Press Releases

REED, LARSON INTRODUCE BILL TO ALLOW ADULTS WITH LIFE-LONG DISABILITIES TO WORK WITHOUT WORRY

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Washington, June 17, 2021 | comments

 

Washington, D.C. - Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (D-CT), Ranking Member Tom Reed (R-NY), and 13 original bipartisan cosponsors introduced the Work Without Worry Act. The Work Without Worry Act will ensure that young adults with disabilities won’t have to fear that trying to work may jeopardize their future financial security. A companion bill is being introduced in the Senate by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

“I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan, bicameral bill today with Ranking Member Reed. Any young adult with a life-long disability should be able to pursue work without having to worry about losing future Social Security benefits. The Work Without Worry Act will fix this flaw in the current law to make sure that doesn’t happen,” said Larson.

“We should reward work not penalize it.  The Work Without Worry Act gives young people the peace of mind that they can always count on Social Security and doesn’t stop them from pursuing their dreams,” said Reed.

If an adult has a severe medical condition that began before age 22, they may be eligible for a Social Security benefit called the Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefit. Adults who qualify for Social Security DAC benefits have life-long disabilities (such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or intellectual disability) and often wish to explore their ability to work, particularly as they transition to adult life. However, under current law some of these young adults fear that if they try to work they will lose future DAC benefits, which are modest and often vital.

 

The Work Without Worry Act will ensure that young adults with disabilities won’t have to fear that trying to work may jeopardize their future financial security.

  • Financial Security: This bill promotes financial security by ensuring that any past earnings from work – no matter how much – will not prevent an otherwise eligible individual from receiving a Social Security DAC benefit from their parent’s work history (and the individual’s medical impairment began before age 22).
  • Peace of Mind: If an individual with a severe medical condition that began before age 22 works enough to become insured for Social Security based on their own earnings, they will receive the larger of the benefit from either their parent’s work history or the benefit from their own work history. 
  • Fairness: This bill treats all individuals with severe medical conditions that began before age 22 the same – no matter when their parents claim Social Security benefits. 
  • Helping Americans: This change is estimated improve the lives of nearly 6,000 individuals with disabilities over the next 10 years.

Supported by: The Arc, American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Social Security Task Force, National Down Syndrome Congress, The Association of University Centers on Disabilities, Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC).

 

A summary of the bill can be found here.

 

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