Millions of poor and disabled Americans rely on Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in order to make ends meet. These individuals, many of whom have suffered a serious disabling injury or illness, are unable to work due to their medical conditions. Without their SSD benefits, these disabled individuals would be in financial ruin. Fortunately, those who want to seek SSD benefits can do so by filing an initial claim and, in the event of a clam denial, proceeding through the appeals process.
However, if President Trump has his way, obtaining these benefits could become much harder. According to reports, the president’s proposed budget would cut $72 billion dollars from Social Security Disability and SSI over the next ten years. Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s budget director, recently testified before Congress, indicating that the president believes that many SSD recipients actually aren’t disabled.
One way the president proposes to make cuts is by reducing the length of time for which disabled individuals can receive retroactive benefits. Under current law, a disabled individual can receive retroactive benefits up to a year prior to their SSD application. President Trump’s proposal would slice that in half, potentially reducing a disabled individual’s recovery by $7,000.
The sad truth of the matter is that recovering SSD benefits is hard enough right now. In fact, only about four in 10 applicants receive the benefits they seek. Additionally, SSD fraud is below one percent. This makes it seem unfair that the government would therefore seek to cut as many as two million people off the SSD and SSI rolls, and reduce benefits to many of those already receiving benefits. The good news is that this budget has only been proposed and has not been implemented into law. Therefore, those needing help with their difficult fight to recover the SSD benefits they need should think about speaking with a qualified legal professional.
Source: CBS News, “The cuts to a major disability program in Trump’s budget,” Jacqueline Alemany, Jun. 1, 2017