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, instead of twelve months, before the protected filing date. That means, over the next decade, this will take approximately $9.9 billion from the disabled.
- Restoring reconsideration in ten “prototype” states. This would result in more claimants being denied and some dying or becoming discouraged without appealing.
- The creation of an “expert panel” to endorse program changes to SSI and SSDI, the goal being a 5% reduction in benefits by the year 2027.
- Reducing SSDI benefits for those who try to work, get laid off, and then collect unemployment. This disincentives people with disabilities from trying to work.
- Starting a one-year probationary period for new ALJs, which could inhibit their independence as decision makers.
- Restricting SSI payments for those living with other SSI receivers. This would interfere with families’ choices about living arrangements, add complexity to the SSI program (increasing over payments), 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 https://www.house.gov/.