On October 30, 2015, Congress passed a bipartisan budget deal that will shore up Social Security Disability benefits and prevent a large rise in Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles. The bill also sets budget levels for the next two years and addresses several other aspects of the nation’s finances.
Under previous projections the Social Security Disability Insurance fund faced a shortfall, meaning that the Social Security Administration would be unable to pay full benefits starting in 2016. The Bipartisan Budget Act ensures that full benefits can be paid through 2022, protecting benefits for millions of Americans who rely on Disability Insurance. With disability Insurance funded by payroll taxes, this bill will reallocate some of those taxes toward Disability Insurance for three years while not changing the total tax rate.
Under Medicare, Part B premiums and deductibles were scheduled for large increases – a potentially drastic rise for people living on fixed incomes. This new law prevents that change and ensures that people living on Social Security retirement or disability can maintain access to health care.
Finally, the law will require the Social Security Administration to let people receiving Disability Insurance to report their earnings electronically, rather than on paper. This will take effect by September 30, 2017.
For more details, see this summary of the bill.