When Pennsylvania residents have a disability that prevents them from making a steady income, they can face considerable hardships. They may rely heavily on Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, to help make ends meet due to their inability to work. While this insurance can be beneficial for many people in difficult situations, there are certain aspects of the assistance that could improve from a reform effort.
One concern is that the requirements that need to be met in order to qualify for Social Security benefits are not being equally applied to all potential applicants. Because of the inconsistent application of the requirements, millions of people are receiving benefits who may be able to work and not necessarily need assistance. Conversely, while SSDI is able to help those who truly cannot hold down employment, the benefits do little to encourage them in terms of seeking rehabilitation that could help them return to the workforce.
The cost of SSDI to the federal budget is also becoming a concern. According to the Congressional Budget Office, there is not much optimism that there will be any significant decrease in the rate at which people are taking advantage of disability benefits. Because there will continue to be a significant number of people acquiring income from Social Security, it can be assumed that spending in that area will continue to increase and affect the federal budget.
Though it is unclear whether any changes to SSDI will be made in the near future, those who are receive benefits may wish to stay informed on any potential issues. The same action could help those who believe that they may be entitled to or qualify for disability assistance. Acquiring information on Pennsylvania laws regarding Social Security could be a prudent first step for those interested in determining their eligibility.
Source: The Washington Post, Social Security Disability Insurance needs major reform, No author, Sept. 21, 2013