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Rep. Paul Ryan Angered by Social Security Disability Bill His Staff Helped Draft

According to a recent news article from Huffington Post, Representative Paul Ryan is not at all happy with the bipartisan budget bill his staff helped draft to provide funding to the Social Security disability fund. This is the fund the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) runs to provide Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

freedom-1-889853-mIf the budget legislation, which provided a few more years of funding to the disability fund, was not approved, around 10 million Americans would face a 19 percent reduction in their benefits checks each month, and this would be devastating for these Americans, as they would no longer be able to make ends meet and take care of their families.

While many Republicans campaigned on an unwillingness to provide additional funding, it became clear that it would not be good politics to leave millions of Americans in destitute poverty during a presidential election cycle. For this reason, there was finally a bipartisan solution to funding the disability programs.

However, Ryan says he thinks “this process stinks” and is mad about the bill his office helped to create. In addition to providing additional funding to keep the program running at full strength beyond late 2016, there were several changes made to how the program operates. The House Ways and Means Committee proposed these changes. The Ways and Means Committee is responsible for the oversight of the SSA, and Ryan is the chair of the committee. This means that his staff drafted the changes to the bill he opposes.

However, it should be noted, Ryan’s spokesperson is denying Ryan’s committee, within the context of the legislation, drafted the changes to the program. This is rather confusing, because he is not saying that the committee staff did not draft the legislation, but rather they did not draft it for this particular budget bill. Essentially, Ryan says they had drafted those provisions for earlier in the year to be used in some future bill, and, when the House, Senate and the White House agreed on what the bill should look like, “they grabbed off the shelf what we’d been working on for months” according to Ryan’s spokesperson.

While this seems strange, it is no worse than the many false allegations that have been levied against the millions of disability benefits recipients who greatly depend on their benefits. Politicians keep arguing that these people are basically pretending to be disabled, so they can avoid going to work. As our Boston disability attorneys see each and every day, these claimants are genuinely suffering form a disability condition and cannot go back to work. They would much rather be healthy and able to work than have to go through the long process of applying for benefits while their attorney fights for their rights to a full and appropriate award.

One of Ryan’s main concerns with the process that he said, “stinks,” is what he deemed the closed-door way in which things happened. He said there were negotiations with the White House, and his committee was not included in these talks that ultimately led to the budget that was passed.

If you or a loved one is seeking Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Paul Ryan Mad About Budget Bill His Staff Helped Write, October 27, 2015, Huffington Post, by Arthur Delaney

More Blog Entries:

Social Security Disability Claims Process, Jan. 23, 2015, Boston Social Security Disability Insurance Lawyer Blog