Some of our Los Angeles readers may have noticed that the discussions about Social Security Disability (SSD) and other Social Security programs are getting quite a few news headlines these days. Among those who have political ambitions -- particularly many of the presidential candidates -- the current discussion is focused on how to address perceived problems involving the funding of SSD benefits.
However, there was a recent development that may not have made the rounds on the news programs because it actually delivered some positive news. According to a recent report, a "Technical Panel" that analyzes certain worrisome issues for the Social Security Administration (SSA) has reported that the number of Americans who receive SSD benefits is expected to decrease in the next year. If this actually occurs, the recent report noted that this would be the first year-over-year decrease in these numbers in approximately 30 years.
Obviously, the number of people who receive SSD benefits is directly tied to the sustainability of the program's funding. Sure, certain aspects of the program may need to be modernized or tweaked in some ways, but, as many other reports have pointed out over the last few years, the exceptionally rigorous application and evaluation process for SSD benefits seems to be doing a good job of making sure that only those individuals who are truly eligible for benefits are receiving them.
If fewer people are going to be receiving SSD benefits in the coming years, that can be a good thing for a number of reasons. First, it is probably a sign that our society is making strides in the efforts to accommodate disabled workers. And, it is a good thing for those who truly need SSD benefits as the funding for the program will likely become more secure.
As the numbers show, the process of getting and maintaining SSD benefits is complicated. But, getting help can make the process much easier.
Source: The Los Angeles Times, "Social Security panel: The crisis in disability is over," Michael Hiltzik, Sept. 25, 2015