social security

21 petitions

Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Sherrod Brown, Robert Casey, Bill Cassidy, Mike Crapo, Pat Toomey, Rob Portman, DIane Feinstein, Sam Johnson, Tom Rice, David Schweikert, Vern Buchanan, Mike Kelly, Jim Renacci, Jason Smith, John B. Larson, Bill Pascrell Jr., Joseph Crowley, Linda T. Sanchez, Anna G. Eshoo, George Holding

End Social Security's Disability Backlog

Social Security’s disability determination program's been broken for decades. Everyone knows somebody who’s endured this tragedy. I wrote a bipartisan bill to fix the problem called the Eastman Disability Reform Act—the most substantial disability reform in the history of Social Security. This Act restores the public's trust in the agency and Congress, while this petition is asking the 16 members of both the Social Security subcommittees in the House and Senate to take action. Between 800,000 and 1.2 million people file disability appeals yearly—over half of them later win, taking up to 3 years. During this time, many of these honest Americans declare bankruptcy and become homeless. Tragically, 1 in 6 men (and 1 in 7 women) die within 5 years of receiving disability benefits.  The rejection of all disability claims is mandated by the agency at a level of 85% (or more) of all applications. This objective's cryptically disguised as the National Agree Rate. The agency has been operating without accountability or impunity for two decades, while 10,000 died awaiting benefits this year! The SSD trust fund will be exhausted in 2023, according to a 2017 Congressional Budget Office report. "Baby Boomers" born between 1946 and 1964 have been postponing retirement, with many becoming disabled; causing extra strain to the SSD determination process. The agency won't add much needed staff because they project the backlog ending in 2025...two years after the disability trust fund's exhausted!  A former college roommate (born legally blind) was denied in 1994 when applying at 18. He had to appeal, having the same "horror story" echoed by so many today. I have 8 qualifying conditions and am currently in my second year of appeal. This has occurred with the agencies knowledge for over two decades, and, without congressional intervention. The shortage of administrative law judges must be fixed in order to stop the continual two-year backlog of disability appeals. Since all applicants are denied instantly, it's destroyed both the SSD system and our economy. My bill ensures that new judges are finally hired, and, that all applications won't be instantly denied. We must improve the access and availability of medical records used for determinations by ensuring they're in a usable file format all applicants can securely access. Sending .TIFF picture format files to applicants with encryption software which must be installed on a Windows computer with an optical drive makes it impossible for many to see the records in their agency file.  Agency contracted physicians examining claimants will finally see relief from extreme patient caseloads. This will allow for vastly better patient evaluations and less unecessary appeals. Destroying the economy by causing a million disabled folks to go bankrupt and become homeless each years of no concern to Congress, or, the agency, who's caused this issue for over 20 years. We care not for the disabled in America. Congress' continual arrogance is unacceptable, having undermined the lives of tens of millions of honest Americans. Due process is not a guaranteed right for the disabled; the agency and Congress have ensured this with their unethical conduct. Those petitioned on the Social Security subcommittees (above) could have fixed this problem years ago and instead chose to throw Americas disabled under the bus. Please help a million honest people each year who cannot work and have paid into disability their entire career. We must end this "disability impossibility" so future generations don't assume it's an acceptable part of being disabled in America.  Click here to download a summary and full text of the bill. Click here to ask your Senator to support this bill. Click here to ask your House member to support this bill.

Darren Eastman
1,940 supporters
Update posted 4 months ago

Petition to Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives

Tell congress to pass the SSIRA bill proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren

SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. Social Security administers this program. SSI provides benefits to some of our country’s most vulnerable citizens, including the elderly, those with disabilities, and 1.3 million children. Unfortunately often persons with disabilities live in poverty.  For many recipients, SSI isn’t just a safety-net – it’s their only source of income. Yet, those who receive it can have no more than $2,000 in cash or liquid assets without forfeiting their benefits. $2,000 is barely enough for any American to survive.   Imagine this scenario: you want to set aside $100.00 a month to invest to make your later years of life more comfortable. As the law is now you cannot because if that account rises over the $2,000 limit you will be forced to forfeit your SSI benefits.    The Social Security Act of 1935 was an attempt to limit what was seen as dangers in the modern American life, including old age, poverty, unemployment, disability and the burdens on widows and fatherless children. By signing this act on August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt became the first president to advocate federal assistance for this group. Under the Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act (SSIRA), a new bill proposed by U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown, SSI recipients could increase their assets to $10,000 in cash or liquid assets without losing their benefits.  This bill is long overdue, and can go far to ensure that America’s most vulnerable citizens have a chance to better their station in life, and take their shot at the American dream. Please join me in telling Congress to pass the SSIRA and help make a difference for millions of Americans. The last asset limit increase was nearly 30 years ago. These requirements have not kept up with inflation, but recipients are stuck; unable to better their position, because saving money or having more than $2,000 in their bank account or saving for their future causes forfeiture of their benefits. The SSIRA would update the law to encourage individuals who receive SSI to work toward financial security. If an SSI recipient is able to save over the minimal amount of $2,000 that might one day give them more financial independence and make them less reliant on government aid, why discourage it? We should be helping those who are willing and able to get out of poverty, not obliging them to stay their.  Please join me in supporting  the SSIRA and tell Congress to do the same.

Jason Lehman
2,969 supporters
Update posted 5 months ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, U.S. Senate, Florida State Senate, Marco Rubio, Florida Governor, Florida State House, President of the United States, Donald Trump

SOCIAL SECURITY HAS TO CHANGE! Enable the Disabled to help Retirees and Government!

                                                                                                                       Social Security Proposed Reform Bill          Enables the Disabled, Comfort Retiree's and Relieve Government 1. DISABLED: Choose retroactive or monthly - Retroactive creates a HIGHER income! Already approved? (I didn't forget you). 2. RETIREE'S: Not forced to wait years longer to retire! - as Trump's states he has to INCREASE Retirement Age (without a NEW Social Security Proposal).  3. Government: Decreased Payouts monthly creates a surplus of funds! RESEARCH INCLUDED BELOW. Simplified Version: Disabled persons get the option of becoming business owners, etc. with guidance from professionals, to be paid by them out of their retroactive payment (which puts them in a higher financial bracket to receive monthly checks thereafter). This alters the monthly output of SSA and can be then can then be utilized to eliminate the “Retirement Age Increase” President Trump says he needs a Proposal and Congress’s cohesion to stop by next year. The intention is also to leave a surplus of funds within SSA or for elsewhere needed within our government.   Extended Version: 1.       I am proposing that persons who apply for and are already approved for disability are given an option of either the retroactive payment or lump sum from future payments with the requirement of hiring financial advisors, business planners and vocational experts (privately or through government employees or affiliates) that will assist for up to one (1) year or they may choose the monthly payments they are eligible for instead. Who doesn’t want to succeed, maintain self respect, regain independence and help others if they are capable of doing this from their home or only being present part time? A.      This can and will “Enable the Disabled”! Guardians/Advocates and etc. can also assist in cases where the "Disabled" is not able. B.      This can/will decrease outgoing monthly funds the government can utilize elsewhere. C.      Including stopping the expected increased 2 years and several months “Retirement Age” coming in a few months, as per President Trump! He has asked for help with a Proposed Bill by stating “Unless there’s some serious cohesion in Congress and a new Social Security bill passed” he has to raise the “Retirement Age”, so I am offering my Proposal and need your help getting it passed. Cite Source: D.      It would also have a positive impact at lowering the homeless persons due to low or no incomes. E.       It will create jobs nationwide. Elaborated Version with more Specific Details:  1.       I propose if a person opts for the retroactive payment, they will be required to maintain temporary assistance that will benefit both parties long term financially; as follows. A.      A one-time payment of the retroactive to be used to start a business, franchises, patent idea’s, etc. with help provided at possibly a lower cost than usual (if applicable). Some may not need the assistance. 2.       I propose Financial Advisors, Business Planners and Vocational Experts are available for a limited time (approximately one (1) year or less) to ensure success in the business world. This also generates more work for individuals in the business, Vocational Experts and financial sectors at minimum. 3.       I am proposing the Vocational Experts, amongst others, work assisting the people find what their niche is, instead of find jobs that do not exist anymore. (See Source cited below that SSA did their own research regarding NON- existent jobs used to deny applicants). I propose all Vocational Experts (hereinafter referred to as VE’s) have updated jobs a disabled person can do rather than jobs that no longer exist. A VE’s knowledge of incorrect testimony under oath in a court of law should be discredited since they commit perjury due to acknowledgement of said research and SSA is also aware of said jobs not existing. A.      SSA did research in 2011 on the factual availability of the cited jobs that no longer exist but are still utilized as a means to deny an applicant. The source cite is: and B.      Large and small corporations working with the government to assist disabled persons with franchises or businesses that do not require their presence daily. Hence if a person is not capable of working every day, it will not impact their business or income they will be generating. An example will be attached as explained here. How often do you see a “Franchise owner” present at any Fast food chain? 4.       I am utilizing “Chick-Fil-A” as my example based on their low start up costs of $10,000.00 required to open, in hopes that other franchises and businesses of all sorts will find this beneficial to their businesses and join the United States in helping the minority of disabled people regain financial independence, self respect and dignity by success while working together as one Nation Under God to achieve the WIN, WIN, WIN factor. Chic-Fil- A has low start up costs compared to other fast food chains, etc. Source is cited here: 5.       I am proposing the possibility of Stock Brokers and Investor’s to assist in making our country stronger financially by helping guide the disabled into individual stability also. 3.       I am proposing assistance with inventions since the 2012 cost for a patent changed; thus opening doors for any creator or inventor to succeed. 4.       I am proposing our country open up to helping the people help themselves with other avenues. As an example: If a person is not capable of walking or sitting for long periods of time but has a great voice that singing lessons would make them a success; lets help them change their lives with the use of the retroactive funds. 5.       I am proposing The United States of America come together as the first Nation under God that does everything possible to enable the disabled people! 6.       This will allow the disabled persons options with medical; through Obama Care, privately or through their business(s). Presently, if you do NOT work or CANNOT, you are ineligible for medical and only allotted an exemption from penalty for not having insurance. Without medical available to a disabled person that is not working, how can they get the diagnoses that could save their lives or allow for the diagnoses needed for Disability approval? They can’t! Isn’t this discrimination towards the disabled persons with the way Obama Care is set up?  7.       I propose the allowance of full medical for a limited period (if it is not available otherwise) for approximately two (2) years nationwide once an application for disability has been filed, as it is required in some states and counties already.  8.       I propose filing that disability is not a requirement of any state if a person is in need of medical; as Pennsylvania (and possibly other states) that require a person file for disability in order to obtain medical. A.      A person should not be required to file for disability if they are only in need of medical in any state or part of it. B.      I propose that NO county or other entity that provides application of medical should be allowed to “represent” any person applying for disability unless they are educated in this particular field and it is an option to the applicant; NOT a requirement under duress. 9.       I propose that no Administrative Law Judge (hereinafter referred to as ALJ) or United States entity may utilize such requirement mentioned in section 3 A - B to be a means to discredit any applicant (past, present or future).  An ALJ should be well aware of all rules, regulations and laws if they are going to use them to discredit a disability applicant.  10.       I propose a limited timeframe of approximately two (2) years for gathering and submitting all “longitudinal” evidence for the ALJ to review the case.  Thus decreasing the retroactive amounts the government dispenses while also speeding up approvals. People should NOT die while awaiting approval.  11.   I propose the “longitudinal” evidence can be submitted from as far back as needed; not to be limited to a few short years that may make it impossible to provide an ALJ a proper judgment of a person’s entire medical history. If “longitudinal” evidence is a requirement to prove a person has any particular medical history than it should be allowed, no matter how many years prior the medical condition(s) began. 12.   I propose giving medical professionals an incentive to partake in disability documentation or be required since it is a short document with diagnoses only; which will speed up the process.  13.   I propose the elimination of any/all facilities or medical professional to partake in said cases that has elongated waits in between visits in order to ensure an applicant has ample access to all medical professionals needed for all proper diagnoses and testing required for approval; in a timely fashion. A.    Example: Cleveland Clinic’s Florida location(s) have had an average wait of 5-6 months to see their individual specialists. Not to forget that some people do not know what each specialist deals with and may need to revisit a previous specialist since they were not aware of or informed of what symptoms each particular specialist may need to know. It is common to be sent to many specialists and if they do not have a crucial symptom; a proper diagnosis could be overlooked.  14.   I propose that under certain circumstances pictures or video be allowed for submission in the event that medical is not available or advanced enough to allow for an ALJ or any other court authority to analyze present and ongoing medical conditions that are disabling. A.       Example 1: An MRI or CT scan is not capable of detecting internal scar growth. Scar tissue can adhere to any organs including the intestines and be torn with movement, can cause long term chronic pain that cannot be seen, prompt removal of or part of organs such as the intestines, etc. Only images can be utilized if the documentation is no longer available. 15.   I propose for bi-annual medical professional documentation if a person has opted for long-term payments; in the case that they have been cured, had a successful surgery or for any other reason that would eliminate ongoing payments. This would also protect the government for overpayment if a person is deceased.  16.   I propose that if an applicant has two (2) medical professionals confirm a terminal illness, they are approved immediately, without a hearing (to save time for both parties). Section 10 timeline could/should be shortened under these circumstances. NO one should die while awaiting approval. This does happen!  17.   I propose if an applicant has any sort of disability plan used through work, they should still be given the option of a retroactive payment though it should be a decreased set amount by the government but would still eliminate ongoing funds paid out while “Enabling the Disabled”. 18.   I propose that the representation fee’s for lawyers or any other remain the same as set forth in law presently.  19.   I propose that if an applicant does not or cannot hire an attorney, they or their chosen representation have full access to the applicant’s file electronically also (whether it is to look at the file and especially to submit evidence) as with any Judge, US Attorney’s Office or lawyer’s granted access. The disabled should not be disabled even more because it increases the chances of losing their case.  20.   I propose that the courts “Authorization to Release” medical documents should fall within the realm of a court order, forcing all medical providers to get patient files to a judge to prevent a person from being denied or they should be held responsible if a person loses their case.  21.   I propose self help call centers to be available for those who do not have a lawyer. The attorney’s fees or part thereof that the applicant would normally pay an attorney could be utilized to fund the center(s).  22.   I propose that all documentation from the Social Security Administration be sent out via certified, return receipt that requires a signature; especially those without an attorney. Thus preventing individuals from missing deadlines that can and will cause delay or denial in their cases. People’s lives and cases rely on this documentation.  23.   I propose medical professionals are not allowed to document “Patient Refused” unless there is literally a written refusal signed; otherwise just leave it blank if any medical condition is not addressed. A.      Example 1: An AMA – “Against Medical Advice” document signed by the patient. But if a patient is not questioned, physically or medically checked (and all else that applies) specifically regarding ALL medical illnesses/diagnoses at any one visit or is unaware of any at that present time; do not allow for medical professionals or any court authority to utilize it against a person in a SSD/SSI denial or in any medical documentation. 1.       If the person left a medical professional to go to another for a valid reason, it should not be used as a means to discredit that person by an ALJ or any other court authority. B.      Example 2: If a person goes to the Emergency Room (hereinafter referred to as an ER) at a hospital for breathing difficulties and they are not there for another illness such as Fibromyalgia, it is often documented as “patient refused” complaints of other medical conditions they have. Factually, an ER does not address anything other than a person’s primary complaints; not their entire medical history. Thus making this unfair for utilization to discredit a person if they are not allowed or cannot provide every medical condition at one visit. C.      Example 3: A monthly Primary Care Provider (hereinafter referred to as a PCP) visit or a specialist that is scheduled for another patient approximately 10 (ten) or less minutes later.  It is more common that there is only minimal communication and basic vitals taken. D.      Example 4: Fibromyalgia being a perfect example as a medical professional does not do a monthly or regular hands on check for the symptoms if it is already established the patient has this diagnosis.  E.       The lack of monthly or regular documentation or examination should not be utilized to discredit a person, as it is not the persons fault if the medical professional does not have hours to review and document all existing medical diagnoses with a patient at every visit. 24.   It should not be allowed for any medical professional or otherwise to documents in a discriminatory way if a person states verbally, written or otherwise that they have filed for disability or have disabilities. A.       Example 1: A questionnaire regarding a person’s work status that an applicant states in any way that they have applied for disability. This should not be used as a means to discredit or categorize a person for being honest. 25.   I propose an ALJ or any other court authority utilize a person’s “desire” to change a life status as a means to discredit or deny them disability. A.      Example 1: A psychological questionnaire that asks an applicant if they are “motivated” to feel better mentally or physically. This does not mean they are capable; it merely states they “choose” to. It should not be used as a means to discredit a person for wanting to feel better in any way.   B.      Example 2: If a person “chose” to win the lottery, it does not mean they will.   I am sure there will need to be changes to my proposal but I appreciate the United States, any governing body within it and the people of the United States entertaining what I feel are potentially great opportunities for both the people and the government.   Heather Palmateer (HLP)          Port St Lucie, FL

Heather Hlp Palmateer
49 supporters
Started 8 months ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Social Security Administration

Please let my wife live.

Please help my wife. You might save her life. Linda lives alone thanks to Social Security. She has serious epilepsy. Seizures are getting worse and worse. Three times in the last year she has ended up in the Emergency Room with serious injuries from seizures ranging from severe cuts and bruises (looking like she has been beaten and battered) to broken bones to concussion. She has had far more than three close calls. It is only by the grace of God she hasn’t been hurt worse. Years ago she had brain surgery as a result of the severity of her seizures. The surgery did not do away with the seizures but did leave her with a host of disabilities that she didn’t have before the surgery. The challenges she faces are real and pressing. Doctors are telling her she may need more brain surgery She is also in chronic pain. Headaches are more often than not 24/7. She had serious back surgery several years ago and one doctor has told she needs further surgery around her neck and says he thinks the headaches will never disappear until she has that surgery. But he counsels caution too. The back surgery could leave her a vegetable. Her neurologist told me bluntly “Mr. Drain your wife does not need to live alone. It is not safe.” Yet she is home alone tonight. And was last night and the night before. She is alone because Social Security tells me it is illegal for me to live with her. 5 years ago I took early retirement from social security. Linda was not doing well and I thought perhaps it was time for me to be home. After a couple of months Social Security called us in. “You guys make way too much money.” We found out we had run into a nightmare law. They told Linda because of my retirement they were essentially taking away her social security. The combination of the two still left us well below poverty. We separated to maintain her eligibility for the health insurance that kept her alive. CNN recently did a piece on our story. We found out that we had found a hell that thousands and thousands of poor people who were either old or disabled or both had found themselves in. We found out that Social Security was the most dangerous thing in our life and something we never dreamed existed was going to possibly keep us apart forever. Love should not be illegal. Dedicated, committed love that has stood the test of time should particularly never be illegal. Our crime was we had been married a long time, Linda was disabled, and we were poor. Some crime. The doctor told Linda she needed a medical caretaker. I asked social security if I could be that caretaker. They told me that would be fraud. It is getting worse, getting more dangerous each and every day. We are asking that the regulations that have separated us be reconsidered. It is a shame what this country is doing to many of its older citizens. It is past a shame. If the regulations can not be reconsidered we simply ask for mercy. We wish to steal no money or break no laws. We simply wish for Linda to live. PLEASE HELP. Allow us to live together again.

Larry Drain
1,425 supporters