There are numerous challenges facing Social Security, and, it seems, just as many policymakers, legislators and academics debating the best ways to shore up the system.

In the short-term, the Social Security Disability Insurance fund is likely to run out of money in 2016. Looking ahead, changes also are needed to ensure there is sufficient money in the fund for retirees.

Jeffrey R. Brown, a professor of finance and director of the Center for Business and Public Policy at the University of Illinois, is one of the nation's most-studied experts on the topic. He has been a visiting researcher at the National Bureau of Economic Research and has been an economist serving the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security and a senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

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