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Political deal will protect solvency of SSDI funds

Political maneuvering is nothing new, and Tennesseans may be aware that there has been a great deal of political maneuvering of late that may affect Social Security disability benefits. A recent deal between the White House and Republican party leaders may affect Social Security disability benefits for millions of people next year.

The deal would prevent a significant 20 percent cut in Social Security disability benefits for approximately 11 million people in 2016. The cut in benefits was anticipated in late 2016 due to the limited availability of funds in the existing trust fund. The budget shortfall would have meant that beneficiaries would only receive approximately 80 percent of their SSD benefits starting in the fourth quarter of 2016.

To prevent the depletion of the Disability Insurance Trust Fund, the deal provides for reallocation of approximately $150 billion from the Social Security Trust Fund to the Disability Insurance Trust Fund. This reallocation would take place over the course of the next three years, and is anticipated to keep the Disability Insurance Trust Fund solvent until 2022. Additionally, the deal would also increase oversight and reporting requirements in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, as well as require stronger penalties for those convicted of fraud or abuse of SSDI benefits.

Those in favor of the political deal tout the benefits it provides by extending the financial solvency of Social Security Disability Insurance, though of course the deal was reached through compromise of both political parties.

If you or a loved one has questions about the benefits you are receiving currently, or questions about disability benefits you are seeking to obtain, you may wish to seek legal counsel to help you understand your options.

Source: thehill.com, "Budget deal includes Social Security, Medicare reforms," Sarah Ferris, Oct. 26, 2015

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