If you doubt the economy is in trouble, pay attention to the commercials: pay day loans, title loans and attorney ads for tax relief, workers compensation or Social Security Disability.
So it’s no surprise that the SSI fund is nearing insolvency, and that the waiting list of applicants for disability income has a backlog of two years.
News reports indicate that as the unemployment rate has hovered around 9 percent – excluding those who have given up looking and the underemployed – the number of applicants for social security disability has  increased.  About two-thirds of original SSI applications are declined, but for those willing to reapply, or who hire an attorney, the average benefits are about $500 per month, plus any other government benefits a low income makes recipients eligible for – including Medicaid after a waiting period.
Whereas Social Security benefits are paid to recipients based on pay-in from work, because SSI beneficiaries are considered to be disabled, pay-outs are from a different fund. And that fund is about insolvent.
One school of thought is to transfer money from the Social Security retirement fund to shore up SSI.
We think that is a bad idea.
As a bubble of baby boomers edges closer to retirement age, Social Security will be doing well to fulfill promises it made to workers who paid in throughout their work career. Already the retirement age has been bumped up, at a time when a growing number of older workers are facing decreased retirement savings due to low savings rates and the schizophrenic stock market at the same time fuel, medical, utility and food costs have increased.
There is no easy answer to SSI’s funding problem.
While we believe the government should help those who are truly disabled, SSI fraud and abuse should be studied, and those receiving benefits should be monitored and  private charities and churches should be encouraged to step forward.
The government cannot, and should not, support the majority – either thru recipients, or the growing bureaucracy that manages programs.