The numbers are now available on the operations of Social Security's Disability Insurance Trust Fund through the third quarter of this year. To make it a little easier to understand, I'll give the net decrease in the Trust Fund balance for each quarter this year, in billions, and the comparison to 2013.
- 1st Quarter 2014 -$6.4 billion, $1.5 billion better than in 1st Quarter 2013
- 2nd Quarter 2014 -$4.1 billion, $0.2 billion worse than in 2nd Quarter 2013
- 3rd Quarter 2014 -$10.1 billion, $0.3 billion better than in 3rd Quarter 2013
The net is a reduction in the Disability Trust Fund of $20.6 billion through the first nine months of 2014, which is $1.6 billion better than during the same time period of 2013. The intermediate projection of Social Security's Chief Actuary was that the decline in the Disability Trust Fund would be exactly the same in 2014 as in 2013, $32.2 billion, so, thus far this year, the rate of decline is about 5% better than projected. Does that continue in the 4th quarter? More important, does the improvement continue next year and in coming years?