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U.S. senator rejects calls to cut SSD, SSI

Readers may be aware that the Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) programs, which numerous people in Missouri rely upon, are in a financial crisis. The trust fund that pays for the benefits are expected to run out of money by 2017, unless Congress acts to replenish it before then.

Some political figures believe that the programs, along with Social Security payments to retirees, should be cut back for budgetary reasons. But lawmakers do not agree on this question. In recent remarks, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio rejected calls to shrink SSD and SSI. In fact, he argues that Social Security and the disability benefits programs need to be expanded.

In a recent speech, Brown said that people who believe in the Social Security Administration’s mission to provide for the elderly and the disabled should not “let one piece of Social Security be picked off.” He has previously proposed an increase in Social Security benefits.

The SSD and SSI programs are expected to pay out $146 billion in benefits this year, a figure that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates will rise to $220 billion by 2024 -- if Congress changes the law to allow more funds to replenish the fund in enough time.

There are many people in Missouri who can no longer work due to a disability, or were born with a condition that has prevented them from ever being able to support themselves through work. People in this position should not allow the debate in Washington to discourage them from applying for SSD or SSI, or appealing a rejection if necessary.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, “Sherrod Brown calls for defending, expanding Social Security,” Emma Ginader, July 9, 2014

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