This year alone, Social Security will pay out $45 billion more than it will collect in payroll taxes.
A commission appointed by President Barack Obama has recommended some changes to improve Social Security's finances. The panel suggested a gradual increase in the full retirement age, lower cost-of-living increases and a gradual increase in the threshold on the amount of income subject to the Social Security payroll tax.
Obama has not embraced any of the panel's recommendations. In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, he called for unspecified bipartisan solutions to strengthen the program while protecting current retirees, future retirees and people with disabilities.
High unemployment has payroll taxes lagging at the same time applications for benefits are rising, because baby boomers are retiring.
More than 54 million people receive retirement, disability or survivor benefits from Social Security.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.