Over the last few weeks, much of the discussion on Capitol Hill has been dedicated to the launch of the Affordable Care Act website and its many technical issues. While this is undoubtedly an incredibly important story, there is another news story that has managed to go relatively unnoticed, but which adversely affected the Social Security Disability benefits of millions of Americans.
Earlier this month, a 13.6 percent increase in food stamp benefits that was contained in the 2009 stimulus bill officially expired, meaning people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program saw their monthly allocation drop by $20.
What exactly does this have to do with the millions of Americans who receive SSD benefits?
In October, the Social Security Administration announced that starting in 2014, every single recipient of Social Security -- from the disabled to the retired -- would see the amount of their monthly check increase by 1.5 percent (i.e., $15), a move meant more to offset inflation than actually increase the amount of benefits.
The problem here, say experts, is that there are currently millions of people here in the U.S. that receive both food stamps and SSD benefits. To illustrate, consider that in 2011 alone, the most recent year for which a complete data set is available, there were eight million people who received both types of benefits.
Here, the presumed benefit offered by the $15 cost of living adjustment to SSD benefits for these people will effectively be negated by the $20 food stamp cut.
"Twenty bucks a month might not seem like much, but that makes a big difference when you go to the store," said one woman who is suffering from fibromyalgia and a host of other health issues that ultimately cost her both her business and her home.
It remains to be seen what steps, if any, the federal government will take to address this issue ...
In the meantime, if you believe that you have been wrongly denied SSD benefits, consider speaking with an experienced attorney dedicated to securing the assistance you need and deserve.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Food stamp cut wipes out some Americans' Social Security increases," Arthur Delaney, Nov. 11, 2013