Dramatic Proposals for Allowing Beneficiaries to Work

Bruce Borden had it all at 36. A self-made man of means and influence, he was a prosperous entrepreneur, an insulation contractor and landlord, on track to an early retirement.

Bruce Borden wants Social Security reformed so that people with disabilities can earn more but keep benefits by paying into the system.

Then he became paralyzed in a diving accident and lost it all.

But what Borden has accomplished since has surpassed even his earlier success. So when he talks about reforming Social Security for millions of Americans with disabilities, you believe he can do it.

His plan, dubbed Making Work Pay, is getting attention in Madison and Washington. It would let people with significant disabilities earn what they can and pay for the public assistance they need to keep them working and independent. It’s a flip from the current system through which people who are trying to make a living risk losing the very supports they need to stay independent.

“It’s just not right that all these employment barriers for people with disabilities exist, and we can’t go to work and contribute to our needs without being penalized,” Borden said. “Right now, we’re paying people with disabilities not to work. Why don’t we support them to go to work and pay back into the system?”

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