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Cotton, Rubio, and Hill Introduce Legislation to Save Social Security Disability Insurance from Bankruptcy

Written by Press Release

June 28, 2019

Contact Caroline Tabler or James Arnold (202) 224-2353

Washington, D.C. – Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida) introduced the Return to Work Act of 2019, legislation that will save Social Security Disability Insurance from bankruptcy. This bill would help Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries who can recover return to work, while also preserving the program’s long-term sustainability for the permanently disabled. Congressman French Hill (R-Arkansas) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“We shouldn’t resign people with treatable conditions to a lifetime of sitting on the sidelines. If they can get back to work, then by all means we should help them,” said Cotton. “That’s why we’ve got to fix this program so it takes into account people’s different capabilities. This will not only save the program, which is dangerously close to going bankrupt; It will save our aid for the people who need it most.”

“Social Security Disability Insurance is supposed to be a safety net for people who need it the most,” said Rubio. “However, rampant abuse, lax enforcement and insufficient accountability have enabled this program to grow unchecked, and has actually prevented many people from going back to work. The health of our national economy and strength of our communities depend on able-bodied Americans earning paychecks. This legislation represents a long overdue reform that takes care of working Americans and saves our social safety net for the truly disabled.”

“For too long, the success of well-intentioned federal programs has been determined by the growth of their funding and not by real-world outcomes,” said Hill. “After more than 60 years of existence, the SSDI program has morphed into a black hole of abuse and unaccountability that hurts disabled Americans and taxpayers. To ensure that SSDI supports those who need it most and promotes work for those willing and able, SSDI reforms are desperately needed. I’m proud to work with Senator Cotton on this commonsense bill to ensure the responsible stewardship of program funds and strengthen a valuable safety net for disabled Americans.”

Background

Social Security’s Disability Insurance program has grown more than six-fold from $20 to $137 billion (in 2012 dollars) since 1970. At the same time, the number of beneficiaries who leave the program to return to work has dropped from nearly six percent in 1982 to less than one half of one percent today. The Return to Work Act requires disability determiners to classify new beneficiaries based on whether medical improvement is expected. Beneficiaries who are expected to recover would be given a timeline and additional resources to obtain employment while on SSDI. These beneficiaries will also be able to re-apply if they have not recovered. Beneficiaries who are not expected to recover will have no timeline for program participation.

Original article source: http://www.cotton.senate.gov?p=press_release&id=1168 | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council

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