For a few months I have been saying that things are looking up for the Social Security's Disability Insurance Trust Fund, that it won't be running out of money in 2016. It will be several months before the Trustees' report comes out but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has now issued its projection that the Disability Trust Fund will have enough money until 2017.
Big deal, you say, that's just one year. It's still running out of money. However, in political terms the difference between 2016 and 2017 is significant. There's a long way to go until 2017 but Democratic control of the White House, House of Representatives and Senate is a realistic possibility in 2017.
The Disability Trust Fund projections may keep getting better as the economy improves and it becomes more obvious that we've already passed the peak of baby boomer disability claims. The gap between the Disability Trust Fund running out of money in 2017 and never running out of money isn't all that great. The Trustees' optimistic projection is that the Disability Trust Fund never runs out of money. Events are moving the Disability Trust Fund in that direction. The Disability Trust Fund exhaustion date may keep moving into the future. Even if it is temporarily exhausted, the gap keeps narrowing. Solving the temporary problem of Disability Trust Fund exhaustion by allowing borrowing between Social Security's trust funds becomes a more likely solution.