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Endorsed policy changes could benefit Social Security

When an individual in Missouri is injured or seriously ill, they often think about how they will deal with the potential financial problems their illness or injury could cause. Receiving Medicare benefits as well as Social Security disability benefits might be their best options, but due to constraints on these benefits, some might be denied Social Security benefits.

While a recent federal report indicated that the health costs are tapering off, there still isn't good news for the Social Security disability insurance program currently. According to the annual report from the trustees of Medicare and Social Security, it is projected that full hospital Medicare benefits for the elderly and disabled clients will not change from now until 2030, which is four years longer than last year's estimate. They suspect that the lower rates of hospitalization and readmission to the hospital helped diminish the expected spending.

Although there is some promise in Medicare, those filing for Social Security disability are still facing serious issues. It has been projected that they will only be able to pay 81 percent of the benefits being sought starting in late 2016. This will remain true until congress intervenes and makes changes.

The Treasury Secretary recently endorsed policy changes for the first time. This would allocate more payroll-tax revenue for disability benefits. This would then divert money from the main program that gives monthly benefits to retirees. It is projected that if these changes were made, the combined funds would be exhausted by 2033. Without change, the reserves for Social Security benefits for retirees would run out by 2034.

While this policy change has only been endorsed at this time, those that could be affected or benefited by these changes should become knowledgeable about their situation. Those who were denied benefits due to the current issues might be able to claim benefits after changes are implemented. It is important to seek advice so they can take appropriate actions and protect their rights.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Medicare, Social Security Fund Headed In Different Directions," Damian Paletta, July 28, 2014

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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