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Arrington Reintroduces Legislation to End ‘Double Dipping’ of Disability and Unemployment Insurance Benefits

WASHINGTON, DC— Congressman Jodey Arrington (TX-19) reintroduced legislation that would eliminate government waste by preventing individuals from receiving both Social Security Disability Benefits and Unemployment Benefits at the same time, so that Disability Insurance is preserved for those who truly cannot work, ending the fiscally irresponsible practice of “double dipping.” The bill H.R. 3971 will ensure that individuals who are able to work and receiving temporary unemployment assistance are not also eligible to collect Social Security benefits that are reserved for disabled individuals who are unable to work.

The “Double Dip Elimination Act,” has been included in the budgets of both President Trump and President Obama and is estimated to save approximately $2.5 billion over 10 years. This is a practical and important step towards strengthening the Disability Insurance Trust Fund and the Social Security Trust Fund.

“Allowing able-bodied people to receive disability benefits is not only a waste of taxpayer dollars, but also a disservice to those who legitimately are not able to work,” said Rep. Arrington. “I am confident that, by eliminating the practice of double dipping in Unemployment and Disability Insurance, we can ensure greater fiscal responsibility and implement common-sense reforms for a solvent and sustainable Social Security Trust Fund.” 

"With federal debt set to reach a record this year and Social Security on a track toward insolvency, we need to cut back on unnecessary spending and tax breaks,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Curtailing overlapping payments won't make Social Security solvent or fix our budget outlook, but it would help. Allowing individuals to claim both unemployment benefits intended for those seeking work and disability benefits for those unable to work runs counter to the goals of those programs. Presidents in both parties have proposed ending this practice. Ending overlapping payments is a first step to getting Social Security and the budget back on track, so I commend Representative Arrington for putting forward legislation to enact this reform." 

To read the full text of H.R. 3971, click here.