By: Alexander Sioutis | Social Security Disability Attorney
If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking: first it was the fiscal cliff, now this sequestration stuff. What gives? And what impact will this have on my Social Security Disability benefits?
What is the sequester?
The Sequester is basically a package of automatic spending cuts that’s part of the Budget Control Act (BCA), which was passed in August 2011. In total, the cuts will trim $1.2 trillion from various programs. In 2013, approximately $109 Billion will be cut.
Will the Sequester affect my Social Security benefits?
Yes and No. The sequester will not include cuts to entitlement programs like Social Security Disability and Retirement. However, The Social Security Administration would have to grant unpaid leave to many of their employees, therefore causing longer lines at Social Security offices as well as delaying Social Security Disability decision processing.
According to the SSA, local office and hearing office operations will be affected. At the hearing level, Disability applicants may have to wait up to an additional month to receive their decision from a Social Security Judge. Furthermore, for those still waiting for a hearing, the wait time could be extended as well. This obviously makes a difficult situation for many Disabled Americans even more difficult.
Can we avoid the Sequester?
Yes, but Congress will have to get busy, fast. Congress will need to pass another budget deal that would reduce the deficit by the same $1.2 trillion that the sequester is looking to cut. Both Democrats and Republicans have offered ideas, but there still isn’t much progress on a deal. The main issue really is politics however; Republicans do not want to raise taxes on the wealthy, while the Democrats are refusing any cuts to entitlement programs, like Social Security Retirement and Disability.
Pond Lehocky will keep you informed of the latest involving Sequestration and how it may impact the Social Security Disability and Retirement programs. If you are disabled and have questions, call us for a free consultation.