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Trump Proposes Cutting Disability Benefits

While President Trump has publicly said he opposes any cuts to Social Security, his proposed 2021 budget actually trims an estimated $45 billion from Social Security’s disability program, and some estimates said the final amount could even by higher than that.

The Trump budget would not cut Social Security retirement benefits, and instead only targets those receiving Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income benefits.

The proposed budgets cuts are substantial, and it’s unclear exactly how they would be instituted.

By one estimate, $45 billion could be saved if 5 percent of all individuals currently receiving disability benefits went back to work or otherwise had their benefits revoked.

The Trump administration has previously come out in favor of a proposal that would require many older disability claimants to attend more regular continuing disability reviews.

Such a policy could eliminate benefits for many individuals who are simply unable to make it to these reviews or navigate the Social Security bureaucracy.

Another possibility is that the Social Security Administration, at the direction of President Trump, could attempt to raise the age that Social Security’s “grid rules” would kick in. The current rules make it easier for individuals over age 50 to qualify for benefits, but the proposed changes would only bring the grid rules into play for those age 55 and above.

The good news is that at least for now, the proposed cuts to disability benefits are extremely unlikely to pass.

“This budget is a non-starter,” said Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., chairman of the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee. “His proposed cuts to Social Security, Medicare, food-assistance programs and more will only hurt those who are already struggling,”

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