Former Congressmen and Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairmen Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and Jim McCrery (R-LA) have released recommendations to improve the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and other services for workers with disabilities.
The recommendations are the culmination of the McCrery-Pomeroy SSDI Solutions Initiative – a multi-year effort to identify practical policy changes to improve SSDI and other services to better serve people with disabilities as well as those who pay into the program and the economy as a whole.
The recommendations headline a newly-released book – SSDI Solutions: Ideas to Strengthen the Social Security Disability Insurance Program – that features a diverse collection of 12 policy proposals written by different disability policy experts.
Reps. McCrery and Pomeroy’s recommendations – which come on the heels of recent legislation that postponed depletion of the SSDI trust fund until 2022 – call on policymakers to seize this opportunity and use the additional time to make meaningful changes to the SSDI program. They also propose that policymakers should pursue new ways to support workers and improve the lives of workers with disabilities while also testing various ideas to strengthen the efficiency, effectiveness and integrity of the current program.
“We share the sense of relief with many Americans that Congress was able to avert the automatic benefit cuts that would have accompanied trust fund depletion,” said Chairman Pomeroy. “But I think we can all agree that more should be done to improve this program as well as the lives of the many Americans living with disability. We hope our ideas and recommendations will inspire policymakers to pursue and adopt thoughtful and innovative changes to help this vital federal program and important population.”
“Let’s not waste this opportunity by deluding ourselves that SSDI’s issues have been solved,” said Chairman McCrery. “The program faces a financial shortfall again in 2022; but more importantly, it is clear the program isn’t serving the disabled population as well or as efficiently as it could be. We don’t think there is any one right idea, but by putting out a collection of ideas we hope to spark a conversation that would encourage policymakers to begin testing and enacting changes sooner rather than later.”
The 12 proposals in the book include changes to promote early intervention in order to keep more workers with disabilities in the workforce, improve program administration, address interactions with other programs, and pursue structural reforms.
The book was released at an event earlier this week at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, a full video of which can be viewed here. More information about the book, including how it can be purchased, can be found at http://www.SSDISolutions.org/book.
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