Sam Johnson Calls for Online Tools to Help Disability Beneficiaries Return to Work

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Washington, July 20, 2017 | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (TX-03) introduced the Social Security Online Tools Innovation Act (H.R. 3309). This bill would require the Social Security Administration to reduce the complexity surrounding returning to work by providing an online resource to help disability beneficiaries assess how returning to work may affect their benefit payments. 


“We hear time and time again that one of the reasons beneficiaries don’t return to work is that the rules regarding work and benefits are really complex – these rules can even act as a disincentive,” said Johnson.  “Social Security needs to provide better information in an easy-to-access way so that individuals who can return to work have the information they need to do so.  This is a commonsense solution that brings Social Security into the 21st century.”  


In a 2010 beneficiary survey, over 40 percent of beneficiaries said they were interested in working.  However, in 2015 less than one half of one percent of beneficiaries left the rolls due to earnings from work.  While not all disability beneficiaries can return to work, experts believe over 10 percent could return to work if given the proper information and support. 


The Social Security Online Tools Innovation Act would require the Social Security Administration to create an online portal that has the ability to:

  • Expand access to online tools that are already used successfully in some states;
  • Decrease the spread of misinformation about employment and benefits; and
  • Provide information before, during, and after engagement with a government office or direct service provider.



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