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Proposed budget could include changes to disability benefits

Although specifics are lacking at this time, the Trump Administration's most recent budget proposal is likely to signal changes to Social Security disability benefits, and these changes could have an unfavorable impact on Cincinnati, Ohio residents.

Before being formally announced, the President's Administration described the changes as an effort to get people off of disability and instead put those people back to work. While this intention sounds noble enough on paper, it can mean that an Ohioan who really needs disability benefits is going to have to constantly prove that he or she cannot work.

Changes were also foretold with respect to the Social Security Administration's Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which helps those who are disabled and need extra income but who do not necessarily have enough of a work history to draw meaningful income from their accrued Social Security benefits.

Now that the proposal has been released, it appears disability benefits are included as part of $1.7 trillion in proposed budget cuts to various government social welfare programs, including programs that benefit the disabled, such as Medicaid.

It is important for Ohioans to remember that at this point, these cuts are just proposals, as the Congress must ultimately vote on a budget for the government. Moreover, even if these cuts ultimately do pass, how they will affect the program's daily operations is not clear. Still, concerned Cincinnati residents should keep a close eye on these political developments.

Source: The Washington Post, "Trump to propose big cuts to safety net in new budget, slashing Medicaid and opening door to other limits," Damian Paletta, May 21, 2017.

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