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How would the proposed budget affect people on Social Security?

It is that time of the year when the president and Congress are talking about the budget. It is a necessary thing, and anyone in Minneapolis who is dependent on Social Security disability insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Income likely watches the debates with anticipation. This is, in part, because the benefits that help cover their living costs are potentially at risk, as there is always such a sharp divide on how money should be spent on individuals with disabilities. This year is no different, but President Obama's proposed budget may have a surprising and detrimental effect on those who rely on Supplemental Security Income.

The main concern is that President Obama has suggested that the government chain the consumer price index. What this does, however, is cut approximately $127 billion from Social Security over the next 10 years. It also means that people on Supplemental Security Income, individuals who already must meet the federal definition of poverty, are going to receive an estimated $164 less in their monthly benefits 10 years from now than they do today. That number jumps to $341 less in 20 years and $680 less in 40.

What makes this worse is that well-over half of the individuals on Supplemental Security Income are solely dependent on these benefits; they have no other sources of income. And, with the average payments around $6,240 a year, the loss of these funds could be devastating.

When someone is living with a disability, he or she may not be able to work, but that does not mean that he or she should be left with no money or mode of survival. Government benefits can be difficult to obtain, however, and it is certainly problematic living with a disability but unsure of how to apply. Working closely with a disability benefits attorney, however, is a good way to determine whether you are eligible and what steps you must take to better your chances of getting benefits.

Source: McClatchy, "Obama's Social Security proposal detrimental to people with disabilities," Mike Ervin, April 12, 2013

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