As you continue your work in Congress and consider policies that will improve our country, one issue of concern to the members of Our Generation is solving the “fiscal cliff” that our country is about to experience. This situation is due to years of irresponsible spending. Economic experts agree that a bold, no-nonsense, across-the-board federal discretionary spending freeze is the only realistic and fair emergency plan to stop reckless spending and reduce the huge budget deficits that are bankrupting our country.
Aside from a federal spending freeze, when looking for ways to reduce costs of entitlement programs, SSDI is ripe for reform. You may be interested to know that 5.9% of working age Americans are receiving some form of disability benefit, either SSDI or Supplemental Security Income; the disability rolls amount to more than the 8.7 million person population of New York City. This number has risen sharply over the last 20 years and is only expected to go up over the course of the next few years. Moderate reforms to the way the SSDI program is administered could save roughly $50 billion annually by 2030, enough to erase around 11 percent of the total Social Security long-term total deficit.
I have attached a copy of a study that Our Generation issued which proposes the following common sense reforms to the Social Security Disability insurance program:
· Tighten eligibility requirements and conduct Continuing Disability Reviews of existing beneficiaries to reassess their disability status;
· Include greater oversight power for Social Security Administration by administrative law judges who make SSDI decisions;
· Add “experience rating” for disability payroll taxes so employers keep individuals with disabilities on the job and rewarded with lower taxes, while those who shift workers onto SSDI will pay more; and
· Require employers to carry private disability insurance to cover benefits for a short period until SSDI takes over.
The rising costs of entitlement programs like Social Security Disability Insurance threaten seniors and the financial security of the whole country. Adding some commonsense cost controls is an easy and effective way can save taxpayers billions.
Our Generation is a non-partisan, nonprofit grassroots citizens group, dedicated to improving the lives of senior citizens through awareness and advocacy. I hope you find the above information useful and consider our viewpoints as you continue to serve in the U.S. Congress.