Thursday, March 28, 2013

Social Security Disability Collapsing

You can argue about the sustainability of regular Social Security all you want, but the Washington Examiner reports S.S. Disability (not quite the same as Social Security) is nearing collapse. By 2016 it's projected to run out of money.

This is a toughie for me. I've always felt there should be some sort of assistance for people unable to work. The wifey is on SSD, her main problem being she's immune deficient so gets sick fairly easily, and when she gets sick it can be a serious problem.

I'd like to think there would be help for me should I be sick or injured and can't work. One problem with Disability is they've lowered the qualifications, allowing many more to take advantage of it. I've often joked that the one way you can tell if someone is on disability is that they do everything everyone else does...but go to work.

Yep. same with the wife, so it's not always obvious, but I've known more people on disability that could work than couldn't.

Years ago I knew a maintenance gardener in Eureka. She had a guy helping her. She told me later she ran into a problem when she went to file taxes. The guy she had helping her told her she couldn't use his name because he was on disability and would get in trouble if they found out he was working, especially doing hard physical work. Gee. Who'da thunk?

About that same time there was a tenant at a place I worked at who started doing lawn work and cutting firewood to sell. He had cords of wood stacked in the yard. I got to talking to him and he told me he was on SSD, too! He had both shoulder joints replaced. That qualified him for SSD, but he did hard physical work regardless.

I get the impression all joint replacements qualify people for disability.

I worked for a guy that lived in Pine Hill. He was a manager for a grocery store and limped around a bit when walking. Then he got a hip replacement and automatically went on disability. In his case, I suppose he needed it as last I saw he was either in a wheelchair or on crutches.

That raises the question of the efficacy of hip replacements if nothing else. The guy could walk and work until the hip replacement. Now he just sits around.

I still work for a another person that had a hip replacement. I never knew there was anything wrong with her until after she had the surgery and told me. She went on to tell me they put her on permanent disability as a result. At the time she said she didn't want to be on permanent disability.

About a month later I stop by and she tells me she wants to keep disability (doesn't take long to get used to it). Then she got a job doing home health care, or some such, since you can still earn up to a certain amount even if you're on disability. I can't tell if the hip replacement helped her as she still walks as she always did, but at least she got her disability.

I'm not sure how they can deal with the S.S.D. collapse. I'd hate to be the one deciding who qualifies and who doesn't. If they do raise requirements, there will be the additional problem of all those people back on the job market. What will the unemployment rate be then?


At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a reputable news source reporting this information anywhere? Not the Examiner, which is just like Fox News.

At 7:56 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Uh, huh. Anything you disagree with, or news you don't want to hear is from a disreputable source.

At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said... I don't trust as being true, unless I hear it from a reputable source.

But for me, the big news of the day is that I've seen Fred hold a position that is starkly at odds with the Republican Party. It probably happens more frequently (probably on war issues), but it's the first time I've noticed it so blatantly.

Cutting social safety nets is huge with the GOP. It's why I facepalm when my low income disabled vet father-in-law votes Republican in every election.

At 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SSID has become a scam for many. I know many who are cheating the system. Aches and pains are part of life, not an excuse to leech off of others. Family should take care of their own in most cases. Many of the cheats are financially living a higher life than those who support them. The system should really be about need, not greed.

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

The bottom line is, they're going to have to do something to keep it solvent. They can't keep adding people to the rolls, especially those that are physically able to work.

Again, I wouldn't want to be the one deciding who is and isn't eligible, but someone's going to have to do something.

At 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent piece on Social Security Disability on this week's "This American Life."

It turns out that counties and states are hiring consulting firms to aggressively comb through the welfare rolls and find people who might qualify for SSD, and helping them "discover and document their disability." Why? Because if they're on welfare, the county/state picks up part of the tab, but on SSD, the Feds pay the whole amount.

There's a whole lot more in the broadcast, but that was the point that really stood out to me.

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Because if they're on welfare, the county/state picks up part of the tab, but on SSD, the Feds pay the whole amount..

Makes sense. I know I've gotten at least a couple notices from MediCal suggesting I contact the Veteran's Administration to see if VA can do this or that. Their way of seeing if I can be diverted to some other money source.

I'm sure that's pretty widespread.

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One idea is to stop considering alcoholics and junkies "disabled" when their only real disability is addiction. I have a serious auto-immune disorder for which I have to take hardcore immune system-suppressing drugs, and other medications similar to those given to patients undergoing chemotherapy. I was working for Humboldt County's "Businessman of the Year" at the time I was diagnosed and put on these meds. Naturally my job performance started to suffer, and I found that getting up and getting ready for work every morning was nearly impossible. I talked with my boss about partial disability in addition to part-time work, as I knew another employee was receiving benefits and only working half-days on certain days...I was fired the next day. I applied for SSDI, and finally after 13 months and 2 appeals I was granted Social Security Disability, but only for 18 months. I will be re-evaluated early this summer and I am terrified. Meanwhile, my best friend in Del Norte County, whose only ailments are opiate addiction and self-induced pain due to lack of exercise, or as doctors call it, "fibromyalgia", was granted full disability in 3 months. No appeals, no having to prove anything...just notes from a quack doctor and a sad look on her face. It's disgusting. No one person should have to decide whether or not someone is disabled. There should be juries of others already on SSDI who decide, like we have juries of our peers decide whether or not we are guilty or innocent of a crime. Social Security isn't failing...our whole country is failing.

At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fired? The next Day? Could you file a claim against your employer for discrimination? Sounds fishy to me!

At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tune into KHSU 90.5 or 91.9 this Friday at 7:00pm to hear the rebroadcast of This American Life discussing Social Security Disability. It is an eye opener.2925

At 11:24 AM, Blogger TRA said...

Or just listen online:

At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Henchman Of Justice" says,

If jobs are 21st Century, no reason that the "physically impaired" could not be offered jobs using "brain power over muscle power". Same goes for wounded troops and many other good folks who have not lost all that there is to offer.

Question becomes though: where is the line drawn to represent "that point" where a person needs no SSDI assistance because "that person can" actually take care of themself with a job.

Able-bodied people should get "no assistance". People "injured" because of some function, action, role of the public sector DESERVE THEIR JUSTIFIED ASSISTANCE.

People who have genetic flaws, personal bad luck with health, just having a bad day types, etc... that get hurt or become deficient in an area of individual need due to their own misdoings or poor behaviors or maljudgement leading to poor actions should not be subsidized by taxpayers.

Another SSI area that needs revisiting is when a parent dies before their child turns 18 years of age, that child's guardian (usually other parent) begins receiving checks until the child turns 18 years of age. Now, of the end total amount dispersed in checks, how much is the government either "losing or gaining" in tax dollars. Ya see, if the parent did not pay into the "system" enough, it could be that "taxpayers dole out the difference" for the checks dispersed to the child until the ripe age of 18 years. So, in one hand, the government could be "KEEPING" much in earned income taxes collected from the former hard working but now deceased parent OR taxpayers could be "making-up the difference" for the earned income taxes NEVER COLLECTED OR UNDER-GENERATED from the deceased parent because the deceased parent did not work enough.

Seems that in life, crud happens, but in America, the government likes to think it keeps its power by favoring the few over the masses, especially flipping the roles and stances from issue to issue, yet commonly holding onto the main theme (few over majority).

example: gun laws as compared to Cal-Fire taxation victims. In one, use the victims (The Few) to represent the melodramatic arguments needed to push legislation that hurts the masses. In the other use the victims (The Few) as the new test lab rats for new taxation that "skirted required legislative processes" because then the majority can't "organize against something that which does not have effect upon the majority, but only benefit". So, when "The Few" are used, lookout. What really stinks is that in both examples, the majority also does lose something. If the proposition is a "lose-lose" anyway, either before or after the example incidents cited, then why the legislative attempts at change? Answer = mass control.

Ya see, all one needs to understand is your vote is "a waste", no matter who receives that vote. No matter who gets into power, the results vary little, yet favor government expansionists. Very few political candidates have integrity because most roam around the monied interests and peer pressured propagandas. - HOJ

At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried. I went through the Fair Employment and Housing Agency...the case went all the way up to the top person in charge and they said there was nothing I could do except find a lawyer and sue, but the statute of limitations ran out before I could find a lawyer willing to take my case. Out-of-area lawyers would only go after big corporations, and no one local was willing to take on Mr. C.C. and all of his money.

At 8:07 AM, Blogger Travis said...

Did you know you can get disability for being illiterate my best friend neighbor gets 1200 dollars a month for being illiterate and brag about it


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