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Trump’s Proposed Social Security Disability Cuts – What Do They Mean?

At the end of 2019, the Trump Administration proposed new rules for Social Security disability benefits that, if adopted, could end benefits for tens of thousands of Americans. More than 16 million adults and children currently receive disability benefits, but the new rules would create additional paperwork checks for those receiving payments in a process known as a “continuing disability review.”

Social Security Administration officials say that the plan would ensure that only qualified individuals would continue to receive benefits, and that they plan to conduct more than 4.4 million continuing disability reviews over ten years if the proposal is adopted.

While reviews would cost $1.6 billion to conduct, they would save $2.8 billion in benefit when they cut off people from the program. The proposal has alarmed countless individuals who are currently on disability benefits, as well as advocates for people disabilities.

What Is the Difference Between SSDI & SSI?

Most people don’t distinguish between Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance, but it’s important to know that the two are different governmental programs overseen by the Social Security Administration. The main difference between Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability (SSDI) is that SSDI is available for workers who have gathered a certain number of work credits, and SSI disability benefits are for low-income individuals who haven’t earned enough work credits, or have never worked.

In terms of payment, individuals on SSI have a maximum payment of $783 a month, while those on SSDI have an average payment of $1,234 a month.

What Will Continuing Disability Reviews Entail?

When individuals are placed on disability, they are subject to continuing disability reviews, which require:

  • Medical records
  • Income records
  • Asset records
  • Documentation of living arrangements

After reviewing the submitted materials, Social Security staff determines whether someone still qualifies to receive benefits. How often these reviews are conducted depends on the category they’re placed in, depending on their situation.

There are three categories staff places individuals in to receive disability benefits, including:

  • Medical Improvement Expected: These cases are reviewed every 6-18 months, and can include individuals whose conditions are expected to improve.
  • Medical Improvement Possible: These cases are reviewed every 3 years, and include individuals whose unique situations are still unclear.
  • Medical Improvement Not Expected: Reviewed every 5-7 years, this category is for individuals with terminal or debilitating conditions.

Defending Your Rights to Disability Benefits Since 1969

In Northern California, the majority of Social Security applications are initially denied. If your application was denied, delayed, or you need help filing an application, the social security disability attorneys at Smolich & Smolich can provide legal counsel. We’ve helped obtain Social Security benefits for many people after their claims have been denied, and can stand by your side through every step of your appeal. Our team is committed to helping injured individuals receive the support they deserve, whether it’s benefits from a program or compensation from the negligent party that caused their accident.

Call Smolich & Smolich for a free consultation at (916) 571-0400, or contact us online if your case has been denied by the Social Security Administration. Our social security claim lawyers are on your side and can help obtain benefits for you, even if you’ve been initially rejected.

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