SSI- Monetary crisis will I still get my benefits?With so many financial experts talking about a potential financial crisis it is not unusual for many Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients to wonder about their SSI benefits and whether or not they will continue to receive payments.
Solvency of Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income provides monthly cash assistance to the elderly, disabled and blind. Unlike the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) programs which is commonly referred to as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), SSI does not depend on applicants working and earning enough work credits to qualify. Currently, close to 8 million people receive SSI benefits, and it is estimated that for three-fifths of recipients this is their only source of income.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300"] English: Number of Americans who received U.S. Social Security Disability Insurance and U.S. Supplemental Security Income for mental disabilties, 1987 to 2003 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]
SSI funding also differs from Social Security Disability Insurance. SSDI is financed by dedicated payroll taxes. SSI, however, is financed by general tax revenue and is considered a very small part of the Federal Governments annual budget.
So when we discuss the solvency of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) the experts are specifically addressing trust fund reserves which have been set aside for SSA retirement and SSDI benefits. Right now these funds are projected to become exhausted by 2037, unless the Congress makes changes to the scheduled benefits and revenue sources for the program in the future. Changes could include an increase in payroll taxes, some type of means testing for SSA retirement benefits or by raising the age of full retirement. SSDI changes could also be made. For instance, the SSA could change the criteria or make it more difficult to be considered disabled.
Real concerns for Americans and for the SSI program
Even if SSI is funded by general tax revenue there still may be real reason to be concerned. Many people choose not to analyze a potential financial crisis that could affect not only SSI recipients but all Americans. Right now the Federal Government refuses to address the overspending and increased federal deficits of the United States.
It is estimated that the National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$3.83 billion per day since September 28, 2007. This means that given the estimated population of the United States is 314,121,810, each citizen's share of this debt is $52,063.02.
What has the government done? The U.S. Federal Government and the Federal Reserve has continued their policy of quantitative easing, which is simply a fancy term for printing money, rather than creating a financially sound budget. This step is likely to cause inflation, which means there will be too many dollars chasing too few goods causing the price of goods and services to skyrocket.
What does this mean for you and your SSI payments? Although you may continue to receive an SSI check, there will come a time when the citizens of the United States can expect their current standard of living, which is funded in large part by citizens in other countries (think China) to decrease, especially when foreign citizens are no longer willing to loan the United States money. Add to this the policy of quantitative easing, and you may get your SSI payment, but it wont be worth much.