by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
With Social Security’s Disability Insurance Trust Fund projected to run out of money in late 2016, liberals are calling for a simple reallocation of funds from the Social Security retirement fund to keep the disability system fully-funded. But that reform plan will attract staunch opposition from conservative seniors who influence the Republican majorities in Congress, according to Daniel Weber, founder and CEO of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
“Our members are against this band-aid of temporarily moving money from the old age fund into the disability fund,” Weber told the Washington Examiner. “All that’s doing is kicking the can down the road.” …
… With the clock running out on disability insurance, AMAC has a lot of work ahead to ensure its desired reforms are on the table. Weber highlighted the oversimplified nature of disability insurance eligibility, where a worker is either disabled or able, with no in-between.
AMAC says the system should have three categories of disabilities, each with different durations and benefits: temporary but total disability (recipient is completely unable to work but will eventually recover), partial and permanent disability (recipient is unable to keep working his current job but could be retrained for another), and total and permanent disability (recipient is permanently unable to work in any job).
Multiple categories of disabilities would bring flexibility to a system that has suffered without it. “Instead of one choice, which is very costly and inefficient and encourages people not to go back to work, we’ll have three choices, two of which encourage people to go back to work,” Weber said.