The Trump administration’s proposal would add another layer of complexity to the process of obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
If implemented, the rule change would require people categorized by the federal government as Step 5 recipients—typically older individuals with serious physical ailments or mental illness—and others to re-prove their benefit eligibility every two years.
Critics and policy experts warned that the goal of imposing more onerous eligibility requirements on disabled Social Security recipients is to slash people’s benefits. An estimated 4.4 million people would be subject to the new requirement if the Trump administration’s proposal takes effect, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Alex Lawson, executive director of progressive advocacy group Social Security Works, wrote in an op-ed last week that “there is no justification for this policy.”
“The United States already has some of the strictest eligibility criteria for disability benefits in the world,” wrote Lawson. “More than half of all claims are denied.”
Lawson urged members of the public to call their elected officials and leave a comment on the Trump administration’s proposal because “if they are allowed to get away with this attack, it will be only the beginning.”
“They want to destroy every part of Social Security, including retirement benefits, and turn it over to their criminal friends on Wall Street. We must stop Trump’s plan,” Lawson said. “If we let the politicians in Washington, D.C., take away some people’s earned benefits, it means they can take away all of our earned benefits.”
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