The impact of the pandemic has been far-reaching throughout our entire society. From mandated closures of small businesses to the increasing death, COVID-19 has caused major and profound societal disruptions.
One potential effect of COVID-19 on our financial system that has gone largely unnoticed is the potential for negative impacts on future Social Security benefits. New studies indicate that Americans who become eligible for Social Security benefits in 2022 and beyond may, absent changes to the programs, receive lower benefits over the course of their lives than those who have become entitled prior to that date. This lowering of benefits for future beneficiaries need not be the case, however, and a number of prominent politicians have continued to advocate expanding the social safety net. Silver & Silver supports such growing calls for expansion, not contraction, of the vital social safety net provided by the Social Security programs for the elderly and the disabled.
Here are some troubling current trends that could affect the viability of the Social Security trust fund absent identification of addition sources of funding.
Wage Growth Has Slowed
The Social Security Administration takes several factors into consideration when adjusting benefit allotments to recipients. One important factor they use is the yearly average in wage growth. With the pandemic wreaking havoc on businesses and forcing closures due to public health concerns, wage growth has stalled for some portions of the working population. This decline could, absent policy change in the interim, potentially result in a lower future benefit amount for recipients beyond the year 2022.
The Impact on the Social Security Trust Fund Remains Uncertain
The pandemic’s overall impact on the Social Security Trust fund remains uncertain. However, it is becoming clear that there will be some negative repercussions due to the number of unemployed workers that are currently unable to pay Social Security payroll taxes. Financial analysts have yet to determine the overall impact of the pandemic with regard to solvency of the Social Security trust fund.
Measures Needed to Protect All Americans
Without proper measures taken to protect the Social Security Administration’s financial viability during these difficult economic times, there could be a significant erosion in benefits in the coming years and decades. Silver & Silver supports swift Congressional action to bolster the Social Security Administration’s sources of funding in order to safeguard this vital social safety net that lifts millions of elderly and disabled Americans out of poverty each year.
Silver & Silver is a premier Social Security Disability law firm in Philadelphia, PA, and Delaware Valley communities. With years of experience handling social security benefits cases, the Silver & Silver team is prepared to fight for you. For more information about legal services, contact Silver & Silver today.