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Proposed federal budget puts Social Security Disability at risk

Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits provide an essential lifeline to millions of disabled Americans of all ages. Since the definition of "disabled" is so strict, applicants have to go through a lengthy and stringent approval process. Many wait months or years for their benefits to start after going through unfair denials and finally getting a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

Why make keeping those benefits any harder?

The current presidential administration has proposed a budget for fiscal year 2021 that cuts deeply into the Social Security program -- but only where disability recipients are concerned. Likely wary of angering the nation's retirees with cuts to that part of the program, the administration instead takes aim at a part of the population that is already somewhat disenfranchised and often too ill to devote time and energy to protests.

How deep are the proposed cuts? The new budget aims to cut $45 billion from Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) through more frequent Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) that force disability recipients -- including those who may have just gotten their benefits approved within the last year -- to submit new paperwork and new medical information to (once again) prove that they're sick enough to need benefits.

The federal deficit has been spiraling higher than ever in the last few years, but cutting benefits from the most vulnerable part of the population isn't the answer. Instead, experts suggest that it would be smarter to raise the cap on payroll taxes or look for other ways to balance out the problems Social Security may have. Disability applicants and recipients are already bearing too heavy a burden.

With the current political climate, you can expect it to get even harder to gain approval for a Social Security Disability claim. Don't take chances: Hire an attorney to help with your application process.

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