Just weeks away from relinquishing power to incoming President-elect Joe Biden, the Trump administration is quietly launching a last-minute assault on Social Security by rushing ahead with a rule that, if implemented, could deny critical benefits to hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities.The Social Security Administration (SSA) late last week submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a proposed rule aiming to further tighten eligibility requirements for Social Security disability benefits, which around ten million Americans currently rely on for a modest monthly income.\u0022Since the day he took office, President Trump has claimed he would protect Social Security. He is showing his true colors again.\u0022 —Richard Fiesta, Alliance for Retired AmericansWhile it is unclear whether the rule can be finalized before Biden takes office next month, Social Security defenders reacted with outrage to the proposal and called on the president-elect to make clear that he will immediately roll back the change.\u0022It is outrageous,\u0022 Richard Fiesta, executive director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, said in a statement Monday. \u0022The Trump administration could pull the rug out from millions of Americans, especially older Americans, in the waning days of its administration. Since the day he took office, President Trump has claimed he would protect Social Security. He is showing his true colors again.\u0022Advocacy group Social Security Works called the proposal \u0022a despicable attack on people with disabilities and on our Social Security system\u0022 and urged Biden—whose own record on Social Security has been heavily criticized by progressives—to \u0022clean house at the Social Security Administration on day one\u0022 by replacing top officials appointed by President Donald Trump.The Trump Administration is waging a stealth war on people with disabilities from inside the Social Security Administration: https://t.co/Mex155qDlVJoe Biden needs to undo these cruel regulations — and clean house at SSA — on day one.— SocialSecurityWorks (@SSWorks) December 7, 2020In the works for months, the Trump administration\u0026#039;s proposed rule would significantly revise the criteria by which SSA determines who does and doesn\u0026#039;t qualify for disability benefits.Under current law, applicants with certain serious conditions automatically qualify for benefits; those with other ailments are deemed qualified or not based on an evaluation of additional factors such as age, work history, education, and \u0022residual functional capacity.\u0022The Trump administration\u0026#039;s proposed rule, as the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year, \u0022would no longer assume age seriously affects a person\u0026#039;s ability to adapt to simple, entry-level work.\u0022\u0022It would raise the age at which education and work experience are considered in determining eligibility to 55, from 50,\u0022 the Journal reported. \u0022The new rule would also update data on occupational skills that the agency uses to determine eligibility, based on new information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.\u0022Another component of the proposed overhaul, according to HuffPost, would \u0022essentially redefine full-time work as 30 hours per week, instead of the usual 40, for purposes of determining whether someone is disabled.\u0022\u0022Fewer people would likely win benefits as a result,\u0022 HuffPost noted.\u0022The current system routinely denies benefits to older individuals with serious health problems and diminished prospects in the modern economy. Amplifying these outcomes by trying to get even more denials is not a rational policy approach.\u0022 —David WeaverFiesta warned that the Trump administration\u0026#039;s rule—one of many attacks it has launched on Social Security during its four years in power—would impose \u0022a massive change that could push thousands of Americans into poverty.\u0022\u0022Social Security\u0026#039;s disability payments are modest, an average of $15,096 each year for the average worker,\u0022 said Fiesta. \u0022These benefits are not easy to receive; disabled workers go through a lengthy and rigorous process to determine eligibility. We are in a pandemic that is hitting older Americans the hardest. Our government should be helping Americans who can no longer work due to a disability, not scheming to deny them the benefits they have earned over a lifetime of hard work.\u0022Economist David Weaver joined calls for Biden to immediately roll back the Trump administration\u0026#039;s proposed change, noting in an op-ed for The Hill on Monday that the rule \u0022could ultimately prevent as many as\u0026nbsp;500,000 Americans from receiving benefits.\u0022\u0022Looking at recent or modern data, the current system routinely denies benefits to older individuals with serious health problems and diminished prospects in the modern economy,\u0022 Weaver wrote. \u0022Amplifying these outcomes by trying to get even more denials is not a rational policy approach.\u0022As HuffPost\u0026#039;s Arthur Delaney reported last month, Biden will soon have the authority to unilaterally undo Trump\u0026#039;s attack on Social Security disability benefits as well as a slew of other safety net cuts the president is attempting to ram through the regulatory process during his final weeks in the White House.Bethany Lilly, director of income policy at advocacy group The Arc, told HuffPost that if a rule hasn\u0026#039;t been finalized by the time the Biden administration takes office, \u0022they can effectively just put a stop to it.\u0022\u0022I would expect the Biden administration to do so,\u0022 said Lilly.