Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., warned that the Social Security Disability Insurance program is on pace to go bankrupt in four years, after the Congressional Budget Office reported that the amount of benefits provided through the program will increase about 70 percent over the next ten years.
“Today’s report from the Congressional Budget Office reveals a dramatic increase in applications and awards for Social Security disability, placing the disability trust fund on a fast-track to insolvency in just four years,” Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said in a statement on the report.
According to the CBO, the disability trust fund provided $119 billion to 8.3 million workers. CBO expects that number to jump to $204 billion — an increase of 71 percent, approximately — as the number of disabled workers and dependents receiving money increases to 12.3 million by 2022.
Republicans on the budget committee noted that disability claims have increased more quickly than job creation in the last three months.
“It is clear there is a great need to distinguish between proper and improper disability claims, and to better incentivize and find acceptable work for those who are able,” Sessions said. “Today only 1 percent of Social Security disability recipients ever return to work.”
The disability trust find expansion is also driving Medicare expenses because, after two years, disabled workers automatically receive Medicare benefits. In 2011, the disability trust fund caused an additional $80 billion in Medicare spending.