Brown Bill Would Help Terminally Ill Patients Get Social Security Disability
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today introduced new legislation to waive the five-month waiting period in the Social Security disability (SSD) program for terminally ill patients. The Arthur Woolweaver, Jr. Social Security Improvements for the Terminally Ill Act was named for a local Cuyahoga Falls man who passed away on June 12 from cancer without receiving his disability payments.
"What happened to Mr. Woolweaver should never happen again," Brown said. "Nothing should prevent someone from receiving benefits. Mr. Woolweaver worked diligently his whole life. We honor him by fixing this system."
"My husband worked hard all his life, cared for his family, and never received any help from the social security administration. He, like many other hard working people of America, have been the foundation for industry and commerce yet his country let him down so badly when he needed support the most. This has to change," said Janet, Mr. Woolweaver's wife.
When Mr. Woolweaver was diagnosed as terminally ill, he was told he would have to wait five months before receiving disability payments. However, he did not live through the five-month waiting period, and was unable to collect the $1,800 per month to which he was entitled. Mr. Woolweaver's widow is unable to collect his benefits.
Brown's legislation seeks to ease the financial burden associated with terminal illness by allowing patients with life expectancies of six months or less to begin collecting Social Security Disability payments earlier.