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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Budget Cuts Could Be Coming to SSDI

What could cuts to the Social Security Disability Insurance program mean for me?

The Social Security Disability program evolved from the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program of the Social Security Administration (SSA).  Though the original program contained the term “disability” it did not in fact provide for disabled persons.  The law was amended in 1956 to officially form the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.  Initially, SSDI offered benefits for only disabled workers between the ages of 50 and 65, but the program soon expanded to offer additional protections.  Now, the program provides benefits to more than nine million disabled individuals and their dependents across the nation.  

Despite the success of the SSDI, the new Presidential administration has proposed cutting the program’s budget.  Budget Director Mick Mulvaney stated recently that up to $72 billion may be cut from SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) over the next ten years.  This could leave millions of people suffering from serious illnesses or diseases without the financial assistance they need.  

Reasons Proposed for SSDI Cuts

When questioned on the proposed budget cuts, Mulvaney indicated that one of the motivating factors for targeting funding to programs for the disabled is the concern that many recipients are not actually disabled.  Opponents to this claim urge that SSDI applicants must already demonstrate significant illnesses to be eligible for the program.  SSDI recipients are among the most severely impaired in the nation and many do not live long while on the program.  Fears of false claims can be dealt with through increased applicant scrutiny, not cuts program-wide.  

If you are receiving SSDI benefits, you should closely follow President Trump’s budget plans.  Cuts to the SSDI program could mean a reduction in the benefits you receive.  You can take action to oppose budget cuts by contacting your state’s political leaders.  Anyone currently applying for SSDI benefits or those that plan to apply in the future should seek the assistance of an experienced SSDI attorney who will help to ensure you submit a strong claim with sufficient evidence, as your claim will be closely examined and could be denied based on a lack of proof as to your disability.  


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