Now That Taxes on the Wealthy Have Been Cut, it's Time to Cut Benefits for The Disabled

Greg Boles
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Partner at The Boles Firm | Experience Matters

One of the saddest myths perpetrated by the right is that most people collecting Social Security disability benefits are lazy, as Senator Rand Paul once implied.  “Who doesn’t get up a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts?” Senator Paul asked, demonstrating that he has no idea what the program is about. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is not a welfare program.  We pay into the program to insure against the risk that someday our bodies may give out on us and we will be unable to work.  The benefits paid are meager and difficult to get.  Sixty percent of the claims are turned down anyhow, and if you appeal a denial, it can take as long as 2 years to get a hearing before a Social Security judge.  SSDI is a program for people who are desperately ill and suffering from cancer, severe heart disease, uncontrollable diabetes or other terrible illnesses.  Beneficiaries of SSDI benefits have a mortality rate that is three times that of people their age.  About one fifth of men and one sixth of women in the program die within 5 years of getting their first Social Security disability check.  President Trump's 2018 budget calls for $72.5 billion in cuts in SSDI and supplemental security income, another program for disabled people, over 10 years.  His position on this is ironic, given that nine out of the ten counties with the highest share of working age adults collecting SSDI benefits voted for him.  

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