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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Submit Comments on the Proposed Rule Requiring SSA to Report People with Representative Payees to National Instant Criminal Background Check System

Many families have a tradition of hunting. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration wants to keep people with disabilities who need help with their finances from participating in that tradition. Earlier this year, President Obama issued his Executive Action to address gun violence in the U.S. Part of this action required the Social Security Administration (SSA) to start rule-making. SSA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) concerning “Implementation of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Improvement Act of 2007 (NIAA)” on May 5, 2016. This proposal requires SSA to identify people on SSDI who have a representative payee and report them to the Department of Justice for inclusion in the NICS.

This proposal is fundamentally flawed, and it is highly discriminatory. We need members of the NCIL community to submit comments opposing this proposal. There is no evidence to support a connection between gun violence and having a representative payee to help manage one’s benefits due to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) definition “mental impairment.”

This proposed rule would perpetuate the misguided message that people with certain disabilities are dangerous. It would violate the privacy and other rights of people receiving social security due to disability. More importantly, it would do nothing to actually address gun violence.

Please respond with your comments by July 5, 2016, the deadline. It is important that as many people and organizations comment on SSA’s misguided efforts as possible. Centers can address how this would affect your consumers and services. Others can tell your story or a personal story of someone you know who has a representative payee and how they are not dangerous. CCD, a disability coalition with which we work has provided sample comments to work from.

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