Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 15, 2014 - Lawmakers are desperate to put a dent in the national deficit.
On Capitol Hill, both Democrats and Republicans are searching for potential areas to cut spending or increase revenue. One such idea has Social Security disability advocates particularly uneasy.
Under the proposal, those who collect unemployment benefits would become ineligible for disability payments.
While the federal budget deficit has narrowed a bit this February (compared to the same month last year), it still stands at $193.5 billion. The suggestion to eliminate disability payments to those who collect unemployment benefits appeared in President Obama’s latest proposed budget.
“The impetus to find creative ways to cut spending and reduce the federal deficit gained momentum with the onset of the federal sequester,” said David Magann, a prominent Social Security disability attorney in Tampa, Florida. “However, this idea unfairly targets those who already face a tough task finding employment due to their disabilities. And that fact has been compounded by a less-than-robust economy.”
Lawmakers estimate that the proposal would save $3.2 billion over 10 years. As the law stands now, disabled beneficiaries, whose average monthly benefit was about $1,130 per month in 2013, are allowed to earn up to an additional $1,070 per month in wages. The average unemployment benefit is $1,200.
Theoretically, the reform would prevent people from collecting both benefits during the same time frame. Supporters argue that the two benefits are opposite sides of the same coin, and receipt of one should disqualify eligibility for the other. Some have dubbed the practice of collecting both payments “double-dipping.”
However, the proposal has also faced blowback from a number of groups, so it remains to be seen if it will survive.
“It uniquely burdens the disabled among all workers, and it sets a terrible precedent of raiding Social Security to pay for other social programs,” wrote a coalition of disabled advocacy groups in a letter to Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
David W. Magann, P.A.
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175
4012 Gunn Highway #165
Tampa, Florida 33618