“We who work through colds, bad backs and low moods — however liberal we might be — have permission to resent those who could hold a job but don’t, preferring to collect disability checks unto the decades. You see them at the coffee shop, refilling their cups in leisure, or even pumping iron at the gym.
And there are more of them all the time. More than 5 percent of eligible American adults are now receiving disability payments from Social Security. Twenty years ago, it was 3 percent.”
I got the above quote from a Froma Harrop, a Seattle Times opinion writer and complete waste of oxygen. This nut job is just stoking the fire of conservatives who believe that our nation’s Social Security Disability benefits program is a backdoor welfare system with no proof, and zero statistical justification. (Zero Point Zero)
First she points out that the percent of Americans claiming their disability benefits, which they have earned through payroll allotments, has risen from 3% to 5% in the last 20 years. The only logical conclusion that she can muster to account for this whopping 2 percent increase in the last two decades is that people are faking it. Stealing tax payer money, drinking coffee at leisure and pumping iron at the gym. At no time does she take into account the fact that the baby boom population has been ageing for the last 20 years thereby increasing the average age of Americans. This would make too much sense because the older a person is the more likely they are to be disabled or become disabled due to injury. No, according to her we are all just pigs fighting to suckle at the government fat titty.
Second, living on Social Security benefits pays less than a part time minimum wage job, so no one is going to be sitting at Starbucks and shelling out their scarce greenbacks to an overpriced gym membership. For those few who do scam their way into the system and the fewer that are able to obtain benefits, due to the adminstrations backlogs andrigorous inquiries , it is not a lavish life style they lead. Often it is a decision made out of financial desperation and not one of laziness.
Third, the author exhibits several cases where disability claimants alleged phantom disabilities to obtain benefits. Every cases she cites is from a private insurer and not Social Security. She goes on to proclaim that other countries have tried to wean people off their disability benefits with vocational rehabilitation programs. These programs do exist in the US as well; they are administrated by the State and local governments.
Here is the link to the full Seattle Times article but instead of wasteing your time reading this waste of valueble internet space, go to the gym, get some coffee and take a survey of who many disability recipients sorround you.