May 23, 2017

Don't Get Excited But Trump Wants $72 Billion In "Disability" Cuts

     The White House budget proposal for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, which begins on October 1, 2017, is due out at 11:00 today. The New York Times is reporting that the budget includes $72 billion in cuts for "disability." I have no idea what this means other than that it would be over 10 years. 
     All reports indicate that this budget proposal is outlandish even by the standards of the preposterous Trump administration. There is every reason to believe it will have almost no influence on what Congress actually does.
     Update: This is from Vox:
The budget would also cut $72.5 billion over 10 years to programs for disabled people, including Social Security Disability Insurance (violating Trump’s promise to not cut Social Security benefits) and Supplemental Security Income, which provides support for desperately poor disabled and elderly people without enough earnings to qualify for poverty-level Social Security benefits.
The biggest disability cut is vaguely labeled, “Test new approaches to increase labor force participation,” implying that the budget will require that SSDI test a number of new approaches to get beneficiaries back into the workforce. It budgets $100 million a year in the first five years for testing, but then assumes that the approaches they choose will save more than $49 billion in the final five.
We don’t know what exact measures will be introduced to try to promote work. But many ideas that would increase work among disabled Americans — like increased access to long-term supports and services, subsidized jobs, more funding for vocational rehab programs, and a partial disability benefit available for those who can work part time — would cost more money to the federal government, not less.


Anonymous said...

Many such initiatives have similarly been pushed by new Administrations in the past, and most, if not all, have failed with millions of dollars of taxpayers money used to promote the initiatives wasted. The reason is because the vast majority of SSA Disability recipients are, indeed, disabled and unable to engage in any SGA on a sustained basis. Those who might be able to perform some sort of part-time work often cannot meet a regular schedule or a set routine because of their health conditions, and most employers adamantly refuse to reasonably accommodate such individuals, even when the nature of the work is such that it can be performed at home, or flexibly, without causing an undue burden.

Unless, or until, employers are legally mandated to provide reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities, and some sort of an impartial panel legally established to decide what is, and is not, an undue burden for an employer, I do not believe this is realistic. We all know SSA has a horrible reputation when it comes to providing reasonable accommodations for applicants, or even its own longstanding successful employees who develop a disability. If SSA cannot set an example for employers, they certainly cannot expect other employers to do so.

Further, the SSA laws and Regs disincentive disability recipients from trying to work in any type of capacity because they know any such attempts to work, successful or unsuccessful, can and will be used against them in the event SSA tries to cease their disability benefits.

The undeniable best way to recoup and save taxpayers money SSA could and should do is to address and get rid of the Administrative waste the Agency incurs by employing unnecessary layers upon layers of management with individuals who are paid extremely high salaries, some whose functions overlap, or are duplicative of others, etc. There is a great deal of cow towing and unnecessary huge sums of money spent on these high level managers, e.g., ridiculously high monetary bonuses; unearned promotions further up the ladder to even higher salaried positions; spending millions of taxpayers money to relocate an entire Hearings Office solely to appease one such official who violated due process rights of numerous successful career SSA employees, etc. What's truly disturbing in this realm is the OMB Director, Mick Mulvaney, is leaving the budget cutting decisions squarely in the hands of these very high level Agency officials who will obviously not look among themselves when making such budget cutting decisions.

Anonymous said...

cruelty resulting from rampant greed

Anonymous said...

No need for HODs when GSs do all the work