If you're a regular follower of our blog, then you probably already know about the potential crisis facing the Social Security Disability trust fund. For those who are less aware, the issue at hand is the fact that Congress for months has known that the disability trust will run out sometime next year. This has left lawmakers scrambling to find a resolution that will maintain the integrity of the benefits system with minimal impact to beneficiaries.
Although a number of solutions have been put forward, including merging the disability fund with the old age fund, some lawmakers believe that the answer is to help disabled workers rejoin the workforce. This is why it was proposed and approved in the 2016 House budget that people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance should no longer be able to collect unemployment insurance as well.
While some policymakers believe the new budget will encourage people to join the workforce and to not be so reliant on their disability benefits for the brunt of their income, others believe something else will happen. According to some, denying access to unemployment insurance could create an immense financial strain on those too disabled to rejoin the workforce, pushing them further into poverty.
My severing access to unemployment benefits, the House is putting disabled workers across the nation, including here in New Jersey, at a disadvantage financially. In many cases, a person may need to choose between paying their bills versus receiving necessary treatments for their condition. As many of our West Caldwell readers would agree, this would be doing a huge disservice to people with disabilities who have just as much of a right to have financial security as a non-disabled person.
Source: The Center for American Progress, "Cutting Social Security Disability Insurance Won’t Help Anyone Go Back to Work," Rebecca Vallas, April 14, 2015