Social Security is a promise that the federal government has made to hard-working Arkansans, who have paid into the program and have earned these benefits. I am committed to strengthening Social Security for today's seniors and future beneficiaries. Further, I believe we must protect and strengthen Social Security, while eliminating fraud and abuse in this program
The 2020 annual report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds estimated that Social Security Retirement Trust Fund will be exhausted by 2035. Congress must do more to effectively reform Social Security, prevent unprecedented cuts to benefits and ensure that Social Security beneficiaries receive the benefits they have earned and paid in.
I have introduced the Social Security Disability Insurance Return to Work Act, which would modernize the Social Security Administration's classification of disability beneficiaries. The bill incentivizes returning to work for beneficiaries who have recovered from their disability such as an illness. According to the Congressional Research Service, the unemployment rate among working-age individuals with work-limiting disabilities has fallen from 24.4% in 1981 to 14.4% in 2013. In other words, compared to 30 years ago, a disability beneficiary is half as likely to return to work even if they have recovered and are able to go back to work. Likewise, in 2013, a fraction -- only 0.4% -- of all disability beneficiaries stopped receiving benefits because they returned to work. Due to the low return to work rate, it is essential that Congress act to implement an efficient, consistent and accurate disability determination in order to encourage return to work and save taxpayer dollars. I am committed to looking for other long-term solutions, and I will work with my colleagues to institute common sense, bipartisan solutions to ensure the availability of the central Social Security benefit for seniors and disabled individuals both now and in the future.