You may have noticed that as the House continues to hammer away, often wrongly, at the Disaiblity program and people with disabilities, a few people are responding. Here is an example of such a good response:
"The recent AP article, “House investigators: Social Security lax in judging disability claims,” was misleading. The central claim — that Social Security is “lax” in evaluating disability — is clearly contradicted by the facts.
As an advocate for people with disabilities, I know how strict the disability criteria are. Most people who apply are denied, and only about 40 percent are awarded benefits — even after all stages of appeal. Many beneficiaries are terminally ill — about one in five male and one in six female beneficiaries die within five years of receiving benefits. Literally every day, I see people with significant disabilities who have been denied benefits; many die of the supposedly non-disabling impairments while waiting for a “fair” hearing.
The only intelligent and valid point made by the article is that the review of cases of people already found disabled is woefully under-funded. So are the programs that help disabled people get back into the workforce. Demographic changes are the primary reason for the increase in the number of claims — baby boomers are at the age when severe disability most frequently strikes and from which recovery is most limited.
No one knows when disability or illness will strike. That’s why Social Security Disability Insurance is an important part of our nation’s safety net. Instead of tearing down this vital program with myths and rumors, let’s focus instead on strengthening it for current and future generations.
Letter: SSDI an essential safety net - Springfield, IL - The State Journal-Register http://www.sj-r.com/opinions/x946748216/Letter-SSDI-an-essential-safety-net