Weekly News Roundup: Obama Wants to Restrict Guns for Some on Social Security Disability, Republicans Propose Plan for Disability Reform, Artist Invents Art Tools for Children with Disabilities

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A conceptual image of a woman's hand appearing to hold a chalk drawn handgun with a "NO" sign around it.

Here are some of the top healthcare and disability headlines for July 14–20.

Obama Goal: No Guns for Some on Social Security Disability

The Obama Administration is seeking to ban some Social Security beneficiaries from owning firearms if they lack the mental capacity to manage their own financial affairs. The push is in an effort to bring the Social Security Administration in line with laws that regulate who gets reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is used to prevent the sale of guns to felons, drug addicts and others. If enacted, the Social Security Administration would report the names of people who are unable to manage their own financial affairs due to “marked subnormal intelligence, mental illness, incompetency, condition or disease.” This would affect millions of disability beneficiaries whose income is managed by others. Read More

The Social Security Disability Program’s in Trouble and Republicans Will Do . . . Something

Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee met in an attempt to brainstorm reforms for Social Security’s Disability Insurance program. If no reforms are enacted by the end of next year, disability beneficiaries will see a 20 percent cut in benefits. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) proposed adopting a benefit-offset policy that would encourage beneficiaries to go back to work without the risk of completely losing benefits once their income rises above the substantial gainful activity threshold. Democrats don’t expect this plan to save the government much money since only 15 percent of new disability enrollees earn money from work within five years of signing up. Read More

Artist Forgoes Fame to Invent Tools that Allow Kids with Disabilities to Paint

Painting and coloring are considered to be iconic childhood experiences. Unfortunately for some children with disabilities, holding a paintbrush or a crayon poses difficulties. Dwanye Szot is looking to make art a little easier for these kids and has unveiled a series of art tools that can be used with a wheelchair. The tools have opened up a whole new world to children with disabilities, allowing them to explore their creativity without limitations. Read More