Trump Budget Director Wants to “Fix” “Wasteful” SSD Program

While running for office, candidate Donald Trump often said he would not touch programs like Medicare and Social Security. But Sunday on the news program Face the Nation, his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, made it very clear that Social Security Disability is in the administration’s crosshairs, at least as far as he was concerned.

We’ve got some ideas on what to think about his comments. But first, watch the video if you want to hear the conviction in Mulvaney’s voice, or read this transcript of what he said:

Host: But [the President] might look at future Medicare recipients.

Budget Director Mulvaney: Let me ask you a question. Do you really think that Social Security Disability Insurance is part of what people think of when they think of Social Security? I don’t think so. It’s the fastest growing program. It grew tremendously under President Obama. It’s a very wasteful program and we want to try and fix that.

Host: Okay, We’re going to have to end it there…

Thoughts on Mick Mulvaney’s Social Security Disability Comments

It’s probably not a shock that the administration will look to target Social Security Disability, considering that Mr. Mulvaney’s recent budget proposal either slashed or eliminated programs ranging from Meals on Wheels to Public Television.

That said, it’s a harsh Monday morning wake-up that Social Security Disability claimants – and the lawyers who represent them – are facing some serious problems ahead. So, if you are a disability attorney, what should you do?

First, let’s not panic yet, for a few reasons…

  • Yes, it’s disconcerting to hear Mr. Mulvaney call Social Security Disability “wasteful” and criticize its growth. (Most understand that aging Baby Boomers are driving the growth, not waste.) But we don’t actually know what the White House will propose. Let’s not condemn before we know.
  • Second, Social Security Disability cuts are not part of the recent budget proposal. This was a comment, not a concrete proposal or legislation.
  • And just because the administration proposes something, it doesn’t mean Congress will adopt it. We don’t even know yet what will happen with Mr. Mulvaney’s official proposed budget or the replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Both are drawing strong criticism, even within the President’s own Republican Party.

That said, this would not be the first challenge Social Security Disability has faced over the last few years. In my conversations with our attorney-clients who practice this type of law, we have been urging diversification. It seems more prudent than ever not to have all your eggs in the SSD basket.

But that also doesn’t mean you should remove SSDI from your basket or even stop seeking new clients. You should not. Claimants need your help now more than ever.

Not coincidentally, within a few weeks, you’re going to see an announcement by our niche marketing agency that we are rebranding. We’re even adopting a new agency name.

We will proudly continue helping Social Security Disability law firms, but we’ll also be very clear that we work with law firms in many other areas.

Stay tuned for that announcement. The point now is that we are taking our own advice.

Whether you’re currently one of our law firm clients or not, we’re here to help if you want to discuss how to professionally manage your brand and add practice diversity to your firm.

We’ve helped others already and would be happy to talk about ideas for your firm.

If you’d like a free consultation, contact me at Yep, that’s the new email address, although the old one still works, too, of course.

We – and you – may have to adapt with the times, but we’re not going anywhere.

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About the Author: Nathan Chapman

As founder and President of Firmidable, for over 30 years Nathan Chapman has been a nationally known leader, consultant and speaker on growth strategies for law firms. Nathan’s professional passion is for data-driven, holistic legal marketing driven by YOUR law firm’s measures of success—not by the metrics of a service-providing vendor. His approach has been life-changing for attorneys across the country as well as hundreds of thousands of clients helped by their firms.

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