if three Republican politicians have their way, Social Security disability benefits would be reformed so as to urge disabled residents of the Los Angeles area to return to work if doing so is at all possible.
In a nutshell, the proposal would tweak the medical requirements so as to make the Administration give an indication as to how likely it is a disabled Californian would be able to recover from the disability and return to work. There are already rules allowing the Administration to periodically review cases to verify a person is still disabled, but these rules would make the process more rigid, assigning each person in to one of four categories based on their likelihood of recovery or rehabilitation.
Depending on what category a person falls into, they would be subject to a time limit after which benefits would terminate unless the person repeated the full application process. Time limits would range from two years to over five years depending a person’s condition, with people who are deemed “not expected” to recover not being subject to time limits at all.
The measure’s proponents argue the proposal will end what they see is a problem of growing numbers of people getting on disability with fewer and fewer returning to work. They cite statistics that the number of disabled Americans has jumped from 1.5 million to 9 million since 1970 and that, now less than one half of one percent actually get back to work, down from 6 percent in 1982. The proponents believe in the long term, this change would bolster the shaky financial condition of the Social Security system.
Of course, critics can point to the fact that the Administration already reviews people to ensure they are disabled and that further rules might mean people who really need the benefits do not get them on the account of red tape.
In any event, Los Angeles residents, particularly those who are either on disability or are expecting to apply for benefits, should keep a close on the progress of this proposed legislation.
Source: Sunshine State News, “Marco Rubio joins conservatives to reform Social Security Disability benefits,” Kevin Derby, March 16, 2017