A bill to eliminate the five-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for people living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) “can mean the difference between life and death,” the president of the ALS Association said recently.
“Nearly half of those living with ALS will die within 16 months
of diagnosis, so it’s critical that they receive the benefits they
deserve and have paid for as quickly as possible,” Barbara Newhouse said. “This effort is truly bipartisan and
we applaud those champions in the Senate and House for fighting for
people with ALS and working to ensure they have access to the vital
health and disability benefits.”
The legislation was introduced on the Senate floor by Sens.
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Tom Cotton (R-AR). A companion bill,
sponsored by Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Peter King (R-NY), was delivered
to the House of Representatives.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting the
brain’s ability to send messages to the nervous system. People
suffering from the disease eventually lose their ability to control
While SSDI provides benefits to ALS patients who might not be able
to work, under current law they still must wait five months before they can begin to
ALS group urges exemption from SSDI waiting period
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