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New disability proposal would send some back to work

Citing the fact that the Social Security Disability program has grown exponentially over the last few decades, a few federal lawmakers are proposing a law that would use both incentives and time limits to get some Charlotte, North Carolina, residents who are disabled to look for a job and try to get off the program's payroll.

The lawmakers who made this proposal repeat the often-cited concern that the Social Security program is approaching insolvency. Indeed, the program has gone from costing $20 billion in 1970 to costing $137 billion today. Furthermore, recipients of disability benefits tend not to return to work once they start drawing benefits. In 1982, almost 6 percent of recipients eventually went back to work; that number is less than half of 1 percent today.

The proposal in question would add a requirement mandating those in charge of determining whether a person is disabled to also make a decision about how likely it is for a person to recover from the disabling condition enough to return to work.

While those who have no realistic hope of improvement would be able to draw benefits indefinitely, others who have better prognoses would be under a time limit after which they would have to apply for benefits again. On the flip side, these people would be provided with resources meant to help them get a job they would be able and qualified to do.

Those in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area who either are on or are thinking of applying for disability benefits should pay attention as this proposal makes its way through Congress.

Source: Financial Regulation News, "Return to Work Act seeks to put limits on Social Security Disability Insurance," March 20, 2017

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  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice Protecting People’s rights
  • NOSSCR National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives
  • American Association for Justice formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America ATLA
  • ABA American Bar Association
  • NOVA
  • North Carolina State Bar
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