Are Social Security Disability Benefits at Risk Under the Trump Administration?

June 16, 2017

The Trump administration has been pursuing policies that put the health, education and economic security of disabled people at risk while the wealthy gain more advantage through massive tax cuts. President Trump, in a book he wrote in 2011, called SSDI a “racket,” and that an estimated $25 billion was eaten up in fraudulent SSDI filings, which is untrue.

In March, Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney made a series of false and inaccurate state about SSDI in an interview on the TV show, Face the Nation on March 18, 2017. In a story on the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities website, the author quoted Mulvaney as saying in that interview, “Let me ask you a question, do you really think that Social Security disability insurance is part of what people think of when they think of Social Security? I don’t think so. It’s the fastest growing program, . . .it grew tremendously under President Obama. It’s a very wasteful program.”

None of these statements are true.

The CBPP story fact-checks Mulvaney’s erroneous statements by asserting what is true:

  • Social Security Disability is an essential part of Social Security. If a worker becomes disabled due to an injury or illness before they have reached retirement age SSDI is there to help support those who have paid into the system through decades of employment.
  • The number of SSDI beneficiaries is actually shrinking. While the Social Security retirement program is growing as Americans move into retirement age, the number of SSD beneficiaries has fallen by 150,000 over the past two years.
  • SSDI has stringent standards with many safeguards against waste. Given that fewer than four in 10 applicants qualify for benefits, the fact that workers must have a solid work history, prove their impairments with medical evidence, and Administrative Law Judges review applications to ensure an overpayment rate of less than one percent.

Trump’s hiring freeze is already having a detrimental impact on the 526-day SSDI case processing wait time for applications. People who are too ill to work, or who have debilitating and disabling injuries must wait more than a year to find out if they have been approved or rejected for disability benefits.

President Trump promised, in a debate during the campaign, that he would not cut Social Security; if he keeps that promise, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits will be protected.

If you have been diagnosed with a disabling health condition, or if an injury prevents your being able to do your job, you are welcome to schedule a free consultation with an experienced, Philadelphia SSDI attorney who will review your case and offer guidance about your options.

Have you been diagnosed with a serious or terminal medical condition? You might wonder how you are going to be able to work and take care of your responsibilities as your symptoms grow worse. The Philadelphia SSDI lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates are here to help you complete your application so that you can get the benefits you need to live. You are welcome to contact us or call 888.PITT.LAW to speak to an experienced SSDI attorney who will be a strong advocate for you. We serve clients throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.