Social Security’s Disability Trust Fund Improves

Posted January 27, 2017 by Premier Disability Services, LLC® Social Security has released the final 2016 numbers on the Disability Insurance Trust Fund. The Trust Fund is a separate account in the United States Treasury. A fixed proportion of the taxes received under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and the Self-Employment Contributions Act are deposited into the fund to the extent that such taxes are not needed immediately to pay expenses. Taxes are deposited in the fund on every business day.

The trust fund provides automatic spending authority to pay monthly benefits to disabled-worker beneficiaries and their spouses and children. With such spending authority, the Social Security Administration does not need to periodically request money from the Congress to pay benefits.

Funds not withdrawn for current expenses are invested in interest-bearing Federal securities, as required by law; the interest earned is also deposited in the trust fund.

The Trust Fund balance had been declining over the last few years until there was a temporary reallocation of FICA revenues at the beginning of 2016.


Disability Insurance
(Amounts in millions)
Quarter Total
Net increase
in asset reserves
Asset reserves at end
of quarter
Qtr 1, 2015 $30,582 $36,483 $-5,901 $54,343
Qtr 2, 2015 33,697 37,241 -3,544 50,799
Qtr 3, 2015 27,508 36,651 -9,143 41,656
Qtr 4, 2015 26,808 36,206 -9,397 32,259
Qtr 1, 2016 39,509 36,509 2,999 35,258
Qtr 2, 2016 45,519 37,049 8,470 43,728
Qtr 3, 2016 38,457 36,444 2,012 45,740
Qtr 4, 2016 36,512 35,914 598 46,338

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®