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New budget plan includes cuts to Social Security disability

Millions of disabled Americans' nightmares may soon be realized if the new 2017 budget released by Donald Trump comes to fruition. The cuts do not come as a surprise to many, however, as Budget Director Mick Mulvaney suggested and implied that changes may occur as early as March of this year.

During an interview with "Face the Nation" in March, Mulvaney asked whether people think of disability when they think of Social Security. The comment seemed odd at the time, but likely was intentionally made to suggest that Social Security disability is not the same as Social Security retirement income. The comment was not questioned by the host at the time, but it did set the tone for what was to come.

A memo released by the White House later stated that Social Security's "core" would not be affected, likely referring to retirement benefits, but did not rule out whether Social Security disability would be affected. Now we learn why the choice words were used.

According to the plan, as much as $1.7 trillion dollars could be cut from various social programs, including the Children's Health Insurance Program, food stamps and Social Security disability. This follows the release of the American Health Care Act, which has $880 billion dollars in Medicaid cuts. Such cuts could have a significant effect on those who collect, or planned on applying for Social Security Disability Insurance. Although there are still several steps that need to be taken for the budget to be passed, and it appears it is unlikely that it will be passed as is, it should come as a reminder and a legitimate reason to get started with the application process if you intend to submit an application. Things may have changed by the time you apply, so the sooner you move forward, the better.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Trump's budget plan continues his deceitful attack on the disabled - and violates a campaign pledge," by Michael Hiltzik, May 22, 2017

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