Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

Flat Rate For Disability Recipients?

Posted by John Kuhnlein | Oct 06, 2015 | 0 Comments

Rachel Greszler of the Heritage Foundation thinks she has a way to improve Social Security disability.  Her idea is to pay everyone who gets SSDI that same amount. This would be whatever it takes to keep such beneficiaries above the poverty line.  For 2015, that would amount to $981.00. Ms. Greszler sees several benefits to her proposal in addition to keeping the disabled out of poverty. She thinks her plan would eventually reduce and then eliminate the funding shortfall for the program.  Greszler goes so far as to posit that giving everyone the same benefit amount would allow Congress to reduce the amount of payroll taxes that fund SSDI.  She believes that this would make the deduction a flat tax because no matter how much you pay in payroll taxes, you would get the same benefit. Ms. Greszler thinks that people would take the extra money in their paychecks and buy private disability insurance.
I suspect that Ms. Greszler's reasons for fixing the benefit amount have less to do with math than with social engineering. Ms. Greszler believes, for example, that if the benefit amount were fixed at the poverty line, fewer people would apply for benefits. Here we arrive at the core of the matter: keeping those damn moochers from getting more free stuff from the government. That is really what Ms. Greszler is getting at, regardless of what terms she couches the argument in.  But is her proposal fair?  Why should disabled people with high earnings be limited to a poverty-line benefits? Is she proposing to do the same with Social Security retirement benefits. If not, why not? Does she sincerely believe that people who can barely pay the rent are going to buy private disability insurance? Also, she must live in a different world than I do if she thinks Congress would reduce the payroll taxes for any reason. Keep in mind, the Federal government is spending every last dime of payroll withholding as it comes in. You really think Congress is going to reduce that amount? Note, also, that there is a disability program that pays the same rate to every beneficiary: SSI.  That is only paying $730 a month at present.  Is Ms. Greszler prepared to bump all the SSI recipients up to $981.00? Probably not.  I give her credit for pondering the state of SSDI. But, like too many of her ilk, the desire to punish the poor and disabled is the primary goal of her reforms.  When you start with that as a goal, it is unlikely you will arrive at anything workable, reasonable, or fair. 

Rachel Greszler Article.

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.

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