President's Budget Request includes Major Cuts to SSI and SSDI

On Tuesday, President Trump released his Fiscal Year 2018 budget request. The proposed budget includes major cuts to Social Security disability benefits. According to a press release by the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives Executive Director, Barbara Silverstone, the cuts include:

  • Reducing SSDI retroactive payments to six months rather than twelve months before the protected filing date. This will take an estimated $9.9 billion over the next ten years from people with disabilities.
  • Reinstating reconsideration in ten “prototype” states This is expected to result in more claimants being denied and some dying or becoming discouraged without appealing.
  • Creating an “expert panel” to recommend program changes to SSI and SSDI, with the goal of a 5% reduction in benefits by 2027.
  • Reducing SSDI benefits when an individual attempts to work, is laid off, and then receives unemployment benefits. This disincentives people with disabilities from trying to work.
  • Establishing a one-year probationary period for new ALJs, which could interfere with their decisional independence.
  • Limiting SSI payments for individuals living with other SSI recipients. This would interfere with families’ choices about living arrangements, add complexity to the SSI program (increasing overpayments), and increase poverty.

The cuts in the proposed budget will total to $72 billion over the next ten years, money that would normally go to housing and other basic needs of people with disabilities. This budget is a break from President Trump’s campaign promise not to cut Social Security programs. These cuts, coupled with further reductions to Medicaid, Food Stamps (SNAP), TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), and other critical programs, will hurt people with disabilities who depend on them to meet their most basic needs.

Please call your members of Congress today and tell them you oppose the President’s proposal to cut Social Security. Find your Senators’ contact information on the top left corner of https://www.senate.gov/ and your Representative’s information on the top right corner of http://www.house.gov/.

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