Congressman French Hill Introduces Social Security Disability Reform Legislation

WASHINGTON Today, Congressman French Hill (AR-02) introduced the “Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Return to Work Act.” The bill will reform SSDI by modernizing the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) classification of disability beneficiaries and incentivizing returning to work for beneficiaries who have recovered.

According to the Congressional Research Service, many disability insurance beneficiaries will never re-enter the workforce, and, in 2013, only 0.4 percent of all beneficiaries were removed from disability rolls due to employment. Between 1981 and 2013, the employment rate among working-age individuals with work-limiting disabilities fell nearly in half, from 24.4 percent to 14.4 percent.

These reforms to SSDI would help keep the program solvent and its benefits available to those who need them. The goal is to develop effective and innovative projects that will incentivize and assist people that want to get off of the rolls and back to work,” said Hill. “SSDI was developed to be a safety net for those who suffer from a permanent, debilitating disability and to provide temporary assistance for those with a recoverable illness or disability while they heal, but today some working-age individuals use it as a welfare and retirement program.”

Senator Tom Cotton (AR) and Senator Mike Lee (UT) introduced mirror legislation in the Senate today.

“I am pleased to join Senators Cotton and Lee on this important legislation that will give the Social Security Administration better guidelines to apply an efficient, consistent, and accurate disability determination. Too many of our federal programs are using outdated metrics to determine eligibility. We need to continue our work in reforming and evolving these programs so that they can remain available for those who rely on them,” said Hill.