How Much Longer Will North Carolina Social Security Disability Fund Last?

April 8, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

On April 6th, the New York Times ran a story that petrified many in the North Carolina Social Security Disability community. “Disabled, But Looking for Work” author Motoko Rich reported that “for the last five years, Social Security has paid out more in benefits to disabled workers than it has taken in from payroll taxes. Government actuaries forecast that the Disability Trust Fund will run out of money by 2018.”

Rich reports that disabled worker benefits in 2010 totaled around $115 billion – nearly one out of every 21 Americans collects benefits. Out of context, these figures may not mean much. But the numbers have gone up significantly from a decade ago. Rich reports that a University of Maryland professor of Social Security data, Mark G. Duggan, estimates that only one out of every 30 Americans collected disability just one decade ago.

Something has changed to make North Carolina Social Security Disability (and disability throughout the U.S.) more popular and less solvent. Rich puts forth a grab bag of possible reasons for the bump in the number of beneficiaries:

1. The graying of the baby boomer generation may be to blame. Baby boomers are populous – as they get older, a greater percentage of Americans will rely on government benefits programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and SSD to survive and pay the bills.

2. An escalating number of mental illness and muscular skeletal ailment claims may be to blame.

3. Rich also suggests that “pressure [on judges] to process cases sometimes leads to more disability claims being accepted.”

Another possible explanation: repetitive computer work and increased consumption of sugary and processed foods has deteriorated our health. This might explain, for instance, the rocketing rates of obesity and diabetes in the country: people got fat and sick from eating too much sugar and doing too much repetitive work on computers — this increased the number of SSD beneficiaries.

Have you or a family member encountered trouble collecting social security disability benefits? Do you believe that the system has treated you unfairly, or you are simply confused about how to advocate for yourself to get the entitlements you need?

A North Carolina social security disability law firm can help you understand your legal rights and resources and develop a battle plan to collect money and help make the SSD system – as stressed as it is – work for your benefit.

More Web Resouces:

NYT story: “Disabled, But Looking for Work”

graying of the baby boomer generation – statistics