According to the Trustees…
On July 28, 2014, the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Board of Trustees released its annual report for the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds. According to the report, which reads much like the 2013 version, if no action is taken, the combined Social Security Trust Funds will be solvent until 2033, at which point scheduled benefits would be paid at a level of 77%.
The Disability Insurance Trust Fund itself, however, is in more immediate trouble. It is projected to remain solvent until late 2016, at which point its reserves will be depleted if Congress does not act.
So what exactly are these combined Social Security Trust Funds? They are the Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund and the Disability Insurance Trust Fund (DI). Together, they are the Social Security Trust Funds. Although they are legally separate trust funds, they are usually treated as one.
Each year the Board of Trustees (a group of 6 including members of government, SSA officials, and two individuals who represent the public) issues a report for Congress detailing the health of the trust funds.
So, what can be done to help the Disability Insurance Trust Fund? Generally, when there is an imbalance between the trust funds, Congress authorizes inter-trust fund borrowing or a reallocation of the payroll tax so that more of it gets funneled into the DI Trust Fund. Congress has authorized such reallocations 11 times in the past. Whether or not Congress authorizes a 12th remains to be seen.