Trump’s budget director revives a fact-free conservative attack on disability recipients

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-mulvaney-disability-20170319-story.html

It’s not a good sign when the current budget director takes unsolicited shots at the SSDI program and the Americans who depend on it to survive.

In a recent interview, on the CBS program “Face the Nation,” Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s budget director states, “Do you really think that Social Security disability insurance is part of what people think of when they think of Social Security? I don’t think so.” Mulvaney went on to say, “It’s a very wasteful program, and we want to try and fix that.”

As attorneys who have represented tens of thousands of individuals suffering from a variety of physical and mental impairments, we disagree. While there are flaws in every system, the Social Security Disability program protects and helps millions of Americans who can’t work due to their severe medical impairments and resulting symptoms and limitations. The Social Security disability program provides help for individuals who have spent years working and paying into Social Security, only to encounter an unexpected trauma or diagnosis such as a debilitating car accident; multiple sclerosis; degenerative disc disease; traumatic brain injury; major depression, or any number of other physical or mental impairments. The program provides a bridge for individuals who may only be out of work for 12 months, due to a cancer diagnosis and treatment, for example, before returning to full-time employment.

Mulvaney may be right, people may not think of Social Security disability insurance when they think of Social Security, but they should. People should think about the millions of Americans who depend on disability to survive. Individuals who may have never been able to work due to a condition they were born with or, individuals who worked their whole lives, paying their taxes each paycheck, and never thinking they would be out of work due to a health condition, rendering them unable to pay their bills and in danger of losing their homes. Disability benefits are an extremely important and necessary part of Social Security and to our country.

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