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SSD benefits as a political bargaining chip

For millions of Americans, including many of our Los Angeles readers, living with a disability is a fact of life. However, no matter how the disability arose, whether through an injury in a work accident or an illness that couldn't be prepared for, the inability to work as a result does not have to leave people who live with disabilities scrapping for the basic funds to survive. Social Security Disability is intended to help people who find themselves in this type of situation with the financial assistance they need, oftentimes to the extent that the SSD benefits are the sole source of income. But, as important as these benefits are for millions of Americans, some people disagree with this financial assistance, and many of those people are part of the federal government.

According to a recent report, SSD benefits, so crucial to so many, may soon become a political bargaining chip. In fact, the recent report indicated that some congressional leaders who want to make serious and drastic changes to all Social Security benefits, not just SSD benefits, may attempt to sort the benefits out and label them as "good" benefits and "bad" benefits - with Social Security retirement payments as the "good" portion and SSD benefits as the "bad" part.

Battles over Social Security seem to loom in the federal government on a constant basis. However, it has been years since any real and significant changes have been made to the structure of Social Security.

The best thing for the millions of Americans who depend on SSD benefits to do may be to spend time explaining to others how crucial the monthly benefits are in their lives. People who apply for SSD benefits must meet strict requirements - the payments aren't handed out to just anyone.

Source: The Washington Post, "The next big fight over the safety net," Greg Sargent, May 20, 2014

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