For the world recognition of Rare Disease Day, the American rep. Diana Harshbarger, R-TN-01, addresses US Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, to introduce The Immediate Access for the Terminally Ill Act.
This legislation will eliminate the current five-month waiting period in the Social Security Invalidity Insurance program, which prevents terminally ill patients from gaining immediate access to benefits.
“The last thing Americans who face decisions about their end of life should be concerned about is dealing with bureaucracy in Washington,” Congressman Harshbarger said. “We need to make sure that Americans who are facing significant difficulties get help when they need it most. I am proud to join Senator Mike Lee in introducing this legislation to ensure that people with fatal diseases receive their benefits in a timely manner while still maintaining the integrity of the system.
“I very much appreciate Senator Lee’s dedicated leadership on this important issue. This is a compassionate and tax-responsible proposal from good government to ensure that patients with terminal illness do not have to bear the extra burden of fighting for benefits.”
Senator Mike Lee (UT) said: “Social security disability insurance provides a financial safety net for disabled workers, but requires a five-month waiting period before receiving benefits. Unfortunately, five months is for some Americans suffering from diseases that are clearly disabling. long term, has short life expectancy and no known cure, simply too long. If passed, my bill could put SSDI benefits in patients’ hands more quickly, relieving some of the stress associated with end-of-life care. “