"If you ask 999 out of 1,000 (they) would tell you that Social Security disability is not part of Social Security." Mick Mulvaney, the Social Security administration's budget director, said in a press conference.
He explained the new projected budget plan for 2018. The proposed bill plans to cut $72 billion over the next ten years from disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income.
"It's old-age retirement plan that they think of when they think of Social Security," Mulvaney said.
Although most people do think Social Security disability is separate from Social Security, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch believes separating these programs could be dangerous.
"Hacking away at the disability insurance program is an attack on the very idea of social insurance. The fundamental aim on Social Security is to protect against the risk of lost income from work, whether from retirement, disability or the death of a family breadwinner."
The Trump administration is aiming to cut disability benefits and make eligibility for benefits harder.
Mulvaney claimed in a TV interview that the SSDI program grew under the Obama administration because of loosening the range of eligibility. SSDI has grown in the past ten years, but that is due to the growing workforce.
However, Lisa Ekman, the director of government affairs at the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, a bar association attorney, stated: "The standards haven't changed, and they are very strict."
Only 40% of applicants receive SSDI benefits.
According to the St. Lous Post-Dispatch, "the only way to really save money in the program is by shrinking the benefits of vulnerable people or by reducing benefit levels that already are very modest."