May 23, 2017

Englewood Cliffs, NJ – Today, NOSSCR Executive Director, Barbara Silverstone, released the following statement on President Trump’s proposed cuts to Social Security: 

“Donald Trump’s newly released budget proposal is alarming.  Targeting the most vulnerable among us and slashing the essential Social Security disability programs by $72 billion is a betrayal of his biggest promise to the American people: ‘Not [to] touch Social Security.’

To claim that Social Security Disability Insurance is not what ‘most...

April 24, 2017

Disability rights advocates and a leading Democratic think tank are livid at The Washington Post over a March 30 front-page story on the prevalence of disability benefits in rural America.

The newspaper claimed that “as many as one-third of working-age adults” in rural communities receive disability benefits. But as the Center for American Progress calculated ― and The Huffington Post confirmed by looking at the raw data ― that proportion holds true in only one county in the entire country.

Republicans often use stories like the Post’s to argue that the disability rolls have...

April 18, 2017

A just-released report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) reveals that, once again, the “serious people” in Washington are weaponizing shoddy, inaccurate data to stoke false claims about Social Security. The CAP report exposes The Washington Post’s misuse of data to inflate the numbers of working-age Americans receiving Social Security disability insurance benefits.

The Post sensationally – and inaccurately – claimed, in a recent front-page story entitled, “Disabled, or just desperate?”, that as many as one in three working-age Americans living in the nation’s rural...

April 17, 2017

Appearing Sunday on the CBS program “Face the Nation,” President Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, engaged in a drive-by shooting of some the nation’s neediest and most defenseless people: the disabled.

Mulvaney’s attack shared its essential qualities with most previous Republican attacks on disabled Americans, in that it was arrogant, ignorant and abetted by the news media — in this case, moderator John Dickerson, who let Mulvaney’s words pass without comment. Both should be ashamed of themselves.

April 17, 2017

Host John Dickerson: “Entitlements, that’s where the big money is. The president has said he didn’t want to touch Medicare, but he seems to be revising his thinking on that.”

Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney: “Well, I think the promise was he wasn’t going to affect anybody and we haven’t with this budget. Keep in mind what this budget is. This is just the discretionary spending part of the budget, which was a necessary first step.”

April 14, 2017

Earlier this month, The Washington Post ran a front-page story about Social Security disability benefits in rural counties, followed this past Sunday by an editorial calling for a wholesale restructuring of Social Security Disability Insurance. Several SSDI experts, including our colleague Rebecca Vallas, as well as Kathleen Romig of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Dean Baker of the Center on Economic Policy Research, published responses explaining what the Post missed in their reporting. But it turns out the article’s problems go even deeper than they thought. Not only does...

April 13, 2017

Column by Michael Hiltzik

Prresident Trump’s tax reform agenda is in trouble. That’s not news, but one proposal that his team has floated as a way, ostensibly, to cut taxes on the middle class is. According to the Associated Press, they’re toying with the idea of eliminating the payroll tax, which funds Social Security and part of Medicare, or cutting it drastically.

This is an absolutely terrible idea, partially because it smells like a back-door way of cutting Social Security benefits. It needs to be nipped in the bud.

“This proposal is a Trojan horse,” the veteran...

April 4, 2017

As much as I need to stop thinking about the Washington Post story on Social Security disability benefits reprinted in The Gazette on Sunday, I’m having trouble letting it go.

As the youngest child of elderly parents — my mother went to the doctor for concerns about menopause only to discover she was pregnant with me — I grew up on Social Security dependent benefits. So, in addition to my parents’ Social Security retirement checks, our family received a little more than $200 each month earmarked for me.

In order to better make ends meet, my father and mother worked odd jobs....

April 4, 2017

A little more than a year ago, something happened that hasn’t occurred in almost 30 years: The number of Americans receiving Social Security disability payments declined. And in a little more than a week, new rules could make it more difficult for claimants to prove they’re entitled to benefits.

The 8.89 million people receiving SSD in January 2016 marked the first time that the number of people receiving disability decreased year over year since at least 1988, the earliest data available. The trend continued in 2017, as the number of payees fell, slowly but steadily, to 8.79...

April 3, 2017

Washington, DC – Our Social Security system provides basic economic security for us all. Not only does Social Security provide the foundation for a secure retirement, it also insures nearly all American workers and their families against the possibility of a life-changing disability that prevents substantial work and earnings.

The Washington Post has launched a series to explore “…how disability is shaping the culture, economy and politics…” of rural America. Its first article featured Desmond Spencer of Beaverton, Alabama and followed his difficult decision to call his local Social...