SHRM Testifies Before U.S. House Subcommittee: Simplify the Social Security Disability Insurance Program

Sep 14, 2012

SHRM Testifies Before U.S. House Subcommittee: Simplify the Social Security Disability Insurance Program

WASHINGTON – The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) today told Congress that the critically-needed federal disability insurance program—highly valued by employers—is too complicated and needs to be simplified.

Testifying on behalf of the 260,000-member SHRM, business owner Nadine Vogel stressed the need for an easier-to-navigate system regarding the federal tools and resources that help employers transition disabled workers returning to the workforce.

During the congressional hearing held by the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, Vogel stated: “SHRM and its members have a long history of promoting effective employment practices that advance equal opportunity for all people, including individuals with disabilities.”

In explaining a key problem that employers must work around, Vogel said:

“Unfortunately, the definition of disability and eligibility for SSDI [Social Security Disability Insurance] is outdated and reflects a “medical model,” rather than a functional one. Contrary to SSDI definition, other federal statutes use a different definition. SHRM prefers the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, definition, as it relies on the essential functions of a job, rather than a more general job description.”

Vogel is founder and president of Springboard Consulting, based in Mendham, New Jersey. Springboard advises U.S. and global companies on hiring, accommodating, and sustaining career opportunities for disabled workers.

Her testimony also stressed the difficulty SHRM members—human resource managers in small and large companies across the country—face in trying to utilize tax credits for hiring disabled workers, as well as the confusing and overlapping state and federal laws regarding disability benefits.

SHRM commended the subcommittee for holding the hearing and listening to feedback from employers.

SHRM also created the “SHRM Disability Employment Page” for employers seeking resources to help them recruit and retain disabled workers.


MEDIA: For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Julie Malveaux at and 703-535-6273.


About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 260,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at or follow SHRM @SHRMPress.


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