Support the Making DI Work for All Americans Act, H.R. 4854

On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to cosponsor the Making DI Work for All Americans Act, H.R. 4854, introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.). The bill would modernize Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) by making it more fiscally responsible and ensuring it is, as intended, a safety net to those who truly need it.

According to recent data released by the Social Security Board of Trustees, the cost of Social Security will exceed its income in 2020 for the first time since 1982. The Board also projects that the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund reserves will be depleted by 2052. As Rep. Yoho said, “While [2052] seems far away- it is within the lifetime of most Americans alive today.” The status quo is clearly unsustainable, and Congress must take action now to prevent the full insolvency of this program.

The Making DI Work for All Americans Act starts by instituting a review of all potential recipients of the program who may not actually meet the eligibility requirements. Judges who issue the most approvals will have their caseloads reviewed, and determinations will be made about whether those recipients actually qualify. This will lighten the burden by removing recipients who collect benefits based solely based on having been rubber-stamped by administrative judges.

The bill also eliminates the requirement that the Social Security Administration compensate disability attorneys. This is not the role of the government, and payment should be worked out between a client and an attorney. H.R. 4854 makes that the case.

It also updates medical-vocational guidelines so it will be easier for recipients to return to work if they wish. It also helps them to be better matched with employers when they do begin seeking work again. There is dignity in work, and government policy should be to push for greater independence for all citizens who are capable of it.

Lastly, the bill increases transparency and accountability. At the outset, it sets a flat monthly benefit for all who first apply to the program. It also allows social media activity to be taken into account when determining eligibility. This is a common-sense provision that brings the process into the modern era. There is no reason we shouldn’t use all of the tools at our disposal to root out any potential waste, fraud, and abuse in our system.

If Social Security is to survive, changes need to be made, and SSDI reform is a key part of any workable solution. For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to cosponsor the Making DI Work for All Americans Act, H.R. 4854.

Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks