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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Behavioral Health

National Groups Urge House to Undo Block of SSDI Funds Transfer

January 22, 2015 | Federal Budget | Comments
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A coalition of health and disability groups, including the National Council, sent a letter to the House of Representatives this week urging lawmakers to reconsider a recently-passed provision in House rules that could cut Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits by 20 percent in 2016. House Resolution 5 prohibits routine transfers between the Social Security retirement trust fund and the Social Security disability program. Without an infusion of funds, the disability program could face severe shortfalls starting next year.

The group, called the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), urged Congress to act quickly to reverse this rule and ensure full benefits to the nearly 11 million Americans who are currently receiving SSDI. The letter noted that benefits average just $38 per day and make up a majority of the income for 4 out of 5 beneficiaries. “The impact of any reduction in benefits could be truly devastating,” the letter said.

Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) said in a statement that “the rule is intended to get the Congress to at least take a first step toward solving the Social Security problem. If we continue the way we are, it’s a go-broke operation.” Rep. Johnson is the chairman of the Social Security panel on the House Ways and Means Committee. Critics of the rule change have noted that such transfers are routine and are not indicative of a broken financing system.