Imagine this: You develop a serious condition that’s disabling, chronic and progressive. You know that you’ll never get better, so it’s a huge relief when you qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) and the related medical benefits.
But your relief doesn’t last for long. A mere two years after you start getting benefits, you’re asked to prove — again — that your condition is disabling. A mistake in the process — even a missing letter from your doctor — and you’re suddenly told that you no longer disabled and your benefits are about to be cut off.
For many people, this scenario was a reality back in the early 1980s after the Reagan administration made changes to the way that Social Security Disability benefits were handled. As a result, around half a million disabled people lost their benefits despite having conditions like cerebral palsy, cancer, Down’s syndrome and other devastating conditions that certainly had not improved. Some of those people died from their illnesses. Others committed suicide in despair.
Ultimately 18 states refused to participate in the purging of the disability program, and Congress ended the policy entirely in 1984 with a unanimous vote — something that rarely happens.
Well, there’s a famous saying that goes, “Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it,” and that seems to be what’s happening now. The government, once again, is talking about cuts to the Social Security Disability program. If the new plan is implemented, disabled beneficiaries would be forced to constantly re-prove the severity of their condition.
This seems counterintuitive and unproductive when the current approval process for disability benefits is already so arduous and flawed. Even worse, such a plan is likely to cost as much (or more) in labor than it ever saves in benefits.
As hard as it is to get approved for Social Security Disability benefits already, it could get harder. Find out how an experienced attorney can help you through this process.