Is “Reform Now” the Answer to North Carolina Social Security Disability Challenges?

June 7, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Is “fixing” the social security system the best chance to ensure that future generations will enjoy North Carolina social security disability benefits? In a widely discussed editorial in Politico (6/6/11), the AARP’s former CEO, Bill Novelli, argues the case.

Bemoaning that “The country is in an enormous debt-and-deficit morass,” Novelli claims that “if we ever needed courage, bipartisanship and political will, the time is now, as we struggle to deal with the impending crisis.” Novelli points out that social security is “paying out more than it takes in and is projected to deplete its reserves in just over 25-years. Choosing to ignore the program’s imbalance means workers currently under the age of 40 will see their benefits cut by 22% when they retire. Do we really want to leave that legacy to younger generations?”

A more relevant question for hurt, injured, and sick North Carolinians is: How will reform (or failure to reform) ultimately impact North Carolina social security disability? If the program essentially runs out of money, who will be left holding the bag? And when? Unfortunately, these speculative questions are difficult to answer with any degree of accuracy, even with all the excellent data collection and sharing tools we’ve developed.

You might think that experts could just take a look at how the social security programs evolved and make extrapolations based on those numbers. For instance, if we could simply just cut the program spend by, say, 20%, than maybe we could extend the program’s solvency by another 10-years. But this kind of thinking is surprisingly very, very wrong. Past performance is not necessarily an indicator of future performance.

Crises in the fiscal arena have a way of forming, as if out of nothing, and then dissolving just as quickly and unexpectedly. For instance, consider New York City at the turn of the 20th Century. Newspaper editorialists at the time were in a frothing panic. Over what? All the horse traffic! Mounts of horse feces in the streets. The clickity-clack of wheels on the cobblestone creating terrible noise. Horse related accidents killing and injuring thousands a year. Et cetera. The intelligensia’s entire focus was on solving the horse traffic problems of the day. No one anticipated the advent of the automobile and all the sweeping changes, both good and bad, that it would bring for New York City traffic.

Likewise, it may be very difficult and premature to extrapolate from our current situation to the year 2037. What will change between now and then that might totally and fundamentally alter the game?

In the midst of all of this uncertainty, however, you need to make practical decisions about how to advocate for yourself and get the benefits you and your family need. An experienced and well regarded North Carolina social security disability law firm can help you identify practical and ethical solutions to your urgent benefit needs.

More Web Resources:

Bill Novelli SSD article in Politico

The Horse & the Urban Environment