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Budget proposal may impact disability benefits

The latest round of Congressional budget talks is in full force after the President unveiled his latest budget proposal. Although the President’s budget will likely be mulled over and changed substantially before it becomes the law of the land, if it stands, disability benefits for Central Florida residents could be affected.

According to an organization, which is admittedly not in favor of the President’s policies, a breakdown of the budget proposal shows that the Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, program and the Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, program stand to lose about $72 billion in funding, and this comes at a time in which the programs are already taxed by exploding enrollments an long wait times for appeals.

The organization reports that the target of these cuts are retroactive benefits available through the SSDI program. The cuts may also affect households in which more than one person is on SSI and where residents are receiving both unemployment compensation and disability payments.

To be clear, retroactive benefits are slightly different than lump sum payments. The latter are payments to a person who would have gotten benefits but for the fact that their application was still pending. The former are actually payments for months in which a person had not applied for disability but was indeed unable to work.

Florida residents should pay careful attention to this measure is it makes its way through Congress. It is a virtual certainty, however, that it is not going to be getting easier to get disability benefits. Therefore, those who feel like they need the support of these programs should strongly consider consulting with an experienced Social Security advocate who can help them defend their rights and protect their interests.

Source: USA Today, “Same old, same old and 6 other takeaways on Trump’s budget,” Ledyard King and Maureen Groppe, Feb. 12, 2018.

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