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SSA Trustees: Disability Trust Fund Solvency Gains 20 Years

2019 April 22
by Steve Perrigo

The long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds improved in 2018, according to the Social Security Board of Trustees annual report released today.

The report showed the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund gaining 20 years of solvency with reserves not reaching depletion until 2052. If no measures are taken by then, there would only be sufficient income coming in to pay 91 percent of scheduled disability benefits.

According to SSA’s Acting Commissioner Nancy Berryhill, “The large change in the reserve depletion date for the DI Fund is mainly due to continuing favorable trends in the disability program. Disability applications have been declining since 2010, and the number of disabled-worker beneficiaries receiving payments has been falling since 2014.”

As previously posted on this blog, the decline in beneficiaries can also be attributed to lower nationwide award rates, most notably at the hearing level.

The Trustees also announced a one year improvement in the combined asset reserves of the DI and Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Funds. They now are projected to be depleted in 2035, with 80 percent of benefits payable at that time. The depletion date for the OASI Trust Fund did not change from last year’s estimate of 2034.

The SSA also issued a press release summarizing the Trustees report.

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