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Disability Benefits May Run Dry by 2016

Outline: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the disability fund would run out of money in 2016. Social Security trust funds will likely run dry in 2033, three years earlier than expected and Medicare's hospital insurance fund could be out of money by 2024 unless changes are made. Social Security's trustees are again urging Congress to shore up the disability system by reallocating money from the retirement program.

Main Digest

Trustees in charge of Social Security and Medicare say the benefit programs are closer to running out of money than previously thought. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the disability fund would run out of money in 2016. Social Security's trustees are again urging Congress to shore up the disability system by reallocating money from the retirement program. In addition Social Security trust funds will likely run dry in 2033, three years earlier than expected and Medicare's hospital insurance fund could be out of money by 2024 unless changes are made.

Projected Trust Fund Exhaustion Three Years Sooner Than Last Year:

The Social Security Board of Trustees today released its annual report on the financial health of the Social Security Trust Funds. The combined assets of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds will be exhausted in 2033, three years sooner than projected last year.

The DI Trust Fund will be exhausted in 2016, two years earlier than last year's estimate. The Trustees also project that OASDI program costs will exceed non-interest income in 2012 and will remain higher throughout the remainder of the 75-year period.

In the 2012 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees announced:

"This year's Trustees Report contains troubling, but not unexpected, projections about Social Security's finances. It once again emphasizes that Congress needs to act to ensure the long-term solvency of this important program, and needs to act within four years to avoid automatic cuts to people receiving disability benefits," said Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security.

Other Highlights of the Trustees Report Include:

The Board of Trustees is comprised of six members. Four serve by virtue of their positions with the federal government:

The two public trustees are Charles P. Blahous, III and Robert D. Reischauer.

The 2012 Trustees Report is posted at www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/TR/2012/

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