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Looming budget cuts may hit disabled populations

While Congress eventually made decisions to avoid the fiscal cliff, some programs could still see budget cuts go into effect later this year. During negotiations about how to avoid the fiscal cliff and another potential financial crisis, lawmakers delayed budget cuts until March that were supposed to go into effect on Jan. 1.

Unless lawmakers make changes to the planned budget cuts before March, many people will likely notice changes in program funding. According to Disability Scoop, a number of the programs that are on the docket to be cut benefit people with disabilities.

Cuts that are scheduled to go into effect in March could impact special education services, transportation, and housing programs that help people with disabilities, according to a recent report. However, because these budget cuts have been put on hold until March, less money will be cut than was originally planned last fall.

If these cuts are allowed to take effect in March, persons with disabilities may turn to other forms of assistance more often. For instance, a person who does not currently receive disability benefits may currently benefit from programs that offer help to people with disabilities. However, if these programs are cut, this person may turn to Social Security disability benefits.

When a person is applying for disability benefits, seeking legal guidance throughout the process can be beneficial. The application process can be complicated and many applications are denied the first time, leading many applicants to file appeals in court. The appeals process can be even more frustrating; having the help of an attorney when making an appeal could also be very beneficial.

Source: Disability Scoop, "Disability programs still vulnerable after 'fiscal cliff' deal," Michelle Diament, Jan. 8, 2013

To learn more about applying for Social Security disability benefits, please visit our website.

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