New Bill Introduced: Social Security Administration Act

The biggest challenge for those who are trying to access Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, to  help replace their wages because of their inability to work based on their medical condition, is that there is a huge backlog of applications and appeals. A recent report found that individuals must wait more than 600 days for a Social Security Disability appeals decision. Last year alone, 10,000 people died and thousands more lost their homes or declared bankruptcy while waiting on a disability decision.

The second biggest challenge, is that once individuals qualify for benefits, they face a five-month waiting period before they can actually receive benefits.

And, the third greatest challenge, is that once individuals receive access to the financial benefits of SSDI, they have to wait two years, before becoming eligible for health insurance coverage through Medicare.

On June 27th, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. John B. Larson (D-Conn.) introduced federal legislation to address these three problems. This bill gives the Social Security Administration the funding needed in order to provide these benefits in a timelier manner.

This legislation increases the funding for staff to be able to process applications and hear appeals. It implements a moratorium on all closures of field offices and contact stations. The bill also eliminates the five-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and the two-year waiting period to receive Medicare.

 

What Can You Do?

If you’re interested in becoming an empowered advocate, you can visit our Advocacy Resources pagefor more information on various advocacy topics and to find your elected officials.

You can contact your members of Congress to let them know how you feel about this bill.  You can even engage with them on social media. Find their social media handles here.

Triage Cancer also has an upcoming free webinar on July 25th: “Making Your Voice Heard: Legislative Advocacy.” You can register for this webinar here.

 

Samantha Skelton
ss@triagecancer.org