Last week, members of Congress agreed on a budget deal that could result in changes for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.
According to the Washington Post, the budget draft will borrow from Social Security’s retirement coffers to fund the SSDI program for the next seven years. SSDI funding was expected to run out unless something was done by late 2016. The result would have been an automatic 19 percent cut in benefits for recipients.
The budget bill would shift tax revenues from the SSA’s retirement fund to the SSDI program, a step that has been taken in the past. The Post reported that in addition to the shift in funds, the bill would expand the use of investigative units that collaborate with law enforcement agencies to track down fraud.
“It also forbids ex-felons from making disability benefits determinations, beefs up penalties for fraud, and instructs the Social Security Administration to move everyone onto electronic recordkeeping, in an effort to avoid overpayments,” according to the Post.
Congress expects that the changes will save $5 billion over 10 years. Some disability advocates say that it is a win, because Republicans did not make cuts to the SSDI program. However, some groups, including Social Security Works, have issued statements in opposition of the fraud initiative, saying it is a waste of resources, because instances of fraud are virtually nonexistent.
“Those provisions will likely require workers with disabilities to wait longer to receive their earned benefits and may prevent some from receiving their earned benefits completely,” Social Security Works said, in a press release.
As of last Wednesday, the tentative budget agreement needed to be approved by Congress. Continue to follow our blog and we will update you when we hear about its expected passage.
Ask Our Tulsa SSDI Attorneys About Obtaining Disability Benefits
We are thankful that something is being done to address the funding issues the SSDI program is facing, even though a few groups oppose some of the provisions involved in the budget bill’s passage.
If you are disabled and cannot work, talk to our Tulsa disability attorneys about obtaining Social Security benefits. For information about SSDI, including eligibility requirements, you can visit our FAQ page.
You can reach our Tulsa Social Security attorneys directly by calling (918) 265-1404.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security Disability lawyers