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Proposed legislation would end 5 month waiting period for social security disability claimants


Posted on Jan 09, 2008

The congressional delegation of Ohio has been asked by a state agency which handles claims for Social Security disability to back a proposal which would allow patients who are terminally ill to receive their payments quickly. The Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, which consists of seven members and handled 169,392 disability claims last year in the state, endorsed a bill that U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) proposed. They also called for the support of Brown’s Ohio colleagues on Capitol Hill for the bill. If passed, it would waive a waiting period of five months for terminal patients. According to Carmen Moreno, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Social Security Administration the five-month wait is a reflection of a standard back-to-work benchmark. She said the purpose of the wait is for the administration to avoid paying benefits to people who do not suffer from a long-term disability. According to Moreno, disability programs established by law are administered by the SSA, however, they do not comment on legislation that is still pending. Moreno did not have an immediate estimate of how many U.S. citizens who are disabled die during the wait for the first payment of their benefits. Last year, 2.5 million disability claims were processed by the SSA. Only 34 percent were approved.

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