A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows Social Security Disability Insurance benefits will increase 70 percent over the next ten years, leading Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to warn that the disability trust fund will go bankrupt in four.
“[This] report from the Congressional Budget Office reveals a dramatic increase in applications and awards for Social Security disability, placing the disability trust fund on a fast-track to insolvency in just four years,” said Sen. Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.
The disability insurance program, as the Washington Examiner’s Joel Gehrke notes, paid out $119 billion to 8.3 million workers in fiscal year 2011, accounting for approximately 18 percent of all Social Security spending.
$119 billion, folks.
“The department expects that number to jump to $204 billion — an increase of 71 percent, approximately — as the number of disabled workers and dependents receiving money increases to 12.3 million by 2022,” Gehrke adds.
Republicans on the budget committee also point out that more disability claims have been created in the last three months than jobs.
“It is clear there is a great need to distinguish between proper and improper disability claims, and to better incentivize and find acceptable work for those who are able,” said Sen. Sessions. “Today only 1 percent of Social Security disability recipients ever return to work.”
The expansion of the disability trust find has also driven up Medicare expenses due to the fact that all disability applicants automatically receive Medicare benefits after two years.
“In 2011, the disability trust fund caused an additional $80 billion in Medicare spending,” writes Gehrke.
Here’s an infographic from the CBO that helps makes sense of it all:
Front page photo source: iStockphoto.com