Protect Eligibility for Disability Benefits
Last year, the Social Security Administration stated that it wants to change eligibility rules for disability benefits.
Under the proposal, SSA would add 2.6 million eligibility reviews in the next ten years. They would also establish a new eligibility category. Currently, when someone qualifies for disability, they end up in one of three categories:
- Medical improvement expected (reviewed every 6-18 months)
- Medical improvement not expected (reviewed every 5-7 years)
- Medical improvement possible (reviewed every 3 years)
The Social Security Administration proposes adding a new category, "medical improvement likely," which is expected to include 4.4 million recipients. Many of these recipients will be children and people aged 50-65 with poor health and no income. If placed in this category, people will get reviews every two years.
Navigating the disability process, including reviews, is already challenging. The process can take 2-3 years in some cases, and people often have to appeal their initial findings to be accepted. Under the new review process, there will be more people in the system, many of whom do not have access to lawyers, and a much higher likelihood that recipients will lose benefits even though they are still qualified.
Take Action by January 31, 2020:
- Project Home has a link to contact Congress and submit public comment.
- Community Legal Services has sample public comments and a sample message for Congress.
- The Coalition on Human Needs has another way to submit public comment, including a note that says over 21,000 people died the last time similar changes to Social Security were made.