Budget Proposal for 2018 May Cut Support for Disability Social Security

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The White House is in the final stages of readying the 2018 fiscal budget that seeks to resolve the economic deficits the government is currently facing. Central to its plan of achieving this goal is making drastic cuts to mean-titled entitlement programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, child nutrition programs, the Pell Grant program and food stamps.

This development comes as a surprise, especially after President Trump had made it a focal point of his campaign that he will not be cutting into these programs. While reports indicate that the budget changes will primarily be focusing on means-tested programs, there is also word that the Social Security Disability Insurance program will also be affected by these changes.

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Social Security Disability Eligibility Cuts Treating-Physician Rule, Keeps Appeal Waiting Times Long

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The Social Security Disability program benefits millions of Americans, no matter how old or young they are. However, a new rule imposed by Social Security recently may make it harder for any patient of any age to be approved for social security disability eligibility. This is because the administration has recently introduced a new rule where doctors’ reports would no longer be used to determine an individual’s eligibility to receive benefits.

Rule changes such as this present additional challenges to hospitals and healthcare institutions trying to determine if their patients qualify for disability benefits.

Social Security Administration Announces an Update to Its “Treating-Physician Rule”

The Social Security Administration has just said that it will now eliminate the use of what is known as the “treating-physician rule” as a basis of disability eligibility. The said rule refers to Social Security’s previous practice of giving a doctor’s report significant weight in supporting a person’s disability entitlement. Previously, Social Security adjudicators are required to consider evidence of disability as presented by the medical professional treating the claimant.

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New Bill Offers Disability Social Security Beneficiaries a Pathway Back to the Workforce

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Americans who are on disability social security may soon find themselves back to work the moment they are able to. A new proposed bill in Congress aims to give recovering beneficiaries a pathway back to the workforce. This would give them the chance to start their life over after going through a series of medical treatments and recovery.

Earlier this year, Rep. French Hill, R-Ark. had introduced the Social Security Disability Insurance Return to Work Act of 2017 in the House of Representatives. On the other hand, Senators Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Marco Rubio, R-Fla. introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

Hospitals and healthcare facilities need to be aware of these proposed changes so they can properly assess their patients’ eligibility for the program.

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