The 2016 Presidential election is moving full-steam ahead, and so are voters’ questions about important issues. Educating yourself about policies that affect you is very important. The relationship between politics and Social Security disability benefits is complex. Knowing where the Republicans, Democrats, and other candidates stand on the Social Security issue can be very helpful when deciding how to vote.
At Summit Disability Law Group, we are dedicated to serving the needs of our clients. We don’t endorse any political candidates, but we do think it is important that our clients know how government is affecting them. In this post, we break down the basic Social Security disability policy positions of the major political parties. We strongly encourage you to study them, think about what they mean for you, and exercise your right to vote.
Politics and Social Security Disability: The Republicans
In general, Republicans are in favor of reforming Social Security. This includes the Social Security Disability Insurance program. The amount of money available for retirement and disability benefits is decreasing for many reasons. The kinds of solutions favored by each Republican candidate are different, but fall mostly along these lines:
- People should control their benefits. A certain amount of a person’s Social Security taxes should be placed in a personal savings account, rather than simply given to the government.
- This could ease the immediate impact of a disability’s onset, since these savings could be used while waiting for a decision on a disability case.
- The retirement age should be increased.
- This could negatively affect some younger claimants’ disability cases.
- Annual increases in benefits should be decreased.
These are simply general outlines of the Republican stance on Social Security benefits. Most of the proposed changes deal primarily with retirement benefits. However, any change in retirement benefits will likely have a domino effect — changing disability benefits as well.
Politics and Social Security Disability: The Democrats
While the Republicans generally support Social Security reform, Democrats are more satisfied with how things currently are. In fact, many Democratic candidates pledge to increase Social Security benefits once in office. The Democrats’ general plan for disability benefits includes the following points:
- No personal savings accounts for Social Security taxes.
- No increase of the retirement age and no reduction of annual increases in benefits.
- Wealthy people should pay more in Social Security taxes.
- The death of a spouse or a period of parental leave from work should not decrease benefits.
Again, this is not a complete breakdown of the Democratic platform on disability benefits. But it is a helpful peek into how a Democratic candidate may view the issue.
So Who Should I Vote For?
That’s up to you. We work with the law every day and know how important it is for citizens to be involved in the political process. The issue of politics and Social Security disability benefits has no clear answer, so the best thing to do is educate yourself and make an informed decision. However, if you have any questions about SSDI or the disability claims process, we can help you find clear answers to those questions. Contact us today for a free disability case consultation.