House passes rule change limiting future funds to SSDI

SSDI Trust Fund at Risk
SSDI Trust Fund at Risk

On the first day of the new session, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would make it more difficult to shore up the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund.

Under the most recent projections, the SSDI trust fund is set to run out in 2016, meaning that the Social Security Administration will have to reduce benefits unless it receives additional funding through taxes or some other source.

Traditionally, Congress has shifted money back and forth between its much larger Social Security Old Age and Survivors Insurance program, which provides benefits to most Americans over age 65, and SSDI, which has 11 million members, to compensate for shortfalls in each program. Such reallocations have been done 11 times since the 1950s.

Under the new bill, which passed Jan. 7 by a vote of 234-172, Congress would be barred from transferring money from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance program to the SSDI program, which could result in an estimated 20 percent reduction in benefits for SSDI recipients, according to the Associated Press. The measure was attached to a broader rules package, meant to establish parliamentary rules for the new session.

Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas), chairman of the subcommittee that oversees Social Security, said the provision is necessary to protect the solvency of the Old Age and Survivors Insurance program.

“I’m pleased to start the year off strong with this important and common-sense measure,” Rep. Johnson said in a statement. “Americans rely on the promise that Social Security will be there for them, especially individuals with disabilities, and my measure seeks to protect that promise.”

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, the nation’s largest coalition of disability advocacy groups, argues the provision is unnecessary.

In a letter sent January 15 to House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the CCD called on Congressional leaders to continue reallocating funds between the Old Age and Survivors Insurance program’s and SSDI’s trust funds to keep both programs fully funded.

Based on the most recent projections, there is enough funding to keep both programs solvent through 2033.

“Reallocation — without accompanying cuts to Social Security coverage, eligibility, or benefits — is the common-sense, responsible solution that Congress should enact promptly,” the CCD stated in the letter. “Unfortunately, the provision in the House rules creates roadblocks to reallocation and to keeping Social Security’s promise to the more than 165 million Americans who currently contribute to the system and the nearly 11 million Americans who currently receive SSDI benefits.

6 responses to “House passes rule change limiting future funds to SSDI

  1. Punishing the disabled does nothing to solve anything. We already know the solution. Raise the cap on contributions. Even so, this isn’t something that needs to be solved right away. If the transfer of money keeps each program solvent until 2033 then this is hardly a “crisis.” And since both are funded by the same FICA taxes then this is hardly a case of “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” It is so pathetic that many Americans don’t even know that disability insurance is NOT welfare.

    This is just another “war on the poor.” Slandering the disabled is just another campaign strategy for them to get the villagers with the torches and pitchforks good and angry. And unfortunately, it is working…

  2. If you were to make Social Security part of the federal retirement program along with medicare congress would figure out creative ways to salvage these programs for themselves and constituents. Any congressman or Senator stupid enough to put their name on anything like this may be finding themselves in trouble in 2016. There are some 50+ million drawing Social Security and 11 million drawing SSDI. If they band together this issue will get fixed. Someone explain to me how we manage to raise money to fight wars all over the world but can’t keep the promises we are making to the old and the disabled. Halliburton gets no bid contracts, why can’t Social Security get unlimited funding. And if the federal government did their job and stop accepting the 80 billion plus annually stolen from medical supply stores and unscrupulous doctors who over bill they could begin to shore up these programs.

  3. This is ridiculous! Rep Johnson contradicts himself when he says this is a good way to start, and then finished the statement with the promise of security for Americans and people with disabilities. The funding should be looked at as one in the same. People pay into Social Security towards their retirement. If they become disabled before retirement age they draw SSDI from those funds paid in for retirement until they reach full retirement age, then the funds are called SSA Retirement. Same pot, different name. The government needs to be more creative in keeping the funding alive and keep their hands out of the pot!

  4. All citizens should be alarmed and cry out against the inclusion of this within a bill, which was to setup “parliamentary proceedures” for the house! Not only is the inclusion of this section discriminatory against those of us who – in good faith and under law – paid into Social Security and subsequently became disabled, thus enabling us to receive SSDI it is discriminatory toward persons who have also PAID into Social Security, who become disabled in the foreseeable future. It is wrong and should be repealed immediately.

  5. It is frustrating to not protect our citizens who need SSDI to live and survive but can continue to give huge tax breaks to corporations. This should embarrass all who worked to pass this bill. There are other ways to work towards balancing the budget… including a flat income tax – no deductions, everyone pays the same %. You cannot become a corporation to shelter your income or use any other loop hole to not pay your fair share,.

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