Advocacy / Politics / Support Letters

Promoting Opportunity through Informed Choice Act H.R. 1795

AMAC recently supported the bill H.R. 1795, the “Promoting Opportunity through Informed Choice Act.” This legislation was introduced by Representative Sam Johnson (R-TX-03) and seeks to provide disability beneficiaries with increased information so that they can make educated decisions regarding the future of their participation in the workforce. This bill requires the Social Security Commissioner to develop online tools to help beneficiaries assess the impact of earnings on eligibility for and benefit amounts of state and federal programs. This online portal would provide beneficiaries with critical information before, after, and during consultations with government offices and/or direct service providers, would minimize the spread of misinformation about employment benefits, and would reduce cost to expand the availability of information services. AMAC believes H.R. 1795 is a positive first step in modernizing the disability program and helping beneficiaries consider the many benefits of rejoining the workforce.

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April 22, 2015

The Honorable Sam Johnson
3rd District, Texas
2304 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Johnson,

On behalf of the 1.3 million members of AMAC, the Association of Mature American Citizens, I am writing to offer our support for your bill, H.R. 1795, the “Promoting Opportunity through Informed Choice Act.” This timely piece of legislation seeks to provide disability beneficiaries with increased information so that they can make educated decisions regarding the future of their participation in the workforce.

Specifically, H.R. 1795 would require the Social Security Commissioner to develop online tools to help beneficiaries assess the impact of earnings on eligibility for and benefit amounts of state and federal programs. These online tools, which have been developed successfully at the state level, are not currently available to all beneficiaries. The online portal would provide beneficiaries with critical information before, after, and during consultations with government offices and/or direct service providers, would minimize the spread of misinformation about employment benefits, and would reduce costs to expand the availability of information services.

AMAC believes H.R. 1795 is a positive first step in modernizing the disability program and helping beneficiaries consider the many benefits of rejoining the workforce. We fully understand that not all disability beneficiaries can return to work; however, experts estimate that more than 10% of beneficiaries could if given the proper supports, like those set forth in H.R. 1795. While the most recent survey of beneficiaries indicates that 40% are interested in working, the vast majority are not returning to work due to the numerous obstacles and complex disincentives to work that they encounter in the program. Congress must work to make it easier for beneficiaries who want to work to do just that.

Thanks to your extraordinary leadership on this issue and your willingness to improve beneficiaries’ access to information, AMAC is pleased to give our stamp of approval to H.R. 1795, the “Promoting Opportunity through Informed Choice Act.”

Sincerely,
Dan Weber
President and Founder of AMAC

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