Center for American Progress

Don’t Cut Benefits for Disabled Americans Returning to Work

Don’t Cut Benefits for Disabled Americans Returning to Work

Proposed restrictions on unemployment benefits would punish social security disability insurance beneficiaries who attempt to return to work.

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idea_bulbThe House’s fiscal year 2016 budget, which passed on a party-line vote last month, would eliminate concurrent receipt of Social Security Disability Insurance and unemployment insurance. A similar proposal was offered as an amendment to the Senate FY 2016 budget but did not come up for a vote. Other similar proposals failed last year, both as an amendment to a bill that would have extended emergency jobless benefits and during consideration of legislation to shore up the Highway Trust Fund. Multiple standalone bills along these lines have been introduced as well, such as legislation championed by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) in the House and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in the Senate.

Proponents of these cuts say they would prevent “double dipping.” However, cutting benefits for Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries who lose a job through no fault of their own and must turn to unemployment insurance to partially replace their lost wages would punish them for attempting to return to work and push them and their families deeper into poverty.

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