Skip to comments.Men Find Careers in Collecting Disability
Posted on 12/03/2012 4:18:35 AM PST by Kaslin
Americans are very generous to people with disabilities. Since passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990, millions of public and private dollars have been spent on curb cuts, bus lifts and special elevators.
The idea has been to enable people with disabilities to live and work with the same ease as others, as they make their way forward in life. I feel sure the large majority of Americans are pleased that we are doing this.
But there is another federal program for people with disabilities that has had an unhappier effect. This is the disability insurance (DI) program, which is part of Social Security.
The idea is to provide income for those whose health makes them unable to work. For many years, it was a small and inexpensive program that few people or politicians paid much attention to.
In his recent book, "A Nation of Takers: America's Entitlement Epidemic," my American Enterprise Institute colleague Nicholas Eberstadt has shown how DI has grown in recent years.
In 1960, some 455,000 workers were receiving disability payments. In 2011, the number was 8,600,000. In 1960, the percentage of the economically active 18-to-64 population receiving disability benefits was 0.65 percent. In 2010, it was 5.6 percent.
Some four decades ago, when I was a law clerk to a federal judge, I had occasion to read briefs in cases appealing denial of disability benefits. The Social Security Administration then seemed pretty strict in denying benefits in dubious cases. The courts were not much more openhanded.
Things have changed. Americans have grown healthier, and significantly lower numbers die before 65 than was the case a half-century ago. Nevertheless, the disability rolls have ballooned.
One reason is that the government seems to have gotten more openhanded with those claiming vague ailments. Eberstadt points out that in 1960, only one-fifth of disability benefits went to those with "mood disorders" and "muscoskeletal" problems. In 2011, nearly half of those on disability voiced such complaints.
"It is exceptionally difficult -- for all practical purposes, impossible," writes Eberstadt, "for a medical professional to disprove a patient's claim that he or she is suffering from sad feelings or back pain."
In other words, many people are gaming or defrauding the system. This includes not only disability recipients but health care professionals, lawyers and others who run ads promising to get you disability benefits.
Between 1996 and 2011, the private sector generated 8.8 million new jobs, and 4.1 million people entered the disability rolls.
The ratio of disability cases to new jobs has been even worse during the sluggish recovery from the 2007-09 recession. Between January 2010 and December 2011, there were 1,730,000 new jobs and 790,000 new people collecting disability.
This is not just a matter of laid-off workers in their 50s or early 60s qualifying for disability in the years before they become eligible for Social Security old age benefits.
In 2011, 15 percent of disability recipients were in their 30s or early 40s. Concludes Eberstadt, "Collecting disability is an increasingly important profession in America these says."
Disability insurance is no longer a small program. The government transfers some $130 billion obtained from taxpayers or borrowed from purchasers of Treasury bonds to disability beneficiaries every year.
But there is also a human cost. Consider the plight of someone who at some level knows he can work but decides to collect disability payments instead.
That person is not likely to ever seek work again, especially if the sluggish recovery turns out to be the new normal.
He may be gleeful that he was able to game the system or just grimly determined to get what he can in a tough situation. But he will not be able to get the satisfaction of earned success from honest work that contributes something to society and the economy.
I use the masculine pronoun intentionally, because an increasing number of American men have dropped out of the workforce altogether. In 1948, 89 percent of men age 20 and over were in the workforce.
In 2011, 73 percent were. Only a small amount of that change results from an aging population. Jobs have become physically less grueling and economically more rewarding than they were in 1948.
The Americans With Disabilities Act helped many people move forward and contribute to society. The explosive growth of disability insurance has had an opposite effect.
I disagre that American are happy with the ADA.
It’s almost a total waste of money.
Curbs in cities cut down for rmps that almost no one uses, Special buses, handicapped urinals ,making everything handicapped accessible is a large waste of resources and expense.
Putting in electronic doors that are barely ever used business’s having to Make their businees accessible to handicapped workers when they employ no handicapped workers.
I don’t mean to sound like a hard ass here, but the money we have tossed at the ADA act has been disproportionate in the max to the needs of the handicapped.
Oh Well cutting down all of the curbs gave jobs to Mexican concrete workers.
I have to wonder if those currently transitioning from unemployment (which you have to be able to work to collect?) to disability are waiting anywhere near that long?
I recently interviewed a woman 24 years old who has six kids (one set of twins).
She had left the Employed? and Employer? questions on the info sheet blank so I asked if she had a job.
Yep, she replied, My job is to get all my kids on disability. My Mama did that for me and now I want to do it for my kids. I gotta figure out a way to get the lawyers money and well be all set.
As I looked through her paper work, I noticed she gets a disability check of $600 something a month. Her youngest child was also on disability getting $400 something a month.
In addition, she had her two youngest kids in WIC, and was receiving housing assistance, and food stamps.
I was pissed off at the system for the rest of the day.
Another fav of mine is to ask an interviewee if they have a job and have them spit at me, I get a government check!
And I won't get started on all the DI fraud I see all the time.
I dunno - I rather like the handicapped bathroom stalls at work. Lots of elbow room.
I kept looking for the “like” button for your post. Exactly correct!
I know and have known several of men like this they can hunt ,fish and do all kinds of fun things. But it is to painful to do any type of work.
You have to have worked to collect Social Security Disability too. Way too many people on it who aren't disabled and those who are truly disabled have a hard time getting it.
Unemployment is a whole other subject but that gravy train is coming to an end rapidly. December, for hundreds of thousands.
Well, you get fat welfare momma pretending she’s crazy, and she’s got six kids pretending they have ADD and she’s pulling in close to $5,000 in cash each month. Add in food stamps, medicaid and section 8, and she’s living the easy life. Never worked a day in her life, BTW.
Party time on your dime.
I use the masculine pronoun intentionally, because an increasing number of American men have dropped out of the workforce altogether. In 1948, 89 percent of men age 20 and over were in the workforce.
He’s got a point there, a small one though. How many men have been pushed out of the work force through the feminization of it?
Wide stance too!
AKA “the luxury box”.
Now, the real issue for us here is SSDI, not ADA. ADA is pennies by comparison, even if we have spent ridiculous amounts of money on it.
See my previous post up thread.
My experience is that the process of getting on DI takes about two years on average. And if you don’t have a lawyer you stand little to no chance of getting the benefit.
How the lawyer gets paid is interesting: At the time you apply for DI, an account is set up for you. When you get on DI, assuming you do, lots of folks do not, back payments are made to you. This can be thousands of dollars.
The lawyer’s fee is taken from the back payments. The fee is capped, I believe, at $2500.
A six month wait is nothing for a decades-long benefit.
I am disabled. I have kidney failure. Prior to my illness I was earning in excess of 4k a month working as an avionics technician. Now I receive around 1k a month in disability. I pray everyday that I’ll someday be able to get off dialysis and walk again so I can go back to work. I don’t know if that will ever happen. I would give anything to be able to go back to work, not just for the money but for the fulfillment I always felt with being able to do something productive and meaningful. I know how hard it is for some people to get on disability and how easy it seems to be for other people. The dirt-bags that are constantly gaming the system really tic me off. It makes it so much harder for people that really need a little help to get it. Please don’t think that everyone that receives disability got it by conning the government. There are those of us that are in need and grateful it’s there, and in most cases we would rather be out there working and could actually make more money if we could.
I see you've met my step-sister's husband. Poor fellow. Can't work. Can ride horses, hunt, do carpentry, fish... but he's got a bad back, you know, so... happily he can sue people.
They couldn’t serve as an office receptionist?
“I have to wonder if those currently transitioning from unemployment (which you have to be able to work to collect?) to disability are waiting anywhere near that long?”
I doubt it. They seem to be trying to add as much debt as possible as quickly as possible. How much more apparent does it have to get for people to wake up? Obama is purposely destroying this country so the one worlders can take over. Think UN and how much he has already ceded to them. We can only pray our way out of this mess for we are up against some serious evil.
If you’re on dialysis, I’m pretty sure you’re not faking it. ;^) Hang in there.
What are you talking about, being pushed out of the workforce because of the feminization of it?
Some guy getting fired for pinching his secretary’s butt?
At least in some states, the workman’s comp cheats know that they might get busted if they’re not very careful. Moving disability benefits to the federal level, making them effectively permanent and then doing nothing to police the system is just about the perfect recipe to attract fraud.
My personal experience w/people sucking off the government teat, is with women who are able-bodied thirty-somethings. Maybe it’s a regional thing with men being on the dole in more urban areas and women being more rural or suburban.
Have seen many cons over the years, usually with those in govt offices collaborating to assist women in maximizing their benefits. Imagine receiving 1100.00/month for carpal tunnel, backaches, or fibromyalgia. You just have to be breathing to receive income for life.
Once the unemployment insurance (insurance?) runs out, apply for Social Security Disability and once you get approved, you are set until Social Security kicks in at age 62. A few side jobs off the books and you can live pretty damn well.
When I was younger, I looked down on these people and prided myself in never drawing a dime from the government at any level. I paid for my own disability insurance and used it twice over approximately 40 years for a broken knee and back surgery. Now in my 70s, I realize I was an idiot. I should have collected as much as I could have scammed the system for.
There is no longer any stigma to living on the dole. In fact most living on the dole live one hell of a lot better than I do. Honor, honesty, integrity and self reliance are no longer a hallmark of Americans. I do grieve for my lost America.
If you ‘get’ to watch any daytime idjit tube, you can notice the amount of lawyers SPECIALIZING in SSDI....
Even got ‘Denny Crane’ hawking for them...
This is the same ‘class group’ that was swamped with BO ads in the afternoon - to capitalize on the ‘jerry springer/maury povich’ crowd, now overrun with Dr’s??????
(I just waste my time and efforts on the “Judge” shows), which, by the way, are becoming springerish, guess due to the fact that when they had 3 or 4 it wasn’t to bad but has blossomed into another ‘industry’.
Unless you are mentally ill, druggie, pot head, booze addict you can expect a FOUR year wait and a lawyer. My advice to those who really need it is get the lawyer first!
I had a man in my Sunday School class on the heart transplant list, took him 4 years and a lawyer to get his disability. We at the church helped keep his family afloat and his wife went to work. A year later he had his transplant, when cleared to go back to work, a very different kind than he had, but work non the less, he went off disability.
Then you have those who are marginally Downs, they can’t really work, but can take care of themselves with supervision and a constant routine. I have a good friend like this, sweetness 40 year old 14 year old in the world. She could not work if she wanted to.
Those getting disability for drugs, booze, supposed mental illness etc should not be getting it, but there are truly people who do need it. This man was one of them, and he did the correct thing and got off as soon as he was cleared to go back to work. Lisa will never be able to work, not only is she Downs, but has other health issues as well, and she just lost her primary care giver her mom, now she is in a group home that over sees that she is safe and takes her meds when due or she would forget them.
Some are speculating that the sudden rise in SSDI claims and the looming end of unemployment benefits are related.
I always thought the 99 weeks was just to keep the population complacent until after the elections anyway, and a very expensive way to kick the can down the road. Had Obama not been reelected, the jump in people headed toward NINJA (No Income No Job no Assets) would have fallen on a Republican POTUS' watch.
How many men over 50 can’t find work just because of their age? But a woman especially a minority fulfills 2 federal requirements, while the white male age 50+ does not fulfill diddly.
I never could figure out why someone with a weelchair was given a parking spot closer to the store entrance than somone who has to walk all the way.
I developed a blood clot in my thigh in 2006. I had to argue with my doc, but he got me an ultrasound set up at a clinic in the big town. The tech asked me if I was working (yes) and told me he saw a lot of people who came in practically begging him to find something wrong with them so they could get on disability. When he got done with the test he told me I had a 14” long blood clot in my leg. (no kidding? that explains this PAIN). I got 2 weeks off while I self administered Heparin shots in my midsection (no insurance).
I also know someone who is deaf that has been trying to get on it now for 4 years. Nada. They have been struggling to find work. Nada. But the girlfriend of a guy I know waltzed through to get hers. She told me all she did was “try” to kill herself. There is nothing wrong with her that a swift kick in the *** wouldn’t cure.
“I know and have known several of men like this they can hunt ,fish and do all kinds of fun things. But it is to painful to do any type of work.”
Sounds like a friend’s ex husband. I think he’s allergic to work. But come hunting/fishing season and softball season he’s out in the field.
Milking it like a baby calf.
No, a woman over 50 is actually a two-fer threat for a bias claim—seen as a bigger risk.
Anyone over 50 costs more on the company’s health insurance, too.
Since then, the door has been opened for the depressed (who in their right mind wouldn't be bummed that Duh-1 is getting another go-round?), the addicted, alcoholics, etc. most of which can be claimed with little evidence, and which seems to get a fast-track in.
I don’t know if I am in my right mind, but I would probably be happier if I wasn’t so angry all the time. ;-)
EXCERPT Two former LIRR workers pleaded guilty to participating in a massive pension scam, in which hundreds of LIRR pensioners are believed to have bilked the agency of $1 billion by falsely claiming disabilities when they retired.
The two LIRR retirees are both cooperating in the ongoing probe of the scheme, which allegedly involved doctors vouching for retirees bogus disability claims, according to court records.
Parlante, 60, of Oyster Bay, LI, agreed to pay back nearly $295,000 he had received in fraudulent disability benefits. Stavola, 54, of Massapequa Park, agreed to pay back about $160,000 in benefits he did not deserve.
Prosecutors claim retirees fraudulently boosted their annual benefits by falsely claiming to be disabled when they filed for early retirement. Two doctors charged in the case allegedly signed off on the bogus diagnoses, which enhanced the retirees regular pensions.
Authorities have suggested that up to 1,600 LIRR retirees may have been involved in the scheme. Surveillance of many of the 32 retirees who were criminally charged showed them doing strenuous exercise after claiming to be too hurt to continue working.
Though Parlante claimed to be suffering from neck, back and other pain, the former conductor worked a hefty 1,150 hours in overtime in the two years before he retired which inflated his pension benefits. After retiring in 2004, Parlante was spotted on undercover video shoveling large amounts of snow at his house after a heavy snowfall in 2011, according to a criminal complaint.
Stavola, who had worked as an electrician before retiring in 2008, falsely claimed to be suffering from a back injury when he filed for the disability retirement benefits.
Because of the huge scope of the alleged fraud, authorities offered up to 1,600 retirees an amnesty program in which they would avoid potential prosecution if they admitted falsely claiming to be disabled and forwent future disability payments. As of last month, just before the deadline, just 44 had been accepted into it, according to court records. ####
You can’t be serious. *rme*
“Then there are those of us that did 20+ years in the military, served in the sandbox, retired, and collect no disability even though it is painful to walk.”
You are an honorable person. I keep encountering military personnel that when approaching retirement, attempt to get their disability rating jacked up really high. Which is not bad IF it is trully a service related condition. However, I see men and women that successfully claim disability for illnesses that ARE NOT the result of military service. For instance, claiming diabetes when you have a family history doesn’t wash in my mind. Just because you are on AD when the condition manisfested does not mean it is the result of military service. Many....many other medical conditions that are NOT related to military service get retiring personnel disability.
I am not sure this is really honest...but I don’t want to come across being anti-military retirees. I myself will soon be a “retired” reservist.
That’s too logical, fred. You’ll never get a check that way. (8^D)
I really doubt it.
Like their “master” (Satan), the left takes anything intended for beneficience and turns it upside down so that those who really need it can’t get it, whilst those who are cheating the system have no impediments placed before them.
All “social welfare” programs end up this way.
One thing I’m sure everyone has noticed is the dramatic increase in handicapped spots. This is because every “gamer” and his dog has a handicapped tag, so those who really need to park closer can’t find a spot that isn’t taken up by a gamer. The only way to accomodate this is to increase the number of spots.
The guy down the street is on the registry for a violent sex offense. He has a “brain injury” from a work accident but does not seem to have any problem doing anything, driving, etc. He has cornered me a few times and he is the most conniving liar I have ever encountered. In one of his conversations he complained about how long it took to get on disability (presumably the only thing he wasn’t lying about).
For a while my wife worked for a law firm that specialized in getting disability for people. Basically people are applying for disability when their unemployment benefits run out. And getting it.
Tongue in cheek.
This is my standard line to my wife when I watch a twenty something young lady park her dad's caddy (with handicapped plate) in a HC spot and jumps out and runs into the grocery store.
No thats work you know hurts to much.
Quite a few.
Men are fired first, hired last, in order to protect the correct ratio’s.
“I use the masculine pronoun intentionally, because an increasing number of American men have dropped out of the workforce altogether.”
Well, in my experience, women get paid more than men, and get promoted over men nowadays, all while men are being told that the opposite is going on. Plus every man in the workplace has to tiptoe around hoping to avoid sexual harassment charges. I’m not surprised some of them are staying home.
I eat too much and collect disability..... SUCKERS
There is a large group of Americans — of all colors — who are very happy with the ADA / disability system we have. Sit on your ass and collect as many government checks as possible. Its the new American Way. People have no shame anymore.
I know a 30’ woman married to a welding inspector. He makes good money. They have two kids 13 and 10. She has RA and is on disability. Says she cannot stand to work, yet she makes every school fund raiser, PTO function and seems to have no problem lifting anything or standing for hours working a concession stand and going hunting on their deer lease. Even her kids get a monthly check for her disability. The system is broken.
Kicker, she claims to be a staunch conservative and other than this talks like one and votes that way, or says she does.