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Proposed SSD rules could cut billions of dollars in benefits

Disabled people in Ohio must navigate a lengthy review process when seeking Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income. The Social Security Administration already subjects some recipients to ongoing case reviews, but proposed rule changes to the program would increase the frequency of reviews for millions of recipients. According to the Federal Register, where the proposed rules have been published, the agency estimates that the additional benefit reviews would slash approximately $2.6 billion in benefits across 10 years while adding an extra $1.8 billion in administrative costs.

The rule changes would apply a new category to an unspecified group of recipients and require case reviews every two years. The agency has not provided any evidence to explain the reasoning for the proposed action, but an attorney who assists disabled people called it a move to cut benefits. A Republican senator who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee said that he approves of the proposal as a means to protect taxpayers and the solvency of Social Security.

Critics insist that the rules would end up revoking benefits for many disabled people who are unable to work. The executive director of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives said that additional case review requirements on recipients would increase paperwork burdens on a population that mostly lives in poverty and poor health.

Current regulations already place many administrative hurdles between a disabled person and benefits. For this reason, a person might seek legal assistance from an attorney familiar with the process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits. An attorney might organize medical records and collect contact information for doctors. If the agency denies an application, an attorney might also manage the appeal.

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