Belleville, Ill. (PRWEB) May 07, 2012
The Social Security Trust Funds’ estimated exhaustion by 2033, three years sooner than projected, may signal upcoming changes for the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds, according to Allsup, which provides Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation and Medicare plan selection services.
The Social Security Board of Trustees recently released its annual report, including information about the assets of the combined funds, indicating major changes are needed. A previous milestone for the Social Security program was 1983, when significant long-term modifications were made to address funding issues, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
At that time, Social Security tax rate increases were escalated, increasing from 7 percent to 7.65 percent over the span of about six years. In addition, the age of eligibility for unreduced retirement benefits was increased to 67. Workers born in 1938 were the first group affected, and benefits are still available at age 62, but at reduced levels.
“A number of changes enacted in 1983 ensured the ongoing stability of the Social Security disability and retirement programs,” said Mike Stein, Allsup’s assistant vice president of claims. “People with disabilities may be concerned about this recent news, but it’s important to realize there is a history of legislative changes to ensure that benefits continue to be provided to people with disabilities and retirees.”
The SSDI program, one part of the Social Security system, is a federally mandated disability insurance program overseen by the SSA that operates separately from the retirement and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. SSDI provides monthly benefits to individuals who are eligible and have paid FICA taxes to be insured under the program. Applicants must be under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and can no longer work because of a severe disability (injury, illness or condition) that is expected to last for more than 12 months or is terminal.
Allsup outlines the following considerations for people with disabilities, who may be concerned about what they should do.
1. Use a Social Security disability representative such as Allsup to help you determine if you are eligible for SSDI benefits. The SSA’s disability adjudication and review process is strict and requires several criteria to be met in order to receive benefits, including factors related to medical condition and impairments, age, education and work history. “It’s to your benefit to determine with the help of a disability representative if you are likely to qualify before applying,” Stein said. Receive a free SSDI evaluation by calling the Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276.
2. Consider contacting your legislative representative. “If you feel strongly about what should be done to address the Social Security trust funds, you have the opportunity to contact your legislator,” Stein said. Individuals can visit USA.gov to find and contact their elected officials, including U.S. senators and representatives, as well as state governors and legislators. Find more information at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml.
3. Pay attention to your personal finances, and plan for disability and retirement. Allsup provides a variety of informational resources to people with disabilities about managing finance and healthcare expenses following a disability. “Experiencing a disability can be truly financially devastating, so it’s important to plan as much as you can for this possibility,” Stein added. Find more information at http://www.allsup.com/personal-finance.aspx.
For more information or questions about Social Security Disability Insurance, contact the Allsup Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276.
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs more than 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to http://www.Allsup.com or visit Allsup on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.
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