Social Security’s disability fund will go broke in 5 years

By Kase Wickman
Monday, August 22, 2011 15:51 EDT
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New congressional estimates show that the account that Social Security disability checks are drawn from will be insolvent by 2017 without intervention, the Associated Press reported.

Applications for assistance from the already financially strained program are up 50 percent over the last decade, and cash is dwindling as demand far exceeds supply. When disabled people are laid off and can’t find a new job — an increasingly common scenario — they lean even more heavily on the fund.

Social Security’s larger retirement fund is set to run out about 20 years after the disability money runs out, according to the same congressional estimates. The combined funds will run out in 2038, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

In 1994, the disability fund was poised to run dry, and money was transfered from the retirement fund — a course of action that is again recommended.

Approximately 56 million people will receive Social Security benefits this year, and last year benefits totaled out to about $124 billion.

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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