The federal highway fund that pays for road construction is broke and lawmakers can’t agree on the best way to replenish the money. Unfortunately, Social Security Disability benefits are once again a political target and money that should be going to care for the disabled is in danger of being redirected to fund roads.
As the Fiscal Times reports, a proposal to pay for the federal highway fund would involve cutting costs by preventing people from collecting both Social Security Disability benefits and unemployment funds at the same time. This is referred to as “double dipping,” but in fact it is really an example of people correctly using a social safety net that they have paid taxes to support.
Under current rules, you may be eligible to collect both disability income and unemployment if you have been let go from your job and you cannot work because you are disabled. Social Security Disability attorneys can help you determine what benefits you should receive and how to apply to maximize your income.
A Proposal to End “Double Dipping”
This recent proposal to end “double dipping” in order to fund highway construction is not the first time that lawmakers have threatened to change the rules and make it harder for the disabled to get by. President Barack Obama also included a version of a plan that would discourage people from claiming Social Security and unemployment in the 2014 budget.
However, there are problems with suggestions that people should be restricted from collecting benefits from both programs. One issue is that it would be very complicated to implement the program. The Social Security Administration handles approvals of disability applications while state governments are responsible for approving and distributing claims for unemployment benefits. There would need to be coordination between state and federal agencies and there is currently no mechanism in place.
The Social Security Administration is already cutting staff, closing offices and struggling to deal with a shrinking budget as more people than ever before become eligible for retirement and disability benefits. The last thing the agency needs is another responsibility to take on. This could adversely impact not only people who are currently receiving double benefits but also all other disabled people who might have to wait longer for the SSA to review their application or respond to questions.
Another issue is that people pay to support and fund both the Social Security Disability program and unemployment. When you work, unemployment insurance is part of your job benefits and your employer pays in money in case you ever need to make a claim. When you work, you also have money that is taken out of your paycheck in order to cover the cost of the Social Security Disability insurance program. In fact, you earn work credits for Social Security Disability Insurance based on how many quarters you work.
If you are denied either unemployment or Social Security benefits when you are eligible for both, this means you are not getting the services that you essentially paid for, even when you need the help the most.
If you have suffered a disability in New York, contact the Law Offices of Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP today by calling (800) 692-3717 or by visiting http://www.workerslaw.com. Attorney advertising.