The National Council on Disability is interested in answering the following questions:
What would a fundamental restructuring of the SSI and SSDI system require to align it with the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act, i.e. eliminate the requirement that an SSDI applicant declare themselves unable to work in order to be eligible for benefits; provide job retention supports to working people with disabilities who are at risk of job loss as a result of their disability; assist people with disabilities who are at risk of job loss because they are not receiving reasonable accommodations.
Given the extremely diverse populations served by the SSI and SSDI programs, how might different reform strategies disproportionately impact – either positively or negatively – particular segments of the disability community?
Based on the most current evidence-based research, does the Medicaid buy-in opportunity impact work activity? How should it be modified to promote work opportunities for people with disabilities?
To what extent has the Ticket-to-Work initiative been evaluated? What lessons can be drawn from the challenges the Ticket to Work program has faced in realizing its intended goals? If sufficient information is available to make a determination, what reforms to the Ticket to Work program are recommended?
Did the research reveal any changes to other federal programs that would have a positive impact on the health and effectiveness of the Social Security Programs and work opportunities for SSDI and SSI beneficiaries?
Could an incentive mechanism be used to encourage employers to make more efforts to accommodate employees with disabilities and to avoid employees with disabilities going on to SSDI rolls, e.g. an experience rating system whereby employers, whose employees have a lower rate of SSDI retirements, pay lower SSDI payroll taxes?
Could an incentive mechanism be developed to encourage states to supplement the SSI program with state funds?
Could an incentive mechanism be used to encourage more employers to offer private disability insurance policies that would supplement the SSDI program?
Are there other changes to the SSDI or SSI programs that would promote work activity, preserve benefits for those who need them, and secure the fiscal integrity of these programs?
I am not sure they are even asking the right questions in this study. The 1st things you propose are extremely unpopular: increasing the SSA budget, then removing limits to FICA taxes. Then SSA needs to speed up the processing time for applying current earnings information to the earnings record before we even get to an process of supporting those trying to return to work (of which there already is a program for that is underutilized and difficult for claimants to understand)