The Trump administration has recently unveiled a budget plan aimed at easing the country’s deficits and increasing defense funding. The plan contains budgets for several government assistance programs such as social insurance, social security, Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) will be one of the most affected programs should the budget proposal get the greenlight. This has drawn flak from a lot of people since the program covers millions of American workers, children and senior citizens. Currently, almost 9 million American workers aged between 18 and 64 are benefitting from SSDI. These beneficiaries have nearly 2 million dependents. Adult children with disabilities and widows and widowers of workers are also under this federal aid. If the government pushes through with the budget plan, around $70 billion will be cut from the SSDI budget for the next 10 years. The same goes for a separate program aiding low-income families with disabilities, who will then take the brunt of the budget cuts.
Changes in the Program
Under the proposal, the existing retroactive disability benefit will be reduced from 12 months to six months. “New approaches” will also be tested to increase the workforce’s participation. Those who are considered disabled but can still work will be asked to work. This is an addition to the existing regular evaluation of eligibility. Once implemented, the changes are expected to cut down the deficit by $22 billion in aggregate by 2027.
Medicaid, which is under the American Health Care Act, isn’t spared from the proposed budget cuts. An additional $610 billion will be slashed from Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program over a 10-year period. This will be done by switching into a block grant program to keep track of how Medicaid funds are used, which would involve stricter work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries. Such programs might also translate into a lower number of people with health coverage. Since Medicaid funds are mostly spent on elderly and disabled recipients, more people than expected could be affected. Together with other budget cuts, these proposed changes in SSDI are meant to help the country save more than $3 trillion over the next ten years. However, some disagree, calling it a “long-shot budget” and “wishful thinking.” It would also take a toll on healthcare facilities and revenue cycle management (RCM) experts handling social security disability for children and Medicaid, among others. They will have to prepare their RCM programs to adapt to the changes should the budget plan get approved. Sources 5 Things to Know About Trump’s Budget Plan, Time.com Trump Budget Cuts Social Security and Medicaid, Breaking Major Promises, Forbes.com The Trump Budget Cuts Disability Benefits. That Will Hurt Trump Counties, Time.com