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‘One side’ drives disability cost

Publisher's Notebook

April 12, 2013

Think the unemployment rate of 9....

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Apr-14-13 8:13 AM

Actually knowing people who have tried, legitimately, for Disability, not anecdotal stories or plain numbers without explanation, I'd say this is just nonsense. Many people try for years for Disability before any success, it is NOT just handed to them, and generally need a lawyer's help. Our population is aging rapidly. There are many reasons for a rise in numbers. Is there some abuse? Of course there is, and that exists in ANY program designed to help people, from Welfare to Social Security to VA benefits, but that doesn't mean the programs themselves are bad. Kids get caught cheating on exams too, should we eliminate them all? (The tests, not the kids. I wanted to clarify that for the boo-birds)It's incredibly easy to make a duck look like a chicken when using numbers and anecdotes.

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Apr-13-13 12:25 PM

DKexpat-right on the money,it's the abuse of the system and the use of it as an extension of unemployment. Reading through the disability "playbook" section 12 and subsections pretty much means that any one of us could qualify. The difference is that most of us still maintain a sense of pride. Those that truly need help I will always support but people who grab disability payments because they feel sad, NO WAY JOSE!! He** I feel sad every time I take a peek at the national debt clock!

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Apr-13-13 12:11 PM

"At the hearings, judges make a decision after hearing from only one side," Smith writes in his article headlined "The welfare cowboys." "In what other kind of court would that hold up? Call it a miscarriage of social justice." does someone not being represented cause more favorable cases? This does not make sense!

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Apr-12-13 9:59 PM


John, you're lazy and you bully the more vulnerable -- what a big, bad publisher you are...

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Apr-12-13 9:58 PM

(cont.) John, I don't know where to begin...Our population is larger, older & growing older more than any time in our history which makes them "record numbers". Disability claims are going to grow as a percentage of the "record numbers" total anyway -- so when you say claims are "record numbers", well, duh, of course they are.

There are 62 million total SS recipients, of which, 8.8 million receive SSDI. 8.8M out of 330 million -- ~ 2.5%, again 2.5% of our population. You villainize a meager 2.5% as a source of taxpayer angst & woe???

The avg SSDI benefit is about $1130/mo -- less than a SS retiree benefit of $1155/mo -- hardly a luxury life, John. The poverty line for 1 is $11K, $15K for 2. Do the math, John, its poverty living. What exactly do the SSDI recipients do with this luxury $s? They spend it, in their communities, contributing to retailers' top lines -- they ARE directly contributing to our economy, John.

You're lazy & you bul

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Apr-12-13 9:39 PM

You know John, given the way you cherry-pick your unsubstantiated premises -- which others (like Smith) have cherry-picked as well, btw -- and then you try to bundle them together into some sort of lame attempt to development a cohesive ideological argument is just, well, bush-league amateurish. And you call yourself a publisher...

All the SS and SSDI data is readily available, John, at the SS web site in easy to read tables -- you didnt need to be lazy and quote Smith. A couple of clicks later and you could have found some data which would have made Smith sound like an idiot. But you didn't. (con't)

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Apr-12-13 3:01 PM

Granted, not ALL law enforcement are "scammers", but many are some of the biggest abusers of the system! Even if we exclude former cops who receive SSDI benefits, there are waaaaay too many who intentionally inflate their annual incomes thru widely accepted OT scams, thus manipulating and securing annual pensions worth more than what their full base pay was prior to retiring.

...this gross abuse (theft) of taxpayers' money has been going on forever, and it angers me to no end!

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Apr-12-13 2:10 PM

I think the article and my post were drawing attention to abuse of the system.

Disability claims have spiked the last three times unemployment went up – in the early 90s, early 2000s and the recession we just went through. Coinciidence?

1 in 14 workers is now on SSDI – and since 2009, 5.9M have been added to SSDI while only 2.5M jobs were created - which is one reason why SSDI will go broke as early as 2015-16.

The Continuing Disability Reviews? The current backlog is 1.5 million!

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Apr-12-13 12:18 PM

How dare anyone attack the disabled!! For one someone that is disabled is a very private matter, and in order to get a judge to rule in that favor the person must have conditions according to the SSA adult disability criteria. To be disabled is not being able to work, its not being able to financially support ones self which is deemed 20 hours plus in labor. SSA has a vocationally expert on your behalf that testifies if there are jobs you can do based on your previous working experience. If you worked your whole life in office management, for example, SSA would not expect you to flip burgers at McDonalds. Thats not your work history. And you couldnt make the money like you use to. SSA follows up on the disabled every 24 months to see if conditions have improved or changed. The payment is based on your wages. There is no set amount one gets. Its an average of your 35 yrs of income or not.

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Apr-12-13 11:28 AM

An example of why private-sector workers get t’d off - -

In Montgomery County, MD (adjoins DC), 62% of police offers who retired in the past 4 years collect disability payments, including one who placed 2nd in a tough fitness contest a year later. Another is the police chief in another city. In two cases, disability was granted after they were cleared to return to work!

Around here, disability is 2/3 of your salary – tax-free – for life. Counting all county employees, 31% who retired over the past 8 years did so with “service-related” disability awards. Some retired police officers today receive full disability while flying commercial aircraft, teaching self-defense classes, working as security guards and serving in the US Army Reserve.

And the disability system is “one size fits all” – it makes no distinction between a broken finger (can’t pull the trigger anymore) and neck-down paralysis. Both would get the same disability payment for life.

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