The deficit commission offered a vague proposal for a hardship exemption to accommodate those in a financial squeeze like Love. Hardship exemptions veer into the territory of means-testing, as in welfare programs. Presumably those applying would have to show that they really need their benefits early. That sounds like the tough tests that people face when they now apply for Social Security disability benefits. Some experts say that that new applicants could make the current three-year claims backlog even larger.
“Social Security is not a welfare program,” Love said. “It’s a little nest egg that you planned on. It’s like a pot at the end of the rainbow, so to speak. They should leave Social Security alone. You paid into it. It’s yours at sixty-two.”
For more from Trudy Lieberman on Social Security and entitlement reform, click here.