This comment was submitted by our founder, Jennifer Rosen Heinz, in response to the Trump Administration’s proposed new rule for the Social Security Administration to make it more difficult for people with disabilities to maintain their disability benefits.
The SSA will be accepting public comments on the proposed rule until January 30, 2020. We strongly urge you to leave your own comment as well. To do so, go to www.regulations.gov and in the search box, enter SSA-2018-0026 in the search box. Then, submit your comment. You will receive a confirmation number once it’s been received.
Please feel free to use these words as a diving off point for your comments if desired. Blanket permission granted only for the purpose of filing a public comment with the SSA. Read more about the proposed legislation here.
To Whom It May Concern:
I am a non-disabled taxpayer, and I recently read about the new rule being proposed by the SSA in regards to reviews of disability benefits.
From what I have read, you have not proven that there is actual need for this change in rule, and moreover, the $2 Billion in savings you’ve projected from the implementation of the rule will be almost completely wiped away by the costs of additional oversight.
For the party of smaller government, you sure do seem invested here in bulking up the federal government.
The test of good governance is always to ask: Whom does this new law or proposal benefit.
It certainly doesn’t benefit the disabled folks who rely on their benefits to survive. It doesn’t benefit them to have another hurdle in maintaining their already difficult-to-come-by benefits. (Seriously, have you even talked to disabled folks about what it took them to get disability in the first place, and what work it takes to maintain it? Why are we penalizing those least situated to deal with all this red tape?)
Does it benefit our society to have fewer people on disability? Well, if they need it to survive, no, it doesn’t benefit us. The burden shifts to families who are already struggling mightily to get by. It will cause a spike in homelessness and people showing up sicker in hospitals because they cannot keep up a minimum quality of life. It will certainly cause more deaths.
Does it benefit those in power, and if so, how? So if we’ve established that it’s not good for people with disabilities themselves, would have a deleterious effect on society as a whole, why would the government look to doing this? To employ more paper pushers at the expense of disabled folks’ survival? To prove to yourselves that people aren’t gaming the system? (There is very little proven disability fraud. We’ve already established it’s hard to get and hard to maintain.)
The only thing I’m left with is that the cruelty is the point. You would like to scare disabled folks away from trying to claim their rightful benefits because they cannot comply with an extraneous, wholly unnecessary level of scrutiny. Just as you’ve done with immigrants and refugees, you want to scare people away from seeking help, even if that means that they’ll get sicker. Even if it means they’ll die.
I condemn this proposed new regulation in the strongest possible terms. It is not necessary, not wanted, and it will do immense harm. I will do everything in my power to let others know about this and urge them to use their outside voices to speak out on behalf of those who most deserve our protection.
Jennifer Rosen Heinz