 10 times larger, and by bailing out the disability program with Social Security Funds, SSDI will have little incentive to control its costs. Funds were reallocated to SSDI two decades ago, and the program only exploded in size after a 50 percent increase in tax revenue.

  • In 1990, 2.3 percent of working-age Americans were receiving disability benefits. Today, that figure is 5 percent.
  • SSDI spending has doubled in just 10 years.

All of this growth has come amidst health care improvements and technological advancements, says Greszler. Too many Americans have begun using the program to supplement long-term unemployment, and it has been proven highly susceptible to fraud. Until the program is reformed, more tax dollars should not be trusted to SSDI.

Source: Rachel Greszler, "Federal disability fund needs reform, not a bailout," Washington Times, August 18, 2014.

 

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