The Social Security Administration (SSA), through the U.S. Department of the Treasury, maintains multiple accounts for funds held in trust to pay benefits under various programs. Benefits payable through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program are held in the SSDI Trust Fund. This account is running out of money, and it is expected to be depleted by the end of 2016. At that point, the SSA would have no choice but to make substantial cuts in SSDI benefit payments.
People have been calling on Congress to address this problem for years, but it seems as though Congressional leaders are only just beginning to recognize the need for action. What they have done so far does not seem to be enough, and what they should do instead is a matter of much dispute.
What Is the SSDI Trust Fund?
The SSDI Trust Fund is an account in the U.S. Treasury that receives funds from payroll taxes withheld from employee paychecks and paid by employers under statutes like the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (better known as FICA). The SSA has automatic spending authority, without needing periodic Congressional approval, to disburse SSDI benefits from this account.