January 26, 2018

DI Trust Fund Reserves Increase $25 Billion in 2017

The Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund saw a net increase of $25.1 billion in reserves in 2017 according to data reported by the U.S. Office of the Chief Actuary. Total income increased to $171 billion, while the outgo declined slightly to $145.8 billion. Asset reserves at 2017 calendar year-end now total $71.5 billion, up from $46.3 billion at the end of 2016 and $32.3 billion at the end of 2015.

Factors in the reserves growth include the three year temporary reallocation of FICA tax dollars from the Old-Age & Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund to the DI Trust Fund in 2016, 2017 and continuing this year, under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

Other factors contributing to the increase in reserves include a strong economy, lower approval rates, and a disability hearing backlog, currently at 1.1 million applicants, that has delayed SSDI decisions and payments. These factors have resulted in a decline of approximately 200,000 disabled workers receiving SSDI from 8.9 to 8.7 million beneficiaries over the past two years.

Steve Perrigo
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Steve Perrigo

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