President Trump’s administration has proposed new rules for the nation’s disability program that provides financial security for Americans living with disabilities that affect their ability to make a living.
These new rules could potentially end benefits for tens of thousands of people. While more than 16 million adults and children are currently receiving disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has not said just how many individuals these new rules would affect.
The proposed rules have raised concern among advocates for disabled individuals, many of whom are arguing that the changes will remove people from a necessary program that is already known for having a difficult approval process that can take years, as well as wrongly denying benefits for valid claims.
Other officials say the plan would “enhance program integrity and ensure that only those who continue to qualify for benefits will receive them.”
Our Los Angeles Social Security disability lawyers at the Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour are strong supporters of the vital benefits our nation’s disability programs provide to people living with disabilities. If you’re currently applying for or receiving disability benefits, continue reading to find out what the proposed rules could mean for you.
Continuing Disability Reviews
The rules would require more paperwork checks of disability recipients through a process called “continuing disability reviews”.
Once an adult or child is on disability, they are subject to continuing disability reviews by the SSA. Per the new review requirements, recipients would be required to submit medical, income, and asset records in addition to proof of living arrangements. The SSA would then decide whether or not individuals are still eligible for benefits.
How often an individual would have to undergo reviews depends on which of the three categories they fall under:
Medical Improvement Expected
For those expected to make a medical recovery, such as a baby born prematurely, reviews would be required every six to 18 months.
Medical Improvement Not Expected
This category is for those living with terminal conditions that are not expected to improve. These individuals would be reviewed every five to seven years.
Medical Improvement Possible
Individuals with conditions that might improve would be reviewed every three years.
The SSA has also proposed a fourth category called “medical improvement likely.” These individuals would be reviewed every two years. You can read more about these categories and the criteria the SSA would use to classify individuals here.
What This Could Mean for Your Benefits
This new proposed budget would cut spending by about $45 billion on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), according to USA Today. If you’re currently receiving disability benefits, the continuing disability reviews would require you to compile and submit a large amount of paperwork for every review. This can be an extreme burden if you’re living with a disability that limits your ability to do everyday activities.
Recipients have already gone through a challenging application process that can take two years or longer before they’re approved.
The problem with these proposed continuing disability reviews is that it could cause thousands of people to lose their benefits not because they’ve experienced medical improvement but simply because they can’t keep up with the overwhelming amount of paperwork.
Need Help Applying or Appealing for Disability Benefits in Los Angeles? Call Dr. Bill!
We know how complex the Social Security system can be, especially when new rules could potentially end benefits for thousands of current disability recipients.
Whether you need help applying for the first time, appealing a denied claim, or understanding changes to your current benefits, our Los Angeles Social Security disability lawyers are here to help.
We’ve been helping disabled individuals in the Greater Los Angeles area, the Inland Empire, and Orange County get the disability benefits they need for years. Call Dr. Bill LaTour and his team today at 800-803-5090 to schedule a free consultation.