The Social Security system has repeatedly faced crises over the years, and each time changes were made that resulted in maintaining solvency for an extended period. In 1983, President Reagan signed amendments to the SSA that gradually raised the full retirement age from 65 to 67 and made previously untaxed income taxable up to fifty percent. In 1993, new legislation was enacted that raised the maximum tax on Social Security income to 85 percent.
Despite those measures, the Social Security system is still in danger of not being able to pay-out full income and Medicare benefits to retirees and people with disabilities. The latest crisis involves the solvency of the Social Security Disability Fund. It has been depleted by the recent rapid growth in the number of people now receiving disability benefits, stemming from public policy issues enacted during the latest recession. Unless something is done soon, the 11 million recipients of Social Security disability will see their checks cut by 19 percent, probably starting in January 2017.
To fix the problem, some are proposing to redirect money from the much larger Social Security Retirement Fund to the almost insolvent Social Security Disability Fund. Unfortunately such a fix is not that simple. Read the article on NBC News to learn more.