From The New York Times:

The number of Americans seeking Social Security disability benefits is plunging, a startling reversal of a decades-old trend that threatened the program’s solvency. It is the latest evidence of a stronger economy pulling people back into the job market or preventing workers from being sidelined in the first place.

The drop is so significant that the agency has revised its estimates of how long the program will continue to be financially secure. This month, the government announced that the program would not run out of money until 2032, four years later than its previous estimate last year. Two years ago, the government had warned that the funds might be depleted by 2023.

In addition to stronger economic growth, the drop reflects newly tightened standards for eligibility and the increasing number of baby boomers who are leaving the program because they have become eligible for Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare.
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Go Bernie Sanders!

August 8, 2018

2019 COLA

August 1, 2018

From the Motley Fool:

While nothing is set in stone, given that we don’t even have data from the three months that actually count (July-September), as an early glimpse I’d suggest that there’s a good chance [Social Security’s Cost Of Living Adjustment or COLA] could be the biggest raise since 2012, with a slim possibility of it being the largest raise in a decade. 

According to the May inflation data release from the BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics], which primarily tracks the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), the CPI-W has increased exactly 3% on a trailing-12-month basis. 

Of the 423,224 dispositions of requests for ALJ hearings so far in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, 43%were allowances, 36% were denials, and 21% were dismissals. The dismissal rate is the same as FY 2017, but the award rate is four percentage points lower, and the denial rate is four percentage points higher.

Five years ago (FY 2013), the award rate at the ALJ level was 48% and the dismissal rate was 17%. Ten years ago (FY 2008) the award rate was 63% and the dismissal rate was 16%.

 

I have long been an advocate for checking your earnings records, but today I read on CNN Money that this is one of the biggest mistake a person can make.

Not checking your earnings record

The Social Security Administration, or SSA, keeps track of your Social Security taxable earnings every year, and you can take a look at your earnings record on your latest Social Security statement. (Note: Your Social Security statement is available on www.ssa.gov by creating a “my Social Security” account, if you haven’t already.)

Because your benefit will be based on the earnings data on your Social Security statement, it’s extremely important to make sure the information on the statement is accurate.

Errors in Social Security earnings records aren’t widespread, but they are more common than you may think. For example, in the 2012 tax year, the SSA said that $71 billion in wages couldn’t be matched to any earnings records, and that only about half of these mismatches were eventually corrected.

She Voted For Trump

July 11, 2018

While I don’t typically post positions that take a strong political stance, I was intrigued by this article I saw on cnn.com

Krista Shockey voted for President Trump in November. Now she’s one of the people who might get hurt under his plan to cut safety net programs for the poor and disabled.

Shockey is on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a program to help low-income Americans who are disabled. The monthly payment is just over $700 a month.

“It’s my only income,” Shockey told CNNMoney in the fall, when we first met her in Waverly, a small town in southern Ohio that’s seen better days. “I couldn’t live” without it.

For the full article, go here:  https://tinyurl.com/ks4zsq3

 

My MS Hero

July 4, 2018

I love this story about Kathleen Sheehan, who has MS and hasn’t let it stand in the way of adapting to a new type of job.  She is also my friend’s sister, which is how I came across this article.  I hope she inspires you too.

https://tinyurl.com/ybucgugg

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