Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is the economic lifeline for millions of Americans with disabilities. These millions rely on the SSDI benefits for their financial and medical needs. Typically, SSDI is available only to those Americans with disabilities who earn wages below a certain limit. This limit is set at around 1,220 per month as of this year. The limit is updated every year. Once an SSDI recipient starts earning above this amount, Social Security Administration (SSA) halts the payments immediately. Democratic presidential hope for reforms for SSDI benefits as well as other aspects of Social Security. Pete Buttigieg has come up with an elaborate reform agenda specifically catering to the needs of Americans with disabilities.
One of the most notable aspects of Buttigieg’s plan is to halt SSDI payments only gradually once a recipient starts earning more than the monthly income limit. Buttigieg proposes that SSA should taper off the payments so that the recipient could adjust to the changed financial circumstances. He believes that such gradual, sliding decrease in the payment is a far better way of withdrawing SSDI rather than abruptly halting the payments.
Another highlight of Buttigieg’s plan is to make sure Medicare coverage is immediately available to SSDI recipients. This is in contrast to the present policy where SSDI recipients have to face a waiting period of 24 months before they can utilize Medicare benefits.
The Presidential hopeful also seeks to revamp federal policies surrounding students with disabilities. Buttigieg promises to fully back and support the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. He aims to make general education classrooms supportive of students with disabilities so that such students would be able to spend 80% of their learning. He also aims to increase funding to train teachers for special needs students.
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