Another Trump Lie Set to Cut SSDI

Tim Canova
Chair, Progress For All 

President Donald Trump’s mocking of people with disabilities during the presidential campaign is now reflected in his 2018 budget that threatens to set back disability rights fifty years. His proposal strips away protections and slashes $64 billion over the next decade from the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI).

During the campaign, Mr. Trump claimed he was the only Republican candidate who would protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Let’s be clear, cuts to SSDI are cuts to Social Security.

At a recent press conference, Trump’s Budget Director Mick Mulvaney was asked, “Will any of those individuals who presently receive SSDI receive less as a result of the budget?” Mulvaney’s response, “I hope so.”  This, while the budget will reward the wealthiest individuals and corporations with billions of dollars in tax credits and subsidies?!

SSDI is insurance that workers earn with every paycheck, providing critical financial support for disabled workers and their families. As of December 2016, 10.61 million people relied on SSDI – 4.5 million men, 4.3 million women, 1.67 million dependent children, and 134,480 spouses of disabled workers.

The average SSDI benefit for a disabled worker is just $1,171 a month – about $14,000 a year. And for eight out of ten beneficiaries, SSDI is their only source of income. In fact, our meager disability payments place us 30th out of the 34 wealthy countries in the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).

As a result of these cuts, persons with disabilities could lose their healthcare, income for food assistance, housing, independent assisted living, and access to programs to help them with their special disabilities. Trump’s proposal also reduces SSDI benefits for families that include multiple people with disabilities, thereby threatening to push more people with disabilities and their families deeper into poverty. This new family penalty would affect more than 1 million households receiving SSDI, including roughly 190,000 households with children.

The Trump budget also calls for a reduction in federal special education spending and cuts to the U.S. Department of Labor’s’ Office of Disability Employment Policy Office, state developmental disability councils, autism programs, and medical research.

As a long-time activist and law professor, I have fought to expand and strengthen Social Security. For years I have worked with senior and disability groups to support the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Restoration Act of 2015, which would have helped many SSI recipients from having to struggle with homelessness, hunger and malnutrition. My opponent, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, refused to support this bill.

In his budget, President Trump and the GOP leadership are proposing hundreds of  billions of dollars in tax relief for the wealthiest CEOs and largest corporations in the country, the same people and corporations benefiting from trillions of dollars in federal contracts, subsidies, and tax credits, as well as low interest loans from the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, they seek to squeeze tens of billions of dollars from the SSDI program. Where is their humanity? We must hold them accountable for turning their backs on ordinary American citizens and the most vulnerable people in our society.  

Please spread the word far and wide. The stakes are too high to remain on the sidelines.

3 thoughts on “Another Trump Lie Set to Cut SSDI”

  1. Where is the humanity in this? We work hard for many years and SSDI and Medicare are supposed to be there when we need help and with hopes to be able to work again. I have had complex regional pain syndrome for over two years and pain management doctors won’t even see anyone until they have Medicare. This disease needs to be treated early within 3 months to 6 months with injections from a pain management doctor. This is critical for trying to stop this chronic pain. Instead by denying us the correct treatment we are pushed into disability.

  2. It is too wrong for our President to take away benifits that you already have taken away from some. We paid to the system wich was a law already. I can’t turn back and go back to work, ill die even faster and maybe of hunger because the president will cut what I earn for me and my children….I work just as hard as all Americans and we need that to live….First they want to take our homes now our money….Pay me all my interest at 399% just like we pay when we need a hard loan…lol!

  3. Yes there are those on the SSDI rolls who could work but in the rust belt got lawyers that know exactly how to work the system and get people on SSDI. I legitimately cannot work in any structured environment where I can’t go fetal for an hour at any time in a panic attack peceding a manic bipolar episode. I’ll have to draw until I’m 79 at 53 now as I paid the maximum for many year before I break even. Give me what I put in and I’ll disappear. That is MY money I PAID in out of my salary and if that SOB robs it from me and gives it to the rich. Well Karma is a bitch.

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