The Social Security Administration (SSA) often gets targeted in politics because some groups consistently see the disability programs as overly wasteful — even though the vast majority of applicants don’t get approved, and the rest are subject to strict limitations. However, if the current federal administration’s 2020 budget gets approved as planned, Social Security Disability (SSD) applicants may again feel the pinch of cutbacks.
Instead of targeting the flaws in the system that keep legitimately disabled individuals from receiving much-needed benefits for months and years while they wait on an approval, the budget will actually target those who are eventually approved for disability. Essentially, it would penalize them for waiting to file a claim by reducing the number of retroactive payments they are currently due.
Under the current rules, if you qualify for SSD, you are already subject to a five-month waiting period prior to eligibility for benefits. However, you can wait up to 17 months after the onset of your disability and still receive up to a year’s retroactive payments of monthly benefits (17 months minus the five months you’re required to wait on a check in the first place). If the new budget rolls through, that retroactive payment will be limited to only six months.
Many disabled people struggle along for a significant period of time before they file disability benefits — often hoping that they’ll recover. It can sometimes take a year just for someone to try several different forms of medication and therapy in order to understand that their condition is likely permanent. It seems incredibly unfair to penalize the disabled for waiting to file until after they’ve exhausted their other options.
If you’re disabled, don’t take chances with your future. The Social Security Disability process is complex and difficult to endure. Talk to an experienced attorney to get help with your claim.