New Bill Would Expedite Disability Benefits For The Terminally Ill
Congress introduced a bill recently that would expedite SSDI benefits for the terminally ill. SSDI benefits provide cash assistance for individuals that have paid FICA taxes and found disabled by the Social Security Administration. This bill would ensure that those individuals with a short life expectancy receive the benefit that they deserve when they need it. Under existing law, there is a five-month waiting period before and individual can receive SSDI benefits. The “Expedited Disability Insurance Payments for Terminally Ill Individuals Act of 2013” would allow people whose medical condition results in a life expectancy of six months or less to receive:
- 50% of SSDI benefits within the first month of diagnosis
- 75% of monthly benefits for the second month
- Full benefits for the third and all following months up to one year
There are provisions included in the bill to prevent fraud and abuse. The bill states that two separate doctors must diagnose the terminal illness. There are also reductions from future benefits should the patient live longer than one year following the terminal diagnosis.