Action Alert – Protect Access to Social Security Benefits!

January 10, 2020

The Social Security Administration has proposed new rules that would require most people receiving disability benefits, including SSI, to prove disability every two years. This would put more than two million people at risk of losing benefits over 10 years.  Two million people with severe disabilities who can’t work could lose the benefits they rely upon to survive.

This proposed rule would hurt people with disabilities.

  • Cut $2.6 Billion from the disability safety net over the next decade.
  • Increase wait times. The system is already overburdened – people who cannot work and desperately need benefits often wait over two years for hearings. The proposed rule would dramatically increase the number of reviews, further delaying support for people with disabilities.
  • Increase erroneous termination of benefits. The Social Security Administration makes mistakes. The new rule would increase the number of people who are unlawfully and unfairly denied benefits and must enter into a lengthy appeal process.
  • Increase the number of people without legal representation. Individuals who are in need of representation often go unaided already. This new rule will only compound the problem and leave these vulnerable individuals even more exposed.
  • Force people with disabilities to complete a time consuming and stressful process every two years. 
  • Increase administrative costs by $1.8 billion over 10 years.

You can take action today to protect access to social security benefits for people with disabilities.

1. Submit Comments to Social Security. 

Social Security is collecting comments on the new rules until January 31, 2020.  Your voice and your experience matter. Click here to submit a comment. Below is some sample language, but remember, your comment will be stronger if you personalize it with your own experiences and message.

You can also use this easy comment site.

Dear Social Security Commissioner Saul:

I am writing about the proposed Social Security rule that would make most people getting disability benefits prove that they continue to be disabled two years.  I am very worried about the rule.  I do not think it should go forward.

It can be very hard to get disability benefits.  For some people it takes years, and it is a stressful and time consuming process.  More frequent disability reviews will create additional burdens for people with disabilities who cannot work and are struggling with income insecurity.

Even worse, Social Security often makes mistakes when reviewing disability, meaning there is an even greater chance that people who qualify for benefits will lose their benefits and will go without the help they need.  And pushing more people into disability reviews will slow down the system for everyone.

The new rule will put more than two million people at risk of losing benefits over the next ten years.  This rule will hurt people with disabilities.  Please do not go forward with the rule.

Sincerely,

2. Contact Your Congressperson.

Ask your Congressional Representative to look into the new rules.  Click here to contact your Congressperson.

Dear Congressperson ___Last Name___,

I am writing about the proposed Social Security rule that would make most people getting disability benefits prove that they have disabilities every two years.  Please tell Social Security that it should not go forward with the rule.

It can be very hard to get disability benefits.  For some people it takes years, and it is a stressful and time consuming process.  More frequent disability reviews will create additional burdens for people with disabilities who cannot work and are struggling with income insecurity.

Even worse, Social Security often makes mistakes when reviewing disability, meaning there is an even greater chance that people who qualify for benefits will be denied and will go without the help they need.  And pushing more people into disability reviews will slow down the system for everyone.

The new rule will cut almost two million people off of disability benefits over the next ten years.  This rule would hurt people with disabilities.  Please work with Social Security to make sure that the rule does not go forward.

Sincerely,

3. Spread the Word

Social Security needs to hear from as many people as possible about the new rules.  Please share this page with your friends and colleagues, and on social media.

Additional Resources

Video by our colleagues at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia

 

Another Disability Disaster in the Making (New York Times)

The Trump administration has just declared war on Social Security (Salon)

#NoSocialSecurityCuts (Matthew Cortland)

Everything You Need to Know about a New Rule to Review Disability Benefit Eligibility More Frequently (Community Legal Services of Philadelphia)

Social security disability benefits: What Trump’s proposed cuts could mean for recipients (Tennessean)

Trump administration proposes Social Security rule changes that could cut off thousands of disabled recipients (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

The Trump Administration Has a New Stealth Approach to Kicking People Off Disability (Talk Poverty)

#NoSocialSecurityCuts Twitter Chat Recap

CCD Outline for Organizational Comments

Submitted Comments

Comments from the Center for Public Representation

Comments from the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities

Comments from the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives 

 

Do you live in Massachusetts and need help applying for Social Security benefits or appealing denials? Click here to get help today.