How are the Baby Boomers Affecting Social Security Disability?

Submitted by Kyle on Wed, 10/12/2011 - 09:52

There have been doomsday “prophecies” that the Baby Boomer generation will bankrupt the Social Security system. That the influx of Baby Boomer retires will drain the Social Security fund of all of its money and that the system will go broke, leaving future generations to fend for themselves. How much of this is true? Just exactly how are the baby boomers affecting Social Security Disability and the Social Security programs as a whole?

It is no secret that the Social Security system is having financial difficulties. There are plenty of news reports detailing just how much trouble the programs are in. However, the financial strain seen by the Social Security programs, including Social Security Disability, is more likely due to high unemployment rates and an increasing number of disability claims from unemployed workers than it is from retiring Baby Boomers. In fact, the first wave of Baby Boomers to hit the SSA retirement program came in 2007, and Social Security has yet to go broke because of it. Does that mean, however, that the Baby Boomer generation is having absolutely no impact on Social Security Disability whatsoever? Not necessarily.

As baby boomers become older, more and more are facing disabilities that qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. When you compound this with the fact that unemployment rates remain high and disabled workers who might otherwise try to work are now filing for disability benefits, it is clear that there is indeed a strain on the Social Security Disability program. However, Baby Boomers alone are not to blame for this strain.

Some may say that the Baby Boomers are making Social Security an insolvent government program. However, advocates of Social Security benefits are not taking this laying down. There are many plans in the works to change the fate of Social Security, such as the bill that was introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders. The bill is fair and straightforward and would ensure the stability of the Social Security retirement and Social Security Disability programs for another 75 years. The question is, will the bill be passed or will the tension between the Democratic and Republican parties put additional strain on a government program that currently needs all the help it can get?

Are Baby Boomers straining the Social Security Disability system? Yes, but they are not the only strain the system is facing. Poor planning, partisan wars and a struggling economy are also culprits in the current Social Security crisis.

The question shouldn't be why is the Social Security Disability program facing so many hurdles and whether or not Baby Boomers are to blame, the question should be what is going to be done to overcome those hurdles and make sure that Social Security will be around to benefit future generations.