Tuesday, April 30, 2013

We just got word that there has been a bomb threat at the post office in Farragut. More news as we learn it.
Debra Shifrin: Social Security Disability Insurance benefits our neighbors. The takeaway from this op-ed is the following:

[W]hile it is also true that the Social Security Trust Fund's outlays will exceed the income generated, this is not an unexpected occurrence. Like the increase in the number of people receiving disability, this has been anticipated since 1994. According to the Social Security Administration, the number of disabled beneficiaries will decrease as the baby boomers reach retirement age. A simple reallocation by Congress of taxes from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund would be one solution. Such reallocations in both directions have occurred many times in the past.

Speaking as a lawyer who has represented Knoxville Social Security claimants for almost two decades, this approach makes sense. As disabled workers reach retirement age, their disability benefits switch to retirement benefits. A re-allocation now from retirement to disability makes up for the aging -- and therefore increasing numbers of -- workers becoming eligible and entitled to disability. As they transition into retirement age and beyond, funds are re-allocated back toward retirement.

One thing is sure: we've got a lot of people who are legitimately unable to work, according to the very stringent Social Security rules on disability. Instead of cutting their relatively paltry benefits or foreclosing altogether their ability to obtain those benefits, we as a society need to make sure that those less fortunate than us are taken care of, at least to some extent.

Do unto others....