February 12,2015

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Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202) 224-4515

Hatch, Johnson, Ryan, Introduce Bill to Prevent “Double Dipping” in Disability Benefits

Plan to Help Shore Up Social Security Disability Trust Fund Similar to White House Proposal

WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) introduced, “The Social Security Disability Insurance and Unemployment Benefits Double Dip Elimination Act of 2015” in both the Senate and House. The legislation would prevent people from receiving both Social Security disability benefits and unemployment benefits at the same time.  A similar proposal was included in the President’s fiscal year 2016 budget with estimated savings of $2 billion over 10 years. Upon introduction, Chairman Johnson and Chairman Hatch, as well as Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) - a primary co-sponsor of the bill – released the following statements:

“This is an idea that even the President himself outlined in his most recent budget," said Chairman Hatch. "By closing this loophole that allows for individuals to qualify for both disability and unemployment, we can reduce duplicative spending, as the President’s Budget recognizes, and preserve benefits for those that need them most.”

"Even though disability benefits are for those who can’t work and unemployment benefits are for those who can work, under current law someone can receive both benefits at the same time,” said Chairman Johnson. "That just doesn’t make sense. This commonsense legislation ends this double dipping and preserves Social Security benefits for only those who truly cannot work. I’m committed to finding real solutions to help the solvency of the Disability Insurance Trust Fund and this bill is a step in the right direction”

“Protecting a critical program like Social Security should be a bipartisan endeavor," said Chairman Ryan. "This proposal builds upon a provision in President Obama’s budget, and it’s an important step toward strengthening the Disability Insurance Trust Fund.”

Co-sponsors of the Senate bill include:  U.S. Senators Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Tim Scott (R-S.C.).

Other House Ways and Means Committee members co-sponsoring the legislation include Rep. Todd Young (R-IN), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE), and Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH).