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NAHC Supports New Bill to Speed Benefits to Disabled Americans

Posted on Monday, September 30, 2019 12:53 PM

NAHC is expressing its strong support for a new bipartisan legislation in Congress aimed to reduce the wait time for Americans determined to be disabled to when they start to receive benefits from Social Security and Medicare.

Currently, disabled Americans eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) must wait through an application and determination period that can last 18 months and then wait another five months to obtain a disability payment. They then must wait another 24 months to receive Medicare benefits.   In 2017, over 10,000 Americans died while waiting to receive SSDI benefits. 

The Stop the Wait Act, introduced by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Chair of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee and House Budget Committee Member, on Wednesday, September 18, would remove these onerous and unnecessary requirements by:

  • Requiring the Social Security Administration to begin payment to an individual eligible for SSDI immediately after they are determined to be eligible for the program, rather than requiring the individual to wait five months to begin receiving benefits;
  • Phasing out the 24-month waiting period for Medicare disability benefits; and
  • Directing the National Academy of Medicine to conduct a study to ensure the elimination of the waiting periods are resulting in better health and community living outcomes for eligible SSDI recipients and their families.

“For individuals with disabilities, the security that Social Security was intended to provide comes at a punishing and unnecessary cost: two full years without health insurance,” said Congressman Doggett. “Our bipartisan effort eliminates these suffering periods—affording individuals with disabilities prompt access to Medicare.”

Source: NAHC Report

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