Jan 9, 2015

How Does GOP Pass A Bill Cutting Social Security Disability?

     To clarify something I posted yesterday, I don't really think it's possible that the House of Representatives will end the Lump Sum Death Payment (LSDP) in order to allow transfers from the Retirement to the Disability Trust Fund. That would work under the rules they just passed but, no, even though ending the LSPD makes perfect sense -- the payments are so tiny they it probably costs more to administer them than is actually paid out -- Republicans would never end the LSDP because they're afraid of being accused of cutting Social Security. And there's the problem for Republicans. If they're afraid of being accused of cutting Social Security if they end the LSDP, a tiny benefit that ought to be eliminated, won't they be afraid they'll be accused of cutting Social Security if they really cut Social Security disability benefits? No doubt they tell themselves that Social Security disability isn't "really" Social Security but do they "really" believe that? More important, do voters "really" believe that? I'm pretty sure that if Republicans cut Social Security disability they'll see campaign ads run against them for cutting Social Security. They can tell everyone that didn't "really" cut Social Security since Social Security disability isn't "really" Social Security. They can also claim that Social Security disability is full of fraud (even though the evidence shows that isn't true) but that's not likely to help. So, how are Republicans really going to pass a bill cutting Social Security disability?I have no idea.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Even if the Republicans do pass a bill gutting SSDI, wouldn't Obama just veto it?

Anonymous said...

The rule requires the the "combined" OASDI trust fund finances improve and does not say by how much. So:
1. They don't have to cut SSDI at all. They could cut on the retirement side only. Say with chained CPI. All benefit cut options are unpopular, but the arguments on the retirement side (only reduce benefits for rich people) don;t really work on the disability side.
2.Very minor changes in DI policy can satisfy the rule. Funding more CDRs. Funding more anti-fraud activities. Any thing that saves more than it costs to administer improves OASDI finances and would leave benefits untouched (it would reduce the number of people receiving benefits but only by applying current rules to people who there is currently no budget to apply them to).
3. Legislation that reallocates taxs from OASI and extends DI solvency by about 6 months would most likely satisfy the rule and would move insolvency to well into 2017 when there will be a new congress and President.
4. The rule does not prohibit inter-fund borrowing.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing to me how hate or dislike for immigration reform could lead so many poor rural white voters and very few people of color to elect a republican majority who will ultimately injure them(poor rural white voters).

Anonymous said...

There is a very practical reason to keep the death benefit. What happens in the real world is that funeral homes make certain there is an application for the benefits as a part of them getting paid. Social Security gets the information to help keep its beneficiary rolls accurate. The practical benefits to Social Security outweigh the cost of administering the benefit.

Anonymous said...

The funeral homes do not apply for the death benefit. My wife passed away two years ago. I paid for her funeral arrangements and assumed that the death benefit was part of that package. Several months later I visited the Social Security office to apply for my Medicare, take care of my son's benefits and inquire about Widowers Benefits. The SSA worker asked me if I wanted to apply for the death benefit. He also told me that SSA does not take assignments from the funeral homes anymore.

Anonymous said...

SSA stopped allowing funeral homes to get the death benefit years ago. It would help stop fraud if reinstated

Anonymous said...

I agree with 8:15. Reinstating the LSDP to funeral homes is another way of reducing fraud. Read the OIG reports and see just how many cases and how big the overpayment there are for checks issued after death fraud.

Anonymous said...

Both my husband and I are disabled. We would lose a total of $6000 a year in combined benefits with a 20% reduction in our disability benefits. We both worked and paid into the system. We both earned over $30,000 a year. I receive $1000 a year, my husband $20,000. He was disabled in 1997 from a work injury at age 33. We have managed to cut back and struggle to keep our home. Rent is not cheaper than our house payments. If we didn't have to pay property taxes in WI, we could eat better! I am afraid of the Republicans holding us hostage to get the Social Security changed to private retirement investments. Funny how Democrats are worried about the 11 million illegals but the 11 million disabled don't get the attention from the democrats that the illegals do! I live in fear of what is going to happen. Waiting for retirement is scary too as when we are old enough to retire and our disability turns into retirement, that will be reduced or gone too!

Anonymous said...

"Funny how Democrats are worried about the 11 million illegals but the 11 million disabled don't get the attention from the democrats that the illegals do"

That statement and overall tone help support my previous comment above.

Democrats care about the poor and working poor.

A majority of republican voters are white,and many are poor but elected a majority republican house and congress because they hate hispanics,especially those here illegally.

And now they will suffer financially from republican program cuts the same as blacks,latinos and others.

Anonymous said...

They don't have to cut Social Security Disability payments. They need to get rid of Supplemental Security Income benefits which has nothing to do with Social security and is a Federal welfare program. Nothing needs to be done to the programs people have contributed into. The change needs to be to the welfare programs. I don't think this would hurt the Republicans at all if the truth were exposed.

Dean Reese said...

I was wondering how this would work and how they're able to do that. I think you explained it very well and made it really easy to understand. I'll have to look more into this and see what the plan is now. I'd also love to learn what Republicans are going to do. It's going to be really interesting to see! http://www.duncandisabilitylaw.com/services.html