There has been a lot going on lately, which is why President Trump’s proposal to tighten disability benefits has gone under the radar. The proposal, titled “Rules Regarding the Frequency and Notice of Continuing Disability Reviews,” was published in November and is just now getting attention, thanks to disability activists.
Below is the proposal’s summary:
“We propose to revise our regulations regarding when and how often we conduct continuing disability reviews (CDR), which are periodic reviews of eligibility required for benefit continuation. The proposed rules would add a category to the existing medical diary categories that we use to schedule CDRs and revise the criteria for assigning each of the medical diary categories to cases. The proposed rules would also change the frequency with which we perform a CDR for claims with the medical diary category for permanent impairments. The revised changes would ensure that we continue to maintain appropriate stewardship of the disability program and identify medical improvement (MI) at its earliest point.”
Plainly speaking, if the proposal goes into effect, people receiving disability benefits would be under much more scrutiny. It would add another category to the qualification list and increase the frequency of continuing disability reviews (CDR).
While we're distracted by Trump's lawless attempt to drag us into war with Iran, his administration is quietly trying to strip disability benefits from tens of thousands of Americans. https://t.co/DIVKgWTIay— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 7, 2020
People who have been receiving benefits for years could have them taken away if they are determined non-eligible. What this means is thousands of Americans could have their benefits stripped away if this proposal passes.
On Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is running for president in 2020, addressed the proposal in two tweets.
As president, I will reverse this disastrous rule on day one of my presidency. Together, we will guarantee every person with a disability the right to live in the community with dignity and independence.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 7, 2020
Senator Elizabeth Warren, another presidential candidate, addressed disability rights, and President Trump’s threat to them, in a twitter thread:
People with disabilities are still fighting for economic security, equal opportunity, and inclusion—and they’re not fighting alone. As president, I'll partner with the disability community to combat ableism and fight for justice across all aspects of life. https://t.co/y9yk7wzwsF— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 2, 2020
A few people pointed out it would cost almost as much to strip benefits as it would to continue giving people access to their current benefits.
Donald Trump wants to spend $2 billion on administrative costs to strip $2 billion in disability benefits. Let that sink in for a moment.— James Kosur (@JamesKosur) January 8, 2020
The Trump administration wants to spend $1.8 billion on taking away $2 billion in benefits from disabled people https://t.co/Q7GRUmGwsQ— Bryce Covert (@brycecovert) January 7, 2020
Trump’s plan would rip $2 billion of SS benefits from Americans with disabilities - and cost nearly $2 billion to administer.— scott immordino (@ScottImmordino) January 7, 2020
That means itll deprive thousands of people of their hard earned benefits, while not even saving money. The cruelty is the point. https://t.co/Wevpe9C7Wx
Someone else highlighted that many United States veterans are recipients of disability benefits, contrasting President Trump’s support for the military.
#Trump claims KICKING PEOPLE OFF of DISABILITY will actually help them?— Michael O'Grady (@mog7546) January 7, 2020
For former soldiers, handicapped people and those facing terminal diseases, disability benefits can be crucial in helping them live their lives with dignity. #MOG#MAGA#Veterans
In the United States, one in four people live with a disability. One in three people with a disability do not have a healthcare provider and one in three do not utilize healthcare services because it is too expensive.
Every child with autism will lose their Social Security disability benefits. Every adult with developmental illness, mental illness and physical disabilities will be forced to prove their eligibility without access to Medicare. Trump wants to kill his own citizens. https://t.co/KZM5uZiZVy— Oligarchs Are What's For Dinner (@VV4Change) January 7, 2020