August 04,2015

Press Contact:

Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202)224-4515

Hatch Announces Additional Bills to Improve Disability Insurance Program

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today announced another trio of bills designed to improve the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.  The bills put beneficiaries first by establishing new methods to prevent fraud, improve accountability, and provide more opportunities to current and future beneficiaries. The trio of bills join other SSDI bills Chairman Hatch introduced earlier this year as part of a broader package to address pending depletion of the SSDI trust fund.

“For some time now, the SSDI program has been in need of adjustments and updates to the services it provides,” Hatch said. “These bills are yet another step in that process and will help modernize SSDI making it more efficient and effective for both beneficiaries and taxpayers.  The SSDI trust fund will be depleted as early as next year and Congress must continue to search for avenues to address the financial challenges facing the program while continuing to improve on how the program works for beneficiaries.” 

The Promoting Opportunity for Disability Benefit Applicants Act, S. 1923, authorizes the Social Security Administration (SSA) to give denied DI applicants information on employment support services, from public and private non-profits, preventing workers from cycling through the application process and allowing them to re-enter the workforce. Additional background available here.

The Improving the Quality of Disability Decisions Act of 2015, S. 1922, requires the SSA to review Administrative Law Judge disability decisions and report the results annually to Congress to ensure judges are following the law and Social Security’s rules and regulations. Additional background available here.

The Disability Fraud Reduction and Unethical Deception (FRAUD) Prevention Act, S. 1929, updates and builds upon tools to deter and punish fraudsters by imposing civil monetary penalties and felony charges to criminals who defraud Social Security.  The bill also requires a regular review of major claimant representatives to ensure compliance. Additional background available here.

Joining Hatch on the bills as cosponsors are Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.).