Social Security Disability Benefits Vulnerable to New Budget Cuts

Q: How will President Trump’s proposed budget affect Social Security disability benefits?

Federal safety net programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) and others can expect significant cuts and reforms if President Trump’s proposed budget passes in its current form, Social Security Disability lawyers warn.

The disability benefits legal experts are watching with interest for not only how the changes will impact those applying for SSDI disability benefits but also for any limitations on or cuts to the amounts of benefits disabled recipients are currently receiving.

The message from the top is “get a job, not a government handout”.  In an effort to cut down on fraud that is presumed to be widespread in government safety net programs and to encourage self-sufficiency, The White House Budget Director warned “if you are on disability insurance and you’re not supposed to be, if you are not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work.”

Forcing those who are able to work back to the workforce will not only cut back on the amount of money paid out to those no-longer-disabled-and-actually-employable workers who are milking the system, but they will again be paying into the system to support the future claims of legitimately-disabled workers.

In addition to SSDI, there will be cuts and or changes other programs which impact the disabled such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, (“SNAP”).

The proposed budget “would cut $72 billion by reforming disability programs”. The monthly benefits for the 10.6 million SSDI recipients total $11 billion. Reforms would focus on cracking down on recipients who are “exaggerating the extent of their ailment or staying on the program after they recover” by getting more enrollees off SSDI and back to work”.

Few would disagree with this concept on paper, but what will the reality of its implementation look like? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, honest people currently receiving disability benefits for legitimate and ongoing disabilities may be understandably uneasy about how the methods to root out the so-called fraudulent recipients may negatively impact the continuation of their rightful disability benefits.

If you need help applying for Social Security disability benefits or with appealing a denial of your application for benefits, the Social Security disability experts at Roeschke Law can help you at any stage of the process. Call us at 800-975-1866 for a free initial consultation and assessment of your claim.

Our Social Security lawyers represent clients in all counties and cities in Arizona from our offices in Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson.