US News and World Report Debunks Trust Fund “Crisis”

Reporter Chad Stone writes: The rising number of people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in recent decades and the projected depletion of the program’s trust fund in 2016 are whipping up a frenzy in some quarters that disability insurance is “out of control.” Don’t believe it. These developments were largely anticipated and are quite manageable if policymakers don’t lose their heads over them.

My Center on Budget and Policy Priorities colleagues have assembled a great chart book outlining the facts. First, the basics: disability insurance is an integral part of Social Security, it’s financed by part of the Social Security payroll tax, and it provides modest but vital benefits to workers who can no longer support themselves due to a serious and long-lasting medical impairment.

Most people don’t know that their Social Security payroll taxes fund not just a retirement program, but also survivors’ benefits and disability insurance. That’s valuable insurance. As the chart book highlights, young people starting their careers today have a one-third chance of dying during their working years, potentially leaving dependents in a financial bind, or of qualifying for disability insurance before reaching retirement age. See details here: