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SSI the new alternative to work/welfare

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Replies to: SSI the new alternative to work/welfare

  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 29,514 Senior Member
    I participate on many online forums with folks who have chronic disease. They all are mystified why some get SSI or SSDI and others are denied and have to fight so hard. Part of it is medical documentation supporting disability.

    There definitely is room for cost savings and improvement with savings but arbitrarily slashing the lifeline would be dire for many of our nation's most vulnerable.
  • dstarkdstark Registered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    The lifeline is soooo small too.
  • BayBay Registered User Posts: 12,499 Senior Member
    While it might not seem "fair" to some to grant disability benefits to someone who has relatives who might be able to provide support, OTOH is it "fair" to expect family members to jeopardize their own financial security?

    I think it is fair to expect spouses to provide support for each other, and parents to provide support for their children under 18. Otherwise, no, it might not be "fair," but I hope my non-spouse family members will also help support me if I need it. I will do the same for them. That is what family is for.
  • lerkinlerkin Registered User Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
    lerkin - did they have attorneys? Locally, you will not get disability benefits without an attorney.

    I know my friend for sure did not have an attorney. However, I have to ask if the company she used to work for hired one. It did not even occur to my friend to apply for SSI, until her ex-employer insisted that she has to. I think SSI payments reduce her long term disability benefits. In fact for quite sometime she was thinking that eventually she will return to work. However, it is clear now that she will not be able to work in any foreseeable future. She cannot even drive her kid to school, because of the seizures issues.

    I am not sure about my cousin's husband. They don't really like to talk about this and for a long time when it was clear he was sick, we all had to pretend that there was nothing wrong with him. At least now, we can acknowledge the condition.
  • KajonKajon Registered User Posts: 4,367 Senior Member
    I am confused. If you cannot have more that $2000 in assets (i assume this includes husb/wife or parents of minor)and you have to hire an attorney to fight your case, how do the applicants afford this?
  • psych_psych_ Registered User Posts: 1,568 Senior Member
    I usually love NPR, but this is terrible journalism that perpetuates the old myth that disabled people are lazy, dishonest money-grubbers who just don't want to work. Frankly, it's *incredibly* hard to find a job that doesn't require standing for long periods of time or lifting as an essential (non-accommodation eligible) requirement. I've seen this listed as an essential function for ACCOUNTING jobs, so it's not just blue collar jobs, either. The author could have gone that direction and explored how limited job markets are even worse for people with disabilities, but she choose instead to frame it in such a way as to promote old, prejudiced, harmful myths about people with disabilities. Are there people who commit fraud in SSI and SSDI? Yes, there's fraud in any large system. Are they the majority or even a large minority? No. Are there people on SSI/SSDI who won't work if given the chance for a livable wage (which SSI and SSDI typically aren't)? Yes, but they are far and away the minority. Not that you would know that from reading this travesty of journalism and misrepresentation. It bothers me that people can still get away with such misrepresentations of a minority and not get called out for it.
  • CuriousJaneCuriousJane Registered User Posts: 820 Member
    I think many people who are denied disability payments, and who hire an attorney choose one who works on a contingency basis. That is, if the individual wins their case and receives back payments, the attorney will collect a fee from the back payments.
  • cartera45cartera45 Registered User Posts: 12,440 Senior Member
    Payments to attorneys on disability claims are regulated. Payments are made directly to the attorneys if the win an award. You can have an attorney in these cases with no upfront fees or expenses. Fees are also capped at 24% of back benefits or $6k - whichever is less.
  • cartera45cartera45 Registered User Posts: 12,440 Senior Member
    I usually love NPR, but this is terrible journalism that perpetuates the old myth that disabled people are lazy, dishonest money-grubbers who just don't want to work.

    Did you read or hear the report? If so, your perception is certainly much different from mine. I didn't get any sense of the judgment suggested in your post.
  • alwaysamomalwaysamom Registered User Posts: 11,491 Senior Member
    I know someone well who is on Social Security disability and it was a lengthy and difficult process to be approved. There's no way that this individual is able to work and the amount received monthly makes it very difficult to lead anything more than bare subsistance living. I'm not sure where all these people are who are getting tons of money and have nothing really wrong with them, or who is approving them for benefits but it sure isn't the experience of the person I know. Not even close.
  • missypiemissypie Registered User Posts: 18,303 Senior Member
    I know that this was not the OP's intent in starting this thread, but I really need to see about getting my sister on SSI! She is 58, with a masters degree, and is mentally ill. For three years my parents have paid in excess of their annual income to support her in her own apartment (albeit in a dangerous neighborhood because that is all they can afford). My father is now deceased so my mom's income has declined. My sister will get the occasional job but it never lasts.
  • MomLiveMomLive Registered User Posts: 2,370 Senior Member
    I usually love NPR, but this is terrible journalism that perpetuates the old myth that disabled people are lazy, dishonest money-grubbers who just don't want to work.

    I've been listening to this story all week and I have to say, I'm not sure what to think. NPR usually does a good job (and I'm not saying they didn't in this case) but this story has left me somewhat confused. I think, perhaps, because it came at a time when I've recently had contact with some folks who 'appear' to be milking this system. Of course, I know that it is terribly unfair of me to make judgements like that and it's not usually the way I think. I've always been a huge supporter of welfare because I think there are people out there that just aren't able to support themselves and quite frankly most welfare benefits go to women and children, not able-bodied men. In a perfect world, we would offer financial assistance to people while at the same time helping them develop skills, find jobs or at least do some sort of 'work' in exchange for benefits.

    Honestly, there is corruption and people taking advantage of our government programs at all level....starting with many of our congressmen & Wall Street all the way down to main street. I guess this shouldn't come as any surprise. Is there such thing as a society were this type of thing doesn't exist?

    I am just thankful that I am in a position where it's not necessary to have to depend on others (or the gov't) for subsistence. Can't imagine it's a pleasant way to live.

    Has anyone watched 'Winter in America'? NPR mentioned that also. I believe it's available on Netflix Instant Video.
  • Deborah TDeborah T Registered User Posts: 4,314 Senior Member
    Everyone depends on others. If you work or are self-employed, you are dependent on someone employing you or someone purchasing your goods or services.
  • psych_psych_ Registered User Posts: 1,568 Senior Member
    Did you read or hear the report? If so, your perception is certainly much different from mine. I didn't get any sense of the judgment suggested in your post.

    Yes, of course. I'm not going to comment on something I haven't read.

    I'm kind of mystified as how someone can't see the judgement. For example:

    "People don't seem to be faking this pain, but it gets confusing. I have back pain. My editor has a herniated disc, and he works harder than anyone I know. There must be millions of people with asthma and diabetes who go to work every day. Who gets to decide whether, say, back pain makes someone disabled?"

    "Over and over again, I'd listen to someone's story of how back pain meant they could no longer work, or how a shoulder injury had put them out of a job. Then I would ask: What about a job where you don't have to lift things, or a job where you don't have to use your shoulder, or a job where you can sit down?"

    "Scott tried school for a while, but hated it. So he took the advice of the rogue staffer who told him to suck all the benefits he could out of the system. He had a heart attack after the mill closed and figured, "Since I've had a bypass, maybe I can get on disability, and then I won't have worry to about this stuff anymore." It worked; Scott is now on disability."

    "Kids should be encouraged to go to school. Kids should want to do well in school. Parents should want their kids to do well in school. Kids should be confident their parents can provide for them regardless of how they do in school. Kids should become more and more independent as they grow older and hopefully be able to support themselves at around age 18.

    The disability program stands in opposition to every one of these aims."


    To me, the attitude is clearly "I pulled myself up by my boot straps, but these people just don't want to put in the effort to go to school or do well and just want to milk the system dry so they don't have to work. If they just put in *effort* or were willing to move, and didn't have this cash cow of a system, they would, too."

    That's completely and totally missing the reality of what it's like to have a disability and be looking for work--namely, that a majority of the doors are closed to you on disability reasons *alone*.

    I say this as a woman with a severe, congenital, and unambiguous physical disability who has never received government disability benefits, but has known with dread since I was a teenager that the employment odds were heavily against me due to my disability (about 4:1) and that my job options would be very, very limited due to my disability, no matter how good my other qualifications.
  • NJresNJres Registered User Posts: 5,868 Senior Member
    I just heard a part of this story on the radio today. I read the article earlier. The radio piece really focused on this consulting firm that seeks out welfare recipients and works very hard to get them off welfare and on federal disability. The states pay them per person moved off of Welfare. This is the part that is new, not SSI itself but this industry that aggressively and efficiently moves these folks from welfare to SSI. There are great financial incentives for the State (welfare costs the state, SSI does not), the consulting firm is paid handsomely by the state per customer, and the individual makes more money on disability than on welfare. So its a win win win... except for the federal govt disability trust fund.
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