Here’s who we are not voting for, in any election: the man who says “over half the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts. Who doesn’t get up a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts.” That’s Rand Paul, the Republican Senator from Kentucky who hit the campaign trail today and is visiting New Hampshire with an eye to a presidential run in 2016. We bet he doesn’t even know how many disabled people have been denied disability insurance benefits and aren’t even counted by SSDI or the insurance companies.
Even before these disparaging remarks, which are offensive on so many levels, Republicans in Congress are now taking aim at Social Security and in particular reforms to the SS Disability Insurance program. This is nothing new, but what is new is the bad state of affairs of SSDI. The trust fund that supports SSDI is scheduled to run out of money in 2016. If Congress does nothing, those who are currently receiving SSDI may be facing a 19 percent benefit cut.
Note that we do NOT represent SS Disability Insurance matters. Our practice focuses on representing policy owners whose disability insurance is part of their employment benefits or who purchase their own policy privately. But many disability insurance claimants receive Social Security disability, usually because their insurance company requires them to file for a claim and deducts the amount paid from the benefits paid by the insurance company. It’s called an SS Offset and whether you like it or not, that’s how it works.
Rand’s attitude, that those collecting SSDI are scammers and malingerers, is a terrible judgment against hard working men and women who, through no fault of their own, cannot work. It’s a terrible example of a national attitude that our clients fight against every single day. “You don’t look disabled,” is our favorite comment. The fact that some of our clients can barely drag themselves out into public on a good day, and do the best they can to put on a normal appearance when they are in public, does not mean they are not disabled.
Congress is setting its sights on Social Security Disability Insurance, with some tricky moves. How about this: according to the Huffington Post, the House of Representatives, led by Republicans, approved an internal rule last week that will prevent the House from considering any reallocation to fund the disability program that would not also reform Social Security. Given the massive political impact that any changes to Social Security will have, funding for SSDI is almost certainly in the cross-hairs of Congress.
If you are considering filing a claim and your policy includes a Social Security offset, or if you are on claim and think that your disability insurance company is considering terminating your claim, call our office today at 877-LTD-CLAIM (877-583-2524) to find out how we can help protect your disability insurance benefits.