Is there anyone in California or anywhere else in the country that is unaware of the concerns about the viability of the Social Security Disability Insurance program? We suspect that if there are, they are surely in the minority.

According to federal budget hounds, the SSDI program has enrolled so many beneficiaries and is burning through money so fast that it runs the risk of draining trust fund reserves by sometime in 2017 at the latest. And as the numbers of individuals receiving benefits has climbed in recent years, there has been equal concern expressed about whether the trend of increase is ever likely to stop.

These concerns aren’t unwarranted, but they should not prevent anyone who may be eligible for the income replacement that SSDI benefits represent from seeking them. It can be a challenge without legal help to be confident that a claim contains all the information that is needed for effective consideration. But as long as the program exists, a claim deserves to be submitted.

There is at least one indication that the number of people receiving SSDI benefits has hit its peak. Social Security Administration data shows that the roll of recipients has risen 42 percent in the past 10 years. But that data also shows that there hasn’t been any growth in the past year. According to the numbers, the count of beneficiaries has been hovering at just under 11 million for 12 months.

Analysis suggests that the improving economy is a likely reason for the leveling. At the same time, though, analysts appear unable to predict whether the numbers are likely to decline.

That being the case, we can be certain that there will be more commentary and likely action to come regarding this important program.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Has Social Security Disability Enrollment Hit Plateau?” Damian Paletta and Josh Zumbrun, April16, 2014