Social Security – Return to Work Act of 2016 Introduced

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), and Rep. French Hill (R-AR) have introduced the Social Security Disability Insurance Return to Work Act of 2016 (S. 3037; H.R. 5409). The bill would time-limit Social Security disability benefits for beneficiaries who the Social Security Administration (SSA) deems to be expected to medically improve or likely to medically improve. Benefits would terminate after 2 years or 5 years, respectively. Individuals would be forced to reapply in order to continue to receive Social Security disability benefits. In the Senate, the bill was referred to the Committee on Finance; in the House, the bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means. The Arc strongly opposes S. 3037 and H.R. 5409 as proposals that would lead to the loss of critical income and services for adults with significant disabilities. Additionally, the bills would significantly increase SSA’s workload at a time when 1.1 million Americans are waiting over 535 days for a disability hearing (both historic highs), leading to even more people waiting and facing longer wait times.

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