Both CBO and the Social Security Trustees project a shortfall in Social Security finances but they differ in their assessment of its magnitude. This testimony describes that difference and the major factors that contribute to it.
In 2015, Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) benefit payments totaled $143 billion. CBO examines approaches that could improve the financial sustainability of the DI program and delay exhaustion of the DI trust fund past 2022.
CBO analyzes 36 policy options commonly proposed by policymakers and analysts. Most of them would improve Social Security’s long-term finances, but only a few would significantly postpone the combined trust funds’ exhaustion date.
The Disability Insurance program provided benefits to 8.3 million disabled workers in 2011. By 2022, CBO projects, the program will provide benefits to over 10 million disabled workers and spending on benefits will exceed $190 billion.
CBO projects that in 2022, the Social Security Disability Insurance program will provide benefits totaling $204 billion to over 12.3 million disabled workers and their dependents.