Feb 17, 2015

Rep. Johnson Introduces Bill

     Sam Johnson, the Chairman of the House Social Security Subcommittee, has introduced a bill that would prevent a person from receiving both unemployment insurance benefits and Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits at the same time. The President has included the same proposal in his budget for the next fiscal year. That sounds great to many people. However, there are a few problems.
  • All but two states limit unemployment insurance to 26 weeks or less. There's a five month waiting period for Disability Insurance Benefits. You do the math.
  • Many, perhaps most, states already reduce unemployment insurance due to the receipt of Disability Insurance Benefits, leading to the possibility of a double offset.
  • A high percentage of Disability Insurance Benefits recipients also get Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI benefits are already reduced due to the receipt of unemployment benefits, leading to the possibility of a double or even triple offset.
     The potential savings from this proposal are trivial. My guess is that it will be difficult to draft a bill that doesn't cause double or even triple offsetting of benefits. Even if you can get a bill drafted, implementing it will probably cost more than it can save. Other than these problems, it's a great idea.

11 comments:

Dan Smith said...

You could also say that it's insufficiently tailored and paints all applicants with a wide brush. For instance, the classic UC/SSD contradiction isnt present in cases based on the Medical-Vocational Guidelines. I've often argued successfully that such individuals can logically claim that are ready,willing, and able to work at any of the unskilled sed (or light at 55+) without negating their overall qualification for SSD

Anonymous said...

Sure, if you understand the Grids or SSD regulations in general, a person can correctly claim both UE and SSD. But I think this allows certain politicians to say they're "reforming" SSD because this proposal makes sense to the public on its face. This would have been a much bigger issue in the last couple of years. But now that most people have gone past their extensions, we see less clients who are eligible for UE while their SSD claims are pending. My hope is that by nibbling around the edges with proposals like this one and the proposed submission of evidence changes, they'll back away from the more extreme ideas that were floated out which would be a big deal.

Anonymous said...

Be careful what you wish for. If you seriously think arguing "well the GRID rules say my 50 y/o client is disabled even though he's ready, willing, and able to work" don't you think the logical response by congress would/should be well then the GRID rules need to be abolished? The GRID rules solely exist because of the ridiculous belief that that no sedentary jobs exist for a 50 y/o to do. Or no light jobs exist for a 55 y/o to do. Everyone, even you reps, know that the rules were ridiculous when created, and even more so today, where nearly every single job has lifting requirements of less than 5 pounds, and stand/walk of essentially 0 hours.

argue this poibt at your peril...

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the proposed submission of evidence changes, I'd be okay with it being 3 days before hearing with ALJs having the power to extend for good cause.

ALJs I talk too say they often are so busy they don't even review the file until 3 or sometimes 1 day before the hearing anyway.

But if it is going to be 10 days then the Notice of Hearing needs to go out much earlier, say 90 days before hearing rather than 20.

Anonymous said...

"where nearly every single job has lifting requirements of less than 5 pounds, and stand/walk of essentially 0 hours."
WHAT PLANET are you on? Obviously you have no grip on reality at all..

Anonymous said...

at 11:44

let's give a perfect example:

envelope stuffer.

This job SHOULD be categorized as unskilled and less than sedentary, as it can be performed by someone in a wheelchair. 0 hours of standing/walking. lifting less than 5 pounds. But the horrific DOT has it categorized as light (????) and semi-skilled (????. As long as you can read, and have no manipulative limitations, it could be done for 8 hours/day by an 80 year old.

Anonymous said...

I don't see envelope stuffer in the DOT. Besides, how do the envelopes get to the stuffer? How much does a box of envelopes weigh? Where does the stuff that goes in the envelope come from? What happens to the stuffed envelopes? Isn't repetitvely putting things into an envelope tiring after awhile? I think you are underestimating the difficulty of this job, supposing there are actual jobs where stuffing envelopes is the only part of the job.

Anonymous said...

Repetitively processing disability claims is tiring after a while, requires little or no standing, no measurable lifting and based on recent hires, I'd say may not even include needing a high school diploma or basic reading and writing skills...

Anonymous said...

He introduced a similar bill, H.R. 1502, back in 2013 that didn't go anywhere.

That bill legally equated receipt of unemployment benefits with performance of SGA. Which, of course, has lots of ramifications into work incentive programs beyond simply preventing "double dipping".

The text for the new pending legislation, H.R. 918, isn't available yet. However, I suspect that it will be similar in nature to the prior offering (most politicians, after all, frequently engage in mental recycling as they never have more than a handful of original thoughts in their lifetimes) and will go beyond a simple offset of benefits.

Anonymous said...

Re: envelope stuffer.

So, How does the 80 year old envelope stuffer get to the envelope stuffing factory? (wherever that imaginary place is)
Perhaps he can't drive due to weakness in his legs (for numerous possible reasons) If the 80 year old envelope stuffer has say spine problems and can't sit or stand for extended periods of time how can he perform this task? If the spine issues or arthritis in his neck or hands make him unable to perform fine motor movements in his hands how does he grasp the paper and envelopes?

All valid questions with only one possible answer.. He can't.

Anonymous said...

Since an 80 year old can't qualify for disability payments, I think the whole thing is irrelevant. Now, the 55 year old that can't drive to the envelope stuffing factory for a laborious and repetitive job, but can somehow drive to get lottery tickets and the driving range....now that's relevant.