If you follow the election cycle, you may hear claims by candidates that changes should be made to the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program because some people who collect benefits are able to work.
Whenever we hear this argument, we like to remind people that SSDI beneficiaries have already proven that their disabilities do not allow them to work. They have done this through the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) very strict application and appeals process. With this in mind, in the spring, the Center for American Progress had an excellent report about how SSDI cuts and/or policy changes regarding employment may not help Americans.
According to the organization, debate over SSDI funding should include proposals that do not discourage people from returning to work, if they can. The organization says that the SSA’s current policy, in which beneficiaries are encouraged to attempt work and earn up to $1,090 per month in 2015 with no reduction in benefits, is a good starting block.
It is true that sometimes people who collect SSDI are able to return to work if their health improves. However, some politicians would like to remove options that may incentivize people to return. This spring, proposals were floated in both the House and Senate that would have eliminated the opportunity for people to receive SSDI and unemployment concurrently. Thankfully, the measures stalled.
As the Center for American Progress noted, “[Cutting] benefits for Social Security disability insurance beneficiaries who lose a job through no fault of their own and must turn to unemployment insurance to partially replace their lost wages would punish them for attempting to return to work.”
Additionally, some politicians have discussed tweaking income limits surrounding the SSA’s Ticket to Work Program, which allows SSDI recipients to be placed in contact with Employment Networks (ENs), which offer services like vocational rehabilitation, job placement and training.
Whenever you hear politicians discussing SSDI changes, make sure you pay attention to their language. Benefit reductions or tweaks may not help people return to work, and they may actually penalize people who make an attempt. Make sure you read any proposed legislation in full. To read the Center for American Progress report, you can click here.
Let Our Tulsa Attorneys Help You with Your SSDI Claim
Talk to our Tulsa disability attorneys about your eligibility for SSDI benefits. To collect benefits, you must have a work history and earned credits. You can reach us by calling the phone number or by using the contact form on this page.
Continue visiting our blog for more information. By working with our Tulsa Social Security attorney, a person may be able to improve his or her chances of receiving SSDI benefits.