Position of the Disability Community:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are essential programs and funding must be fully protected.
If public officials want the disability vote:
Oppose cuts to SSDI and SSI.
SSDI currently serves 9 million people with disabilities between ages 18-64, and 2 million dependents. There should be no cuts to this program, which is essential for people with disabilities and qualifying dependents.
SSI benefits provide critical income support to families with children with disabilities. This money helps families keep children at home rather than in institutions. The current payout maximum for an individual receiving SSI is $750 per month. Even at these current levels, the majority of low-income families caring for more than one child with a disability struggles to pay for basic needs.
Oppose privatizing SSDI.
SSDI is an essential program for people with disabilities and funding for SSDI should not be tied to the volatility of private markets. This would leave people with disabilities vulnerable to market swings, which could affect their care, supports, and independence.
Support reducing the SSDI decision time.
SSDI judgement wait times have grown to unacceptable levels. The Washington Post reported in November 2017 that the national average wait time for a SSDI decision has ballooned to 596 days. This means record numbers of people are dying while waiting to receive care through SSDI. The Social Security Administration needs appropriate funding to reduce this backlog.
Oppose reducing SSDI retroactive benefits.
SSDI recipients are eligible for twelve months of retroactive benefits. The current White House budget proposes to cut this benefit in half. While waiting for the SSDI decision, the applicant is unable to work lest s/he be found ineligible for benefits. Twelve months of retroactive benefits should be maintained to lessen the financial hardship experienced by people with disabilities.
Additional Information and Resources:
- Public Policy Agenda for the 115th Congress 2017-18 – The Arc
- Fast Facts – Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Office of Enterprise Data and Analysis, Office of the Actuary
- SSI Federal Payment Amounts for 2018 – Social Security Administration
The Social Security section of the 2018 REV UP Issues Guide was published on June 25, 2018 and last updated on June 25, 2018. AAPD will do it’s best to keep this guide up-to-date as Executive and Legislative changes happen; however, we recommend double-checking Congress.gov, WhiteHouse.gov, or Google for the latest updates.