Jan 7, 2015

Weak Jujitsu

     Here's the actual language of the new rule in the House of Representatives:
(1) During the One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, it shall not be in order to consider a bill or joint resolution, or an amendment thereto or conference report thereon, that reduces the actuarial balance by at least .01 percent of the present value of future taxable payroll of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund established under section 201(a) of the Social Security Act for the 75-year period utilized in the most recent annual report of the Board of Trustees provided pursuant to section 201(c)(2) of the Social Security Act.
(2) EXCEPTION.—Paragraph (1) shall not apply to a measure that would improve the actuarial balance of the combined balance in the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund for the 75-year period utilized in the most recent annual report of the Board of Trustees provided pursuant to section 201(c)(2) of the Social Security Act.
     Under this rule, even the most minor change that reduces either disability or retirement payments would allow for the transfer of funds between the two trust funds. Eliminating the lump sum death payment, for instance, would be enough to allow the transfer between the two trust funds and every knowledgeable person knows that should be eliminated. My idea of playing around with the benefit offset for those dually eligible for disability benefits and retirement or survivor benefits wouldn't work since that would leave the actuarial balance of the combined trust funds unchanged -- although that plus some minor change reducing either disability or retirement benefits, such as eliminating the lump sum death payment, would work. Reversing the offset for those dually eligible for Disability Insurance Benefits and SSI would work since it would reduce the combined balance of the two funds by shifting some costs to SSI. Nobody's benefits would be cut. Nobody's taxes would be increased. There would be no effect upon the federal deficit.The windfall offset already reduces Disability Insurance Benefits for back SSI benefits. Just extend that to ongoing payments and the problem is solved. In other words, it will be easy to work around this rule. You don't have to cut anyone's benefits. If you do make a cut, it can be quite a minor cut.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is already a provision for offsetting past due SSI benefits by past due SSDI benefit IF the SSDI was erroneously released without the windfall offset. That is not new. It is just uncommon.

Anonymous said...

Loss of 20% would be quite a bit for those that are actually disabled and it being their only source of income. I think ssi should be means tested. Why should people like former rep. Burton from indiana be able to get it when he probably sitting on $10's of millions. Besides we would not be in this class if Congress and President did not use the to trust as their own private piggy banks to pay for deficit spending. most of the debt od by the US is to the Social Security and Medicare Trust. That's why they keep saying they will be driving up deficit in the future.

Katherine Dimacale said...

Great article. Thanks for the info, it’s easy to understand. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a Lump Death Payment, I found a blank form here.