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Senator has optimistic plan to expand Social Security disability

Many Americans are looking at a dire future for our nation's Social Security disability system, which so many disabled Americans depend on in order to pay for their living expenses every month. However, one politician has an idea that rather than cutting Social Security disability benefits actually involves expanding them.

In July, the Senate Finance Committee plans to have a hearing about the future of the Social Security Disability Insurance fund, which -- if no changes are made -- will be depleted in 2017. While many are seeing the problem with a doom and gloom perspective and looking at ways to cut back on benefits to help the fund continue longer, one senator is arguing that Social Security should be expanded.

The senator's plan involves removing the earnings cap that governs how much individuals pay into social security. Most individuals pay approximately 6.2 percent of what they earn into social security, but any income earned in excess of $117,000 is exempt from that tax. The senator is arguing that raising this cap and/or removing it altogether will save the Social Security fund and let it thrive. The senator also wants cost-of-living increases to more accurately reflect the expenses seniors face -- like retirement home costs, food costs and other expenses.

Even if no changes are made to the law, government spending on Social Security retirement benefits will grow from approximately $846 billion this year to approximately $1.3 trillion in 2022. Spending on Social Security disability will go up from approximately $146 billion this year to approximately $220 billion in 2024.

It is not likely that Social Security disability benefits will be done away with altogether, but the fact remains that the government must do something to curb the impending depletion of the Social Security Disability Insurance Fund. In the meantime, disabled Americans may be able to get professional legal assistance to increase their chances of gaining approval for disability benefits and obtaining the maximum benefits for which they are eligible. Indeed, even in situations where disability benefits were previously denied, some individuals may be able to gain success by employing different legal strategies.

Source: InTheCapital, "Arizona organization joins call for immigration reform," Tess VandenDolder, July 10, 2014.

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