Congress makes decisions based on the interests of their constituency, as well as the influence of organizations. Earlier this month, religious groups, including The Jewish Counsel for Public Affairs (JCPA) and the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition gathered on Capitol Hill to speak out in support of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits program.
Social Security Disability Insurance is a government assistance program aimed at providing support to Americans in Los Angeles, California and nationwide who are unable to work because of an illness or injury. Like many welfare programs, SSDI has been under attack by critics who believe that the program is abused and wasteful. The religious groups are hoping to dispel these myths and garner support in Washington, as SSDI is a program that could be at risk during fiscal cliff negotiations.
The presentations included testimony from 2 former SSDI recipients who could not return to full-time employment after suffering accidents. One was a victim of Hepatitis C, contracted while she was working as a nurse. The other was a former attorney who was paralyzed in a serious car accident. Both recipients relied on SSDI benefits until they were able to return to full-time employment.
Religious groups are hoping to protect the individuals who rely on support and also to ensure that the act of giving and charity be upheld by our government leaders. Understanding that SSDI is lifeline for millions of Americans, cutting back the program could put recipients and their loved ones at risk. According to the advocacy groups, political attacks on the SSDI program are misguided and do not adequately represent those who collect support.
Source: The Sacramento Bee, “Religious Leaders Come Together On Capitol Hill In Support Of Social Security Disability Insurance,” Dec. 4, 2012