Plan

Our mission clearly aligns with the Social Security Administration’s goals to clear out the backlog.

The Disability Benefits Deadline Initiative is a targeted approach to address the delay in retroactive payments to Social Security claimants and representatives. Currently the Social Security Administration has NO deadline to release payments. Social Security frequently gives a standard response to expect payments within sixty days, but there is nothing binding that time frame and no chain of command when a payment is delayed.

We’ve assembled a team to lobby for a sixty-day deadline for all Social Security payments. This targeted single initiative approach is strategically times to align with the election cycle and the recent budget proposal. Maren Miller Bam, owner of Salus Law, PLLC, Rocco Luongo, owner of Power Focus Engineering, and Timothy Peckinpaugh, a partner at K&L Gates are leading this strategic effort.

Congress, acting in bipartisan fashion, has already tackled issues related to SSDI benefit distribution in recent Labor-HHS appropriations bills.  In the last three Labor-HHS bills, Congress included appropriations language and funding to fix the growing backlog of SSDI cases at SSA.  The Appropriations Committees set aside an initial $100 million to be used by the SSA to hire new Administrative Law Judges, staff, and undertake other measures that would help to reduce this backlog.  Congress further mandated SSA look into the backlog problem to ensure recipients don’t risk losing the benefits and send Congress a plan to solve the problem.  Responding to this mandate, the SSA created a plan to eliminate the backlog by 2021.

Our mission clearly aligns with Social Security’s goals to clear out the backlog. Simply approving cases does not clear out the backlog; claimants need to actually get paid, not just approved.

There should be significant Congressional debate regarding Social Security in 2020.  This debate will likely center around several issues including:  the continuing backlog of Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) cases; a new Trump Administration executive order that will reduce benefits for participants in the SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) programs; solvency issues related to the various Social Security Trust funds; and new policy platforms to expand Social Security benefits (both in Congress and in the Democratic Presidential primary).  This debate should help create a favorable context for Congress to engage on issues related to distribution of Social Security related back pay. 

The Disability Benefits Deadline Initiative will provide a transparent, aggressive campaign to reduce the delay in claimants’ and representatives’ payments from the Social Security Administration. Our approach is well-timed and well-aligned with the current climate in Congress. We plan to capitalize on the fact that it is an election year and piggyback on the current initiative to reduce Social Security’s backlog.

We need your voice, ideas, and financial support to protect our clients and our profession. The Disability Benefits Deadline Initiative is not creating a laundry list of lobbying goals with little communication. We will be a one issue per term campaign with open communication and strategic planning. We will not be afraid to advocate for your business.