Washington, DC – The National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency, will conduct a policy briefing at the release of the agency’s latest report “Securing the Social Contract: Reforming Social Security Disability” at Room 210 of the Cannon House Office Building from 10-11:30 am on Thursday, January 29.
Fears that Social Security payouts will soon exceed revenue continue to dominate the news and public policy debates. This timely and necessary report by NCD analyzes various proposals for SSI and SSDI reform with an emphasis on Medicaid policy and increasing opportunities for people with disabilities to work. The report also identifies measures that could (a) move people currently utilizing SSI/DI into the workforce; (b) decrease a likelihood of using such benefits for sole income; and (c) serve as financing options to extend the life of both programs.
“Almost eight decades after the passage of the Social Security Act of 1935 and nearly 30 years after enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) antiquated attitudes, inadequate access, and public policies in need of reform remain barriers for people with disabilities living in our communities and earning a living,” said NCD member Alice Wong. “No piece of legislation, no matter how sacrosanct or maligned, exists in a vacuum. Details can make all the difference. It is likely that discussions of Social Security reform will continue to dominate our airwaves and policy discussions. As they do, Securing the Social Contract: Reforming Social Security Disability reminds us that how we modernize social security disability is as important as the need to do so.”
- Ari Ne’eman: Council Member, National Council on Disability
- Lisa D. Ekman, JD, MSW: Director of Federal Policy Health & Disability Advocates and Representative of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Social Security Task Force.
- Jagadeesh Gokhale, Ph.D: Project Director at the Public Policy Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Public Policy Initiative, formerly a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and current member of the Social Security Advisory Board.
- Rebecca Vallas, JD: Director of Policy for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress.
NOTE: Due to House rules we are unable to provide a listen-in option for this briefing, nor will it be webcast. The report around which the briefing is focused will be available January 29, 2015 at: /publications/2015/01292015.
IN BRIEF: Securing the Social Contract: Reforming Social Security Disability examines two benefit programs linked to key aspects of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Recommendations made to the Administration, other federal agencies, and Congress include modernizing the definition of disability and improving workplace access and accommodations for people with disabilities in a multitude of ways including decoupling health care benefit and cash benefit eligibility; providing wraparound health benefits; improving the examination, planning, and gradual phase-in of a revised disability definition for benefit eligibility; ensuring management proficiency, early intervention, and improved federal collaboration efforts; identifying ways to boost work incentives; implementing evidence-based practices that address youth and people with mental health needs among vulnerable groups; and reviewing state supplemental systems.
About the National Council on Disability (NCD): First established as a small advisory Council within the Department of Education in 1978, NCD became an independent federal agency in 1984. In 1986, NCD recommended enactment of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and drafted the first version of the bill which was introduced in the House and Senate in 1988. Since the ADA became law in 1990, NCD has continued to play a leading role in crafting policy solutions, and in advising the President, Congress and other federal agencies on disability policies, programs, and practices.