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Insolvency Looms as States (and Puerto Rico) Drain U.S. Disability Fund
Wall Street Journal ^ | March 22, 2011 | DAMIAN PALETTA

Posted on 03/22/2011 5:21:14 AM PDT by reaganaut1

CAGUAS, Puerto Rico—This mountainside town is home to a picturesque cathedral, a tobacco museum and a Wal-Mart Supercenter. Another defining feature: Caguas's 00725 zip code has more people who receive a disability check than any other in the U.S.

Puerto Rico has emerged in recent years as one of the easiest places in the U.S. to get payments from the Social Security Disability Insurance program, created during the Eisenhower administration to help people who can't work because of a health problem. In 2010, 63% of applicants there won approval, four percentage points higher than New Jersey and Wyoming, the most-generous U.S. states. In fact, nine of the top 10 U.S. zip codes for disabled workers receiving benefits can be found on Puerto Rico.

The SSDI is set to soon become the first big federal benefit program to run out of cash—and one of the main reasons is U.S. states and territories have a large say in who qualifies for the federally funded program. Without changes, the Social Security retirement fund can survive intact through about 2040 and Medicare through 2029. The disability fund, however, will run dry in four to seven years without federal intervention, government auditors say.

In addition to the uneven selection process, SSDI has been pushed to the brink of insolvency by the sour economy. A huge wave of applicants joined the program over the past decade, boosting it from 6.6 million beneficiaries in 2000 to 10.2 million in 2010. New recipients have come from across the country, with an 85% increase in Texas over 10 years and a 69% increase in New Hampshire.

Over the years, Puerto Rico's dependence on SSDI has grown particularly stark, exacerbated by the closure of factories and U.S. military installations, an exodus of skilled workers and a number of corruption scandals.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: disability; puertorico; socialsecurity; ssdi

1 posted on 03/22/2011 5:21:17 AM PDT by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1

I get it. They hurt their back and can’t carry the Bananas to the Tally Man.


2 posted on 03/22/2011 5:25:12 AM PDT by screaminsunshine (34 States)
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To: reaganaut1

Well, duh. You get more of what you subsidize. If you subsidize “disability,” everyone has one.


3 posted on 03/22/2011 5:27:09 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Nadie me ama como Jesus.)
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To: reaganaut1

I have a mid 40s ex son-in-law who has been scamming S.S. Disability for the past 12 years. It’s very common.


4 posted on 03/22/2011 5:27:40 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Of course Obama loves his country. The thing is, Sarah loves mine.)
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To: reaganaut1

The abuse of SS disability on that island needs a hard look.

The number of people in PR getting checks is amazing. And usually there is no apparent reason.

Sounds like an obvious local corruption problem.


5 posted on 03/22/2011 5:28:15 AM PDT by Scanian (i)
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To: reaganaut1
closure of factories and U.S. military installations,

Didn't Al Sharpton protest down there with a bunch of libs to close the military base? Way to go.

6 posted on 03/22/2011 5:30:56 AM PDT by ladyvet ( I would rather have Incitatus then the asses that are in congress today.)
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To: Graybeard58; Scanian

It does seem to be very easy to get in some states. I remember that when I lived in California, I was always running into perfectly healthy-looking, active people on SSDI or SSI who boasted about how they had gotten it. One woman told me that she merely said that working gave her migraines. I kid you not.


7 posted on 03/22/2011 5:31:32 AM PDT by livius
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To: livius

You don’t have to convince me.

There is so much of that in PR that I have to believe that somebody is simply rubber stamping applications.


8 posted on 03/22/2011 5:33:21 AM PDT by Scanian (i)
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To: Scanian

The answer is simple.... they have some very good lawyers.

Unstated was the amount of the total take that goes to lawyers.


9 posted on 03/22/2011 5:38:28 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. D.E. +12 ....( History is a process, not an event ))
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To: reaganaut1

Welfare that lasts forever! Its common that welfare bums switch to SSI because it never ends. I remember a story about a mother in Arkansas about a decade ago who signed up fue to depression, and her 5 kids slid in with ADD. This woman ended up collecting $62,000/yr in a city where the average worker earned $14K/yr.
I have heard NO so called Conservative talk about reforming this lame brained program. Of course this comes from the same crop of so called conservatives watch several presidents bomb foreign nations without any regard to the constitutional vaildity of their act.
Notice how damn quiet the new tea party members of congress have been lately?

I pray for this Country daily, the level of situational blindness shown by the SO CALLED CONSERVATIVES is shocking. I understood the libtards were insane, but the fox is guarding the hen house...
(Climbing off soapbox and going to work to pay for this mess)


10 posted on 03/22/2011 5:39:14 AM PDT by JohnD9207 (John McCain is a proud Ted Kennedy conservative!)
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To: reaganaut1

I was willing to bet my home town was among the top 10 in SSDI recipients.


11 posted on 03/22/2011 5:51:26 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Go Hawks !)
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To: screaminsunshine

Yup. Doesn’t mean they can’t work a desk job somewhere, but why do that when you can get gov’t cheese for life?


12 posted on 03/22/2011 6:29:42 AM PDT by RockinRight (I once had my identity stolen. Once they got to know me, they gave it back right away.)
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To: Scanian

I can’t imagine that Puerto Ricans are that much more accident-prone than the mainland.


13 posted on 03/22/2011 6:30:16 AM PDT by RockinRight (I once had my identity stolen. Once they got to know me, they gave it back right away.)
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To: livius

Well liberal idiots give me migraines...can I get SSI?


14 posted on 03/22/2011 6:32:05 AM PDT by RockinRight (I once had my identity stolen. Once they got to know me, they gave it back right away.)
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To: cll

Thoughts? True or overblown?


15 posted on 03/22/2011 6:35:16 AM PDT by RockinRight (I once had my identity stolen. Once they got to know me, they gave it back right away.)
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To: reaganaut1
Without changes, the Social Security retirement fund can survive intact through about 2040 and Medicare through 2029.

Nonsense. They are both pay as you go programs and they are in the red now. The trust funds for these programs represent an unfunded liability, which is why they are included in the national debt of $14.3 trillion.

16 posted on 03/22/2011 6:41:43 AM PDT by kabar
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To: kabar

As a new nurse, seeing all the YOUNG people in the hospital on disability was a shocker. Young, able bodied . ..definitely able to walk, talk, etc. On disability for chronic pain, or “arthritis” or some damn thing. Most were a bunch of lazy drug seekers, flying frequently to the hospital for the nuttiest of complaints. It’s VERY common.


17 posted on 03/22/2011 6:45:33 AM PDT by LibsRJerks
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To: JohnD9207
Notice how damn quiet the new tea party members of congress have been lately?

They are a small minority in the GOP Caucus

18 posted on 03/22/2011 6:45:51 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: reaganaut1

Insolvency? How could that have possibly happened? Did the printing presses at the mint break down?


19 posted on 03/22/2011 6:54:03 AM PDT by Hoodat (Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. - (Rom 8:37))
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To: Graybeard58
I have a neighbor that has been scamming the system for years. She hired a lawyer and convinced a judge she had “undiagnosed pain” that prevented her from working.

The “pain” however does not prevent her from walking the dog, playing tennis, or riding her bike.

20 posted on 03/22/2011 7:03:48 AM PDT by Gabrial (The Whitehouse Nightmare will continue as long as the Nightmare is in the Whitehouse)
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To: RockinRight

No, they certainly aren’t.

I was married to a native of Arecibo for 23 years and visited the island many times.

I was always shocked to see so many apparently able-bodied adults under retirement age who were not employed yet living well. The reason I was given? They get “a check.” And the inevitable “cupones”(food stamps).

I’d just like to know why there is a different standard for a non-federal income tax paying territory than for the rest of the country.


21 posted on 03/22/2011 7:05:04 AM PDT by Scanian (i)
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To: GeronL

The size of their influence in congress in is inverse proportion to their support base. Or in other words...scream bloody murder until the majority wakes up.


22 posted on 03/22/2011 7:07:31 AM PDT by JohnD9207 (John McCain is a proud Ted Kennedy conservative!)
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To: reaganaut1

Those on SSDI also get Medicare, further draining the Treasury.


23 posted on 03/22/2011 7:09:53 AM PDT by Plutarch
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To: reaganaut1
With no cost of living increase a move to Porto Rico would make a SS check go further.
24 posted on 03/22/2011 7:13:42 AM PDT by W. W. SMITH (Islam is an instrument of enslavement)
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To: Scanian

We really need to tell PR to “sh*t or get off the pot”, i.e., become a full fledged state (and pay income tax) or have full independence.


25 posted on 03/22/2011 7:29:06 AM PDT by RockinRight (I once had my identity stolen. Once they got to know me, they gave it back right away.)
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To: reaganaut1

A lot of alcoholics and/or druggies are on SSD also because surprise, it’s all claimed as a disease/disability. We have a number of them on SSD here in my town. They use it along with Medicaid, Section 8 and food stamps or whatever else they can con to lead a pretty good life as far as not having to clean up and get a job.

So what you have is basically government as the enabler to addictive behavior. The taxpayer gets to subsidize addiction.

I would be willing to bet that 60-70% of the Medicaid recipients in my area have a substance abuse problem. I know of one guy (alcoholic) who has been on Medicaid for 20+ years. He is now into his 60’s.

All recipients of any kind of public assistance should be drug and alcohol screened. If positive, they don’t get it and are offered treatment. No treatment, no assistance. Once they are clean and continuing to be sober most of them would be able to work anyway and wouldn’t need any public assistance.

You have government enabling societal drop outs.


26 posted on 03/22/2011 7:35:34 AM PDT by headstamp 2 (The most dangerous place on the face of the earth is between a liberal and their money.)
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To: livius

There was a young, overweight man on Hoarders who lived on a disability check. He didn’t look or act disabled, nor did he fit the profile of a real hoarder, just lazy. For instance, his apartment was littered with pizza boxes and fast food wrappers. He had dirty clothes everywhere. His bathroom was filthy, like he had an ‘accident’ and didn’t clean up. Just filthy, piles of actual trash, not junky stuff. He was more than willing to let the Hoarder crew clean up his place.


27 posted on 03/22/2011 7:54:15 AM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: reaganaut1
The SSDI is set to soon become the first big federal benefit program to run out of cash

Who writes these articles, a chimp? All programs are funded through tax receipts and debt. There are no cash balances in any "program accounts"

28 posted on 03/22/2011 8:04:17 AM PDT by misterrob (Thug Life....now showing at a White House near you....)
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To: RockinRight

Independence for PR = another Cuba.


29 posted on 03/22/2011 8:07:43 AM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: JohnD9207
.....welfare bums switch to SSI because it never ends: in Arkansas a woman signed up due to depression, and her 5 kids slid in with ADD......she collected $62,000/yr where workers earned $14K/yr.

THE ADD-SSI SCAM IS COMMON AMONG ILLEGALS

Illegals SSI scam under scrutiny
www.boston.com ^ | January 18, 2011 | Patricia Wen
FR Posted Monday, January 31, 2011 Angelus

A three-part Boston Globe series “The Other Welfare,’’ showed how the SSI program, created in 1972 for children with severe physical disabilities, now serves largely those diagnosed with behavioral, learning, and mental disorders. Of the 1.2 million low-income children who receive SSI benefits, 53 percent, or 640,000, qualify because of mental disabilities, up from 8 percent in 1990.

By significant margins, delayed speech and ADD hyperactivity disorder were top reasons children received benefits, including Medicaid coverage and $700 a month cash.

The Govt Accountability Office will investigate SSI payments for kids behavioral and mental issues...... and whether low-income (illegal) families are putting their youngsters on psychiatric drugs to fake ADD and other conditions as the way “to improve their chances’’ of qualifying. Investigators are to examine whether the SS Administration can effectively screen new recipients and adequately determine when mental conditions have improved to the point that they are no longer eligible for benefits.

=============================================

Illegals NEVER paid a buck into SS........but are sucking up our tax dollars. Two illegal SS scams: (1) They claim “asylum from Mexico’s phony drug wars and collect $1200 per month forever. (2) Illegals get their kids to fake ADD.

RIDING THE US GRAVY TRAIN An illegal alien w/ wife and five children violates our borders. He gets a job mowing lawns for $5.00 or 6.00/hour. At that low wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, so each year, he files an Income Tax Return to get "EITC---earned income credit" of up to $3,200 scot-free. He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent. He qualifies for food stamps and no deductible, no co-pay free health care. His children get free school breakfasts and lunches. The kids qualify for monthly SSI checks, faking ADD; the illegal and his wife get SSI if they fake being aged, blind or disabled; SSI qualifies them for Medicare. Plus illegals don't worry about pricey items like car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance, and qualifies for relief from high energy bills.

ALL OF THAT IS COLLECTED WITH JUST ONE IDENTITY Evidence shows illegals establish several identities with phony SS nos and fake documents (which these "impoverished immigrants" buy from document brokers for several thousand dollars).

30 posted on 03/22/2011 8:16:20 AM PDT by Liz (A taxpayer voting for Obama is like a chicken voting for Col Sanders.)
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To: reaganaut1

People need to be put on trial for taking our old age pension fund and handing it out to young, able bodied parasites.


31 posted on 03/22/2011 8:17:02 AM PDT by denydenydeny (Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views, beyond the comprehension of the weak-Adams)
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To: RockinRight; rrstar96; AuH2ORepublican; livius; adorno; wtc911; Willie Green; CGVet58; Clemenza; ...
This is truly the first time I hear it was that bad. Let me see what the local reaction to this is. In the meantime, there are over 15,000 lawyers on the island, most of them with plenty of time on their hands to cook up claims. I do hear a lot of advertisements for SS disability claim assistance.

Puerto Rico Ping! Please Freepmail me if you want on or off the list.


32 posted on 03/22/2011 8:19:15 AM PDT by cll (I am the warrant and the sanction)
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To: reaganaut1

When you see bottom-feeding ambulance chasing attorneys advertising on TV that they can get SSDI payments for you, you know something is up.


33 posted on 03/22/2011 8:31:19 AM PDT by Ditto (Nov 2, 2010 -- Partial cleaning accomplished. More trash to remove in 2012)
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To: Scanian
And usually there is no apparent reason.

Wow.

Ya know, I had a bad case of pneumonia about 2 years ago. I have a brand new, shiny set of pneumonia scars in my lungs, asthma and sleep apnea.

All my doctoring has been done at the VA hospital, including that bout of pneumonia. So the US Govt knows more than anyone in the world about the state of my health.

And it STILL took me over 6 months and half a dozen doctor's scrutiny's to get SSDI. It's like the US govt didn't believe the US govt on the status of my lungs.

Then to top it off, Congress passed a law, mandating that anyone that's disabled and tries to get on the program, has to wait 6 months before any payments start. Suppose Congress-demons have to wait 6 months before they can start to collect their salaries? Yeah, sure. MOre of their do as I say, don't do as I do.

How someone can get on the program "easily" is beyond me.

But then again, I'm a white,Christian male so I don't count.

34 posted on 03/22/2011 8:42:04 AM PDT by HeartlandOfAmerica (Insane, Corrupt Democrats or Stupid, Spineless Republicans - Pick America's poison.)
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To: reaganaut1

I believe govt has a vested interest in using this to keep unemployment numbers down. Has been going on for decades, IMO.


35 posted on 03/22/2011 8:44:23 AM PDT by PghBaldy (Like the Ft Hood Killer, James Earl Ray was just stressed when he killed MLK Jr.)
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To: Graybeard58
I have a mid 40s ex son-in-law who has been scamming S.S. Disability for the past 12 years. It’s very common.

My sister's ex-husband did that. Still does as far as I know. Their two boys each got $400/mo. too, until they were 18.
36 posted on 03/22/2011 9:21:15 AM PDT by crosshairs (Appeasement is surrender in slow motion.)
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To: reaganaut1

I hope you greedy, cheating, thieving taxpayers are happy!

/sarc


37 posted on 03/22/2011 9:47:10 AM PDT by Tzimisce (Never forget that the American Revolution began when the British tried to disarm the colonists.)
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To: sportutegrl

Just a slacker, I guess. Pretty disgusting.


38 posted on 03/22/2011 9:56:09 AM PDT by livius
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To: Tax-chick

Not EVERYONE who gets SSI is a cheat, liar, lazy, or a fraud.

I have a 9-year-old daughter who has a developmental delay. She can’t talk, isn’t potty-traind (Lord knows, we’ve tried), and it’s not likely that she will ever get better. We get an SSI check for her and her upkeep.

I guaran-damn-tee you I am a hard-working individual who is quite thankful that we receive this small assistance. it sickens me to no end when I read about those who abuse the system because it makes it that much harder on those of us who do not. Believe me...no one wants to see the system cleaned up more than I do.


39 posted on 03/22/2011 10:10:30 AM PDT by hoagy62 (Help stamp out crack-pull up your pants.)
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To: hoagy62

The problem is that you can’t “clean up the system” without reformatting human nature. “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature,” as the saying goes. When you pay for something, - whether it’s disability, unmarried parenthood, or being a victimized black “farmer,” - you’re going to create more of whatever makes money.

The only system that would fundamentally reduce the incidence of fraud would be one in which people spent their own money to help those they judged to be truly in need. And before you say nobody would do that, of course they do, with their friends, relatives, neighbors, church congregations, and people they never met in countries without flush toilets. All the time. Billions.


40 posted on 03/22/2011 10:25:08 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Nadie me ama como Jesus.)
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To: reaganaut1

The dirty little secret is tons of legal immigrants get on SSD as soon as they can. Word is out in foreign countries. One common example is a legal Chinese immigrant applies for his parents to come over here. They get here and apply for SSD or SSDI and get it because they are old and have “something” wrong with them. They really have come here to retire. They have zero work history in America and have paid zero taxes here. So they finagle a way to get SSI. Free medical (via Medicare) and subsidized housing


41 posted on 03/22/2011 10:33:27 AM PDT by dennisw ( The early bird catches the worm)
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To: Graybeard58

I was acquainted with a woman who had been disabled for over ten years due to the stress of commuting from Fredericksburg, Virginia to Washington DC (60 miles). I’ve been doing it for longer than she’d been disabled by it.


42 posted on 03/22/2011 11:25:17 AM PDT by nina0113
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To: reaganaut1

Drug addicts and alcoholics, plus “I can’t work cause I’m stressed”.

I hope it goes bust.


43 posted on 03/22/2011 12:45:55 PM PDT by happygrl
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To: HeartlandOfAmerica

In the ‘70’s, the Puerto Ricans who talked to me about it thaought that the liberal benefits were Cold War related. I.e., buy off the island’s poor and not have to worry about “barbudos” roaming around in the mountains trying to do Cuba redux.

Maybe part of it but naked corruption is an easier explanation to make.


44 posted on 03/22/2011 12:48:02 PM PDT by Scanian (i)
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To: RockinRight

The Democrat congress passed a bill designed to do pretty much that. Only “Shiite” is the outcome they want. They are drooling over the prospect of a half dozen morre screaming liberals in Congress if PR goes for statehood.

Of course, there is a relatively conservative PNP governor in San Juan right now but he is a rare exception.


45 posted on 03/22/2011 12:52:28 PM PDT by Scanian (i)
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To: reaganaut1

It’s way past time to spin off Puerto Rico.

Let’s get the U.S. out of PR and PR out of the U.S.

Don’t go away mad, Puerto Rico, just go away.


46 posted on 03/22/2011 12:55:25 PM PDT by SharpRightTurn (White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
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To: Gabrial
I have a neighbor that has been scamming the system for years. She hired a lawyer and convinced a judge she had “undiagnosed pain” that prevented her from working.

The “pain” however does not prevent her from walking the dog, playing tennis, or riding her bike.


With the help of a lawyer, it's all about what the definition of "is", is.

Walking the dog, and playing tennis, and riding the bike, are not "work". Those are leisure activities, and home duties. They are not the type of "work" that cause her undiagnosed pain. She very likely gets her "undiagnosed" pain when she does "real" work.
47 posted on 03/22/2011 3:03:48 PM PDT by adorno
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