San­ders Warns Dis­abil­ity Ben­e­fits Face Cuts

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS -

Sen. Bernie San­ders (I-Vt.) warned last Mon­day that ben­e­fits for the dis­abled and their chil­dren could face a 20 per­cent cut next year if the Se­nate fol­lows the lead of House Repub­li­cans.

“Around 11 mil­lion Americans, in­clud­ing nearly 2 mil­lion chil­dren with a dis­abled par­ent, rely on So­cial Se­cu­rity to help keep them out of poverty,” said San­ders, the rank­ing mem­ber of the Se­nate Bud­get Com­mit­tee.

A new House rule cre­ates a le­gal ob­sta­cle course that would make it harder to shift funds from the So­cial Se­cu­rity re­tire­ment ac­count, which has a big sur­plus, to the smaller dis­abil­ity ac­count. Such trans­fers have been done rou­tinely in the past un­der both Repub­li­can and Demo­cratic pres­i­den­cies, in­clud­ing four times un­der Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan.

With­out a trans­fer to shore up the dis­abil­ity fund, So­cial Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion ex­perts say the dis­abil­ity pro­gram will run short of money next year and there will be only enough to cover 80 per­cent of sched­uled ben­e­fits.

“In­stead of work­ing to strengthen So­cial Se­cu­rity for all, the House Repub­li­cans’ new rule puts Amer­ica’s most vul­ner­a­ble at risk,” San­ders said.

San­ders joined Se­nate Demo­cratic lead­ers who to­day sent a let­ter to Se­nate Majority Leader Mitch McCon­nell (R-Ky.) urg­ing him not to adopt the same rule as the House.

“Hold­ing hostage the So­cial Se­cu­rity ben­e­fits of any Amer­i­can, par­tic­u­larly those of the 9 mil­lion Americans with dis­abil­i­ties who are at risk in the com­ing years, is an un­ten­able propo­si­tion,” the let­ter said.

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