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How will the proposed SSDI/SSI rule change affect you?

The Trump administration recently proposed a new Social Security rule change that may well negatively impact you if you currently receive Social Security Disability Insurance, known as SSDI, or Supplemental Security Income, known as SSI. An article in The Philadelphia Inquirer explained how this rule change will likely knock millions of people off the SSDI/SSI roles.

As you likely already know, you currently can receive SSDI benefits if you worked for a minimum of 10 years but now cannot work due to physical and/or mental impairment. You can receive SSI benefits if you qualify as a low-income person with physical or mental impairment, whether or not you ever held a job. Approximately 8.5 million people currently receive SSDI benefits and approximately 8 million people, many of them children, currently receive SSI benefits.

Disability review categories

All SSDI/SSI recipients must undergo periodic disability reviews based on which of the following three categories they fall into:

  1. Medical Improvement Not Expected – every 5-7 years
  2. Medical Improvement Expected – every 6-18 months
  3. Medical Improvement Possible – at least every three years

These categories help SSA personnel determine whether or not you still qualify for the benefits you receive.

Proposed new category

Once implemented, the new rule change would add a fourth category: Medical Improvement Likely. Critics estimate that over half of the current SSDI/SSI beneficiaries could get switched into this new category. If you become one of them, you will undergo reviews every two years.

Critics claim that the purpose of the new rule and category is to drastically reduce the number of SSDI/SSI recipients. How? Disability review often entails not only considerable time, but also considerable documentation and paperwork on your part. Critics fear that the biannual reviews will put benefit recipients in the untenable position of constantly having to prove their continuing SSDI/SSI eligibility with ever-increasing amounts of technical evidence.