The landmark deal to cut 2 trillion dollars in federal spending over the next decade could have a significant impact on social security disability insurance. Policymakers indicate that social security will be exempt from cuts at the highest levels. This could mean an increase of the 10.4 million recipients now drawing on the Social Security Disability program.
In recent years, congressional logrolling and handwringing over the federal deficit has constrained the normally adequate social security budget. Instead of a reduction in cost, expense has grown greater without reciprocal budget increases. Because of this lack of resources, housekeeping of claimants’ eligibility has been nearly impossible. With nearly 1.5 million disability review cases on the docket, policymakers say an increase in budget would give them the human resources to reduce waste by discontinuing disability benefits from claimants who are no longer qualified.
From 2002 to 2007, disability ‘in the English College review’ cases dropped starkly from 850,000 to 200,000 as federal resources become subject to increasing scrutiny by lawmakers. Though disability in review cases saw an uptick after 2007, the nearly 10.4 million claimants reflects an aging population and staggering unemployment, which hovers at 9 percent. The number of disability claimants was 6.9 million in 2001.
‘In reviews’ of claimant eligibility savings boon for Federal Government
Disability claimants-workers who, for reasons like injury, are no longer able to hold gainful employment-are subject to medical reviews by doctors and occasionally must submit their medical records in order to continue to draw on federal benefits. Statistics suggest that the federal government saves 1000% percent on each person it determines is no longer qualified for disability-effectively, 1 dollar spent is 10 dollars saved. Policymakers, predicting yet another watershed budget shortage for disability as early as 2018, are looking for any and all means to reduce waste and cut spending.
Social Security untouchable, but unsustainable over the next decade
The idiosyncratic language of the federal deficit reduction scheme places no new caps on spending for reviews and redeterminations in 2012. It makes allowances for disability ‘in review’ costs to steadily exceed spending thresholds, which may meet or exceed 1.7 billion dollars by 2017. All of this new spending is projected to save billions of dollars of the long term.
All of this this is good news for the beleaguered program, which has faced harsh criticism for its inability to curb spending and cut costs in a time of austerity and economic decline. However, unlike other federal programs, Social Security is politically untouchable, as many constituents draw on it to pay for vital medical care needs like doctors’ visits and medication.
However, some may suddenly find themselves out in the cold for non-essential medications and medical services as auditors will be looking to cut fat and reduce cost. Failure to do so could put the institution of Social Security in political cross hairs in the near future, bringing the federal treasury to its knees– a scenario many policymakers and politicians would like to avoid, at all costs, after the federal deficit catastrophe that nearly crippled the US government’s ability to function.
The Lee Law Firms aims to help local residents obtain the social security benefits they need in order to have a good life. They provide high quality legal representation with the promise that they don’t get paid unless they win the case. The Lee Law Firm disability attorneys in Fort Worth have many years of experience in all aspects of social security disability and supplemental security income benefits.