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Social Security Disability funds expected to expire by 2016

The number of people collecting federal disability benefits is at 11 million, according to CNN.com. This number is a large jump from 8.7 million, which was recorded back in April 2007.

Why are there so many beneficiaries of the program today? While some are skeptical about the recent increase in recipients, there are a few explanations. For example, some attribute this spike to aging baby boomers. CNN.com explains that once individuals move into their 50s, they are more likely to utilize the disability system. Moreover, as more women join the workforce, more women have become eligible for the program. Another contributing factor is the suffering economy. It is more difficult for those with disabilities to secure a job when the market is poor shape.

However, according to a 2012 government report, the Social Security Disability Insurance program's trust fund is expected to run out by 2016. If this prediction holds true, the program could only support 80 percent of disabled recipients, according to CNN.com. Therefore, approximately 20 percent of those suffering with disabilities would not receive their deserved benefit payments.

Soon, trustees of Social Security and Medicare plan to release an update on the status of the Social Security Disability program. The report should include estimates and updates regarding Medicare's hospital fund and Social Security's retirement trust fund.

With startling predictions in sight, many wonder how the disability trust fund can be preserved. It appears that there are two feasible ways to protect the trust fund. The first way is funnel money from the retirement program pay roll tax to the disability program. CNN.com notes that this plan would keep the disability trust fund in check for several years beyond 2016.

The Wall Street Journal suggests that another approach would be to raise the disability tax rate. While this approach is somewhat controversial, this plan would help keep disability benefits alive for many decades.

In the end, all federal programs are struggling to some degree. Only time will reveal what the government chooses to do to keep the disability fund alive.

If you are suffering from a disabling condition, you might consider exploring your right to Social Security Disability benefits. Despite concerns of the program's supply, Social Security Disability continues to be a viable option today. If you are struggling to make ends meet because of your impairment, you might speak with a qualified Social Security Disability attorney about your particular situation. A lawyer can help you prepare an application for benefits.

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