Senator Coburn May Be Biggest Proponent Of Disability Reform

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has been one of the most vocal members of Congress regarding reforming Social Security. He would like retirement benefits to begin at a gradually later stage in life. He suggested increasing the retirement age one month every two years. People live much longer today than in 1935 when President Roosevelt instituted Social Security, he points out.

Coburn reserves his harshest criticisms, however, for Social Security’s other two programs – Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). He mentions several statistics that critics of these programs often cite. For example:

  • Disability beneficiaries have increased at an exponential rate
  • Very few beneficiaries stop receiving benefits because they return to work
  • Most disability beneficiaries keep receiving benefits until they retire
  • The Social Security Administration performs far too few reviews of ongoing benefits

In theory, reforming Social Security Disability programs benefits should benefit Americans who are truly disabled and who depend on the government’s disability checks. The problem is how to reform the system without hurting those truly in need. Disability applicants already face a bureaucratic and inconsistent system that depends on a judge as much as it does their actual disability. Reforms to eliminate waste might result in even more inconsistencies.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security Disability lawyers


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