As frequent visitors to our blog already know, we've been following the potential insolvency of the disability trust for months now. Our West Caldwell readers have watched the House consider a rule at the beginning of the year that would block the redirect of money from the retirement fund into the much smaller disability fund, only to approve the enactment of the rule a month later. Many who learned this were disheartened and left wondering what the future held for nearly 11 million Americans.
Now we're learning that the government has agreed to a "last-minute agreement," according to a Huffington Post article, that will, in fact, divert funds from the retirement fund to the disability fund, saving millions of Americans with disabilities from suffering a 20 percent reduction in their benefits. This change of heart, while welcomed by many, does come at a steep price though.
In order to agree to the redirect of funds, Republicans requested considerable budget cuts in exchange. Some concessions include the elimination of a program that would have allowed 20 states to grant disability benefits without needing an independent medical evaluation, and provisions that adjust disability insurance, such as requiring "doctors to review initial disability applications" instead of SSA officials, explained the Huffington Post just days ago.
Though full benefits do appear to be guaranteed by the Administrations until 2022, some still see this as a short-term fix to a problem that has been plaguing the disability trust for years. Perhaps now, with a fix though, politicians will have the time needed to come up with a more long-term fix that everyone can agree on.