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The short story is that I subscribe to daily google news feeds on disability. Last evening, this article title came across my screen. I thought, oh dear. This is not going to be a pleasant experience. I sent the article to a group of friends which includes the disabled and their caretakers. I took the plunge. See the results here:

The article begins:

The only real surprise to me with this story is that it hasn’t received bigger play in the workers’ compensation blogosphere. The discussion may be out there, but I seem to have missed it.

A study released this past week shows that recipients of federal disability checks often admit that they are capable of working but simply don’t. Furthermore, the study found that people closest to disability recipients tell them they should be working, but they have no plans to do so anytime soon.

Shocked. Simply shocked.

This survey did something that I have not seen before. It defined and explored a difference between SSDI and SSI, and how people on each program respond and think. SSDI is for people who worked and contributed to Social Security prior to their disability event. It is considered an “earned” benefit. SSI is for those who have likely never worked or have contributed very little, but have successfully convinced the government that they are disabled, and therefore are awarded an “unearned” benefit.
Researchers found that those collecting government checks from the SSI (unearned) program report less pain than those on SSDI. They are typically overweight, uneducated and from broken homes.

Shocked. Simply shocked.

I know many cynics out there will be surprised to learn this, but despite claiming medical problems as the reason they do not work, “most have never received significant medical treatment and [have] not seen a doctor about their condition in the last year”. And the most shocking revelation of all? “Those who acknowledge they're on disability because they can't find a job say they make little effort to find one”.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bullshit (20+ / 0-)

    First of all getting benefits takes years and medical proof of disability. There are plenty of people that should be approved who aren't.

    Second, most people on disability will never get better which is why they are on disability so no, the goal is not to find work the goal is to get through the day.

    Third, disability is not exactly living high on hog. If you're lucky you get 1,000 a month, not a lot of money in fact it isn't enough money to live on and SSDI is less. SSDI says if you have more then a few thousand in assets, including your car, you don't qualify.

    To sum it up this article is bullshit. Oh and unless you're the person that wrote the article you linked to this is a total copywriter violation. Either way take this shit down.

  •  HR for Repub/Libertarian talking points (8+ / 0-)

    Which is stated in the link.

    In other words, fuck this noise.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 09:09:56 PM PDT

    •  did you read the end of the link entry? (5+ / 0-)
      I myself am unable to work. I am typing this message in via dictation software, which is slow and tedious. I would give anything if I could work again. This is not a real life, living on disability, for someone who has always given 100%.
      Stop trying to turn disabled people into scapegoats for the destruction that the corrupt economic policies of the wealthy and powerful have created.
      Every human population everywhere has a certain percentage of people who just cannot support themselves in this economy for reasons of illness, injury or mental incompetence. Without government and community support, we will just die.
      Is that what you want the legacy of your life to be: killing off disabled people so you can put more money in your pocket? That is the actual outcome of the focus of your campaign.
      I could be wrong, because the formatting on the blog is not all one might wish.  But please read the whole thing yourself before HR.  I think it is possible we were supposed to be cool enough to get this is snark.

      ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

      by jessical on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 09:27:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Uprated b/c I've long (5+ / 0-)

      been reading Jessical, and I know she has a good heart.

      Remove your HR, Karl. It just makes you look mean.

      Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

      by Youffraita on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 10:12:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Douchenozzle (6+ / 0-)

    Please tell me how with my constant lifetime of pain and 48 year warranty I should try to work even though that just increases the damage.

    Fuck off.

  •  The other side of the story (12+ / 0-)

    I don't know if my daughter will ever be able to work and earn an "earned" benefit.   I hope and pray that she does, and so does she.   We are working towards it, and planning towards it.   Her dearest wish is to have a "normal" life.   If no progress is made on her illness, I expect that she will become unable to work at some point in her life, even if she starts out able to work.   Most other people with her disease do.   Her grandmother was completely disabled in her twenties from this disease.  My daughter, young and strong, is already  unable to attend on-site school, and has horrible flares after long periods of on-site testing.  Many others with this illness report being unable to work in early adulthood.  

    She has a lot of symptoms, and 'pain' is only one of the many disabling ones.   There are others.  Like fainting.  Clumsiness and frequent falls.  Dizziness.  Flu-like symptoms.  She has trouble maintaining her body temperature, and when she has a flare, she often has a low temperature, instead of a high one.  I always know when her temperature is low, because you can look at her, and she looks like death warmed over.   And, there are days when her brain goes on the fritz.  She can't remember what you said a few minutes ago.  And, when her sensory sensitivities are so severe that she cannot even read.  And, that is a difficult time, because reading is one of her great comforts.  It's also sort of taken for granted on many or most jobs.  She is so very sensitive to her environment, to heat, cold, bright lights, breezes, textures, and the slightest touch can cause great pain that lasts and lasts, particularly during flares.  She wears shorts in winter, because the fabric of pants hurts her skin.   A day out usually requires several days of rest to recover.    

    She really doesn't complain of her pain, anymore.   She has it all the time, and she has to go on with her life.  I don't have to ask her if it hurts.   It always hurts.   It's just that some days, it hurts worse than others.

    Many people with this disease get accused of being malingerers.    As young as she is, she gets that all the time.   Even from professionals who should know better.

    Still, she is thrilled to earn some money helping the neighbor prepare for her daughter to move in, and dreams of the day she can have a job at the local snow cone stand.

    Maybe we should ask ourselves what are the real physical effects of being overweight, uneducated and from broken homes.   There might be mental deficits from being raised in an environment that does not provide appropriate stimulation and opportunities to learn.  Obesity can imply underlying physical illness or inherited disease.   More and more research is pointing to underlying physical causes for obesity.   Being uneducated can impose tremendous obstacles to working.  There are subtle forms of discrimination that can prevent people from getting work, such as discriminating based on accents or dialects when they call about the job, or their address on the application, or the type of name that they have.  There are anxiety and depressive disorders that create huge obstacles for people who have never worked to find work.  And, there is a feedback loop that not working can worsen these conditions.    And, being raised in a "broken home" can imply inherited mental illnesses, or traumatic experiences that can result in post traumatic stress disorder, and dysfunctional parenting that can leave kids without the life skills to find and keep a job.   And, many illnesses are not apparent.   People with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and many other illnesses don't appear to be ill, and illnesses like my daughter has.   But, they can be tremendously disabling all the same.

    There are some tremendous leaps to assumptions in this "research".  Yes, the populations on these programs are different.  Yet, I have many, many questions, before I draw conclusions.

    By the way, my daughter has not seen a doctor for a while.   There are no effective treatments for her condition.  We spent years trying all of them.  And, now, we have to live with our situation.   If something new comes out, we might try it, but right now, they don't really know what is causing the disease, and while they do know something about what's going on in the body, they have no effective treatments for it.  Just ineffective ones that make you feel sicker.   And, that's not uncommon.  The medical community tries to pretend they have an answer to every problem, but real people who struggle with real problems quickly discover that doctors are not miracle workers, and they cannot wave a magic wand and make these problems go away.

    Yes, I am sure there are malingerers.  And, there are people like my daughter, who is not a malingerer, and who may have no choice.   Please keep her in mind when you make your judgments.   Believe me, I have worked my ass off paying into this system, and my daughter can have my share.

    PS: given the state of our medical system, it does not surprise me that poor and uneducated people who have never had a job have not seen a doctor for their conditions.   What would they pay them with?   Although, it sounds like complete BS, because disability applications require medical records.  

  •  hold on you guys (8+ / 0-)

    I'm modestly sure the author of this diary is the author of the linked article.  Said author uses dictation software and so block quotes might not be obvious.  In which case, this should have a snark tag.  And we should back the heck off.

    I uprated for the HR in the tip jar.  I could be wrong.  But I'd rather be wrong than HR out a perfectly sincere poster, esp. due to accessibility issues.

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 09:25:17 PM PDT

  •  OK... (7+ / 0-)

    In light of the above comments, this is from the author's last diary, on May 1.

    I was deemed disabled as of November 2011. My disability began in 1983 when was struck by 3 tons of steel. I claim that my disability began in 2006, not 1983, because I was able to work and go to school a majority of that time.  Since March of 2012, I have been waiting for a ruling from the Social Security Administration on the date my disability began. A favorable ruling means $1,200 a month income and eligibility for Medicare. Truly a magnificent income. I look forward to purchasing my first yacht.
    I don't come here for nice, I come here for sharp conversation on the issues of the day and era.  But I don't come here for mean, either.  I am not clear as to whether this is a finished diary or not, so I don't want to add a snark tag -- though it is surely snark, as is, the linked diary is a rebuttal of this, and the author may have meant to copy it completely.  

    Please at least consider a more measured response for someone who I think took some damn trouble to come talk to us.


    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 09:52:07 PM PDT

    •  Unfortunately s/he needs to be more careful (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jessical, Youffraita, trumpeter

      in what they say and in what they quote.

      I followed the link. The follow-ups were WAY more informative than the lead-in.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 10:10:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  having watched friends using accessibility... (5+ / 0-), including some I've set up for them, I'm inclined -- very inclined -- to give the benefit of the doubt.  Part of different kinds of disability can be...parsing the a different pace, or in a different way, than what the rest of us do.  And the software is often a real chore, to the point where the kinds of mistakes everyone makes get multiplied.  Such benefit of doubt can of course be condescending, which would suck, and we are very definitely rules-driven 'round here, and everybody needs to figure that out at some point, regardless.  But...gawd...the rhetorical paintball can be pretty cold sometimes.

        The other issue of course is that some folks get to a point where damn near everything comes out as failed snark, because you're just...that...angry.  Indeed, I have been that person, though not here or elsewhere for a very long spell.

        Anyway, I'm to bed.  Clever tagging, I thought :)

        ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

        by jessical on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 10:17:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for this, jessical: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Please at least consider a more measured response for someone who I think took some damn trouble to come talk to us.
      I certainly agree with the diarist about this kind of stuff:
      Is that what you want the legacy of your life to be: killing off disabled people so you can put more money in your pocket? That is the actual outcome of the focus of your campaign.
      It makes me angry too.

      I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

      by Tortmaster on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 11:21:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  jessical is correct (5+ / 0-)

    The teabaggery rant is not the author's. It's clearer if you go to the diarist's own site that she is responding to said d-bag.

  •  Okay I got it (5+ / 0-)

    Post author has put the badly written interpretation of data in her post. Debocracy only wrote the first paragraph.

    First off people on SSDI and SSI are not getting Worker Comp money except maybe medical treatment. You don't get both at the same time and if they screw up it's a nightmare getting it fixed. So why the hell does a WC rag even care about this? (don't get me started on the mindset of many who work in WC. Been there, seen it, not good.)

    Trying to look at the linked article while dealing with a heat educed migraine is difficult but am I right in that the majority of people are not what the writer claims them to be? That the percentages are really low compared to people who are saying they are disabled and in pain and that the writer is totally slanting things to fit what he is claiming? I'm talking about the Exography article.

    I'm not seeing the many the author is claiming. Perhaps my pain is affecting my ability to translate the small percentages into "many".

    Frankly as one who is in the SSDI seat, I can answer some of these. First off, most training is not short term nor is it adaptable towards people who are disabled. Often classes go for hours at a time with few breaks. Seating in ones I have been to is not good even for healthy people. Most of the people I know who have been ruled disabled by SS are not up to going to training.

    As for looking for work in the future, most of the people I know on SSDI and SSI have permanent disabilities. My RA is not going to get better. I get to look forward to increasing pain and joint damage. I have to figure out how I am going to keep living on my own and do daily tasks. So seriously, most of those people are hit with this sort of thing. It's depressing enough to know life is going to get even more limited. So of course they aren't going to go looking for work when their future is one where things are going to get harder physically.

    Regarding medical treatment, well that's a laugh for a lot of disabled people. Some do benefit but I for one am tired of doctors not doing a damn thing except shoving pain pills at me and asking me what they should do. I don't have the medical degree. Ten years of orthos that all failed to tell me I should get examined by a rheumatologist let alone failing to tell me that I probably have rheumatoid arthritis. Because the insurance carrier didn't want to pay for it. Damage done, thanks. So the short story is most of us are disabled and most are not helped by extensive medical treatment. It's PERMANENT disability.

    So yeah that "interpretation" of data is twisted.

    Can someone help you, debocracy, to put in quotes or something?

    •  Good lord! Didn't the orthos do a simple sed rate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jessical, blukat

      test? All but a very small percentage of RA patients will show an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate. It's a simple, inexpensive blood test that should be performed anytime a patient presents with chronic joint pain. An elevated sed rate will ordinarily lead to an immediate referral to a rheumatologist and a course of treatment focused on suppressing the autoimmune response.

      Of course, there are oddball cases like me who have an autoimmune disease but don't show an elevated sed rate.  My doctor says it occurs in about five percent of patients. In my case it undoubtably has something to do with the "redhead thing". Our gene mutation causes a number of anomalous responses that can make us difficult to diagnose and treat.

      "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

      by Involuntary Exile on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 08:38:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Over time they did two blood tests (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        which I have. Both state high inflammation of the blood. However the reason for the tests they gave was to check my liver function. Neither test was discussed with me nor did they say or do anything regarding the high inflammation. It was workers compensation. Of course they were not going to because then the carrier would have to pay for more tests and doctors.

        I've had ortho exams for my back and neck where they never touched me nor did range of motion even. But can't fight any of it because it was worker compensation in California. Which is just bad for most workers.

  •  The source article was from the Wash Examiner (3+ / 0-)

    And it was a terribly mangled piece of propaganda nonsense. It is supposed to be a summary of a certain government report, but it cited absolutely NOTHING. Basically it was an exercise in cherrypicking data, and giving it the most negative spin possible. For example- if 40% of those disabled have not looked for work in the last month, then it is spun as 'look at how lazy these people are', as opposed to 'these people are disabled enough that they cannot work'. If 20% have not seen a doctor for their disability condition in the last year, it is seen as a sign of fraud, instead of a sign that the disability is a permanent condition that doctors can do nothing about.

    This is not to say there is no problem with SSI. The rapid expansion in the SSI and SSDI rolls is definitely a problem. But we need ral facts, not partisan hack propaganda.

  •  The original post that the diarist is quoting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    refers to a study. No information is given about the study. Who did it and how was it done? Does anyone think anyone receiving SSDI, SSI, or Worker's Comp would answer questions in the way indicated in the post? This sounds like something written by some malicious person whose goal is to limit or end these safety nets. Will the evil never stop?

  •  Frankly, my dear, some people are useless. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Involuntary Exile

    They can't work because they cannot follow directions.

    The reason you are shocked is because you have bought into the rationalization that employment is at the discretion of the employed. Actually, it is at the discretion of those who hire and pay people to do productive work.
    It's my sense that the verbally adept incompetents manage to talk themselves into employed positions and then, if they can manage to become habituated -- i.e. develop habits of behavior that satisfy their employer's expectations-- they will continue in harness, so to speak. Those that can't follow directions and acquire habitual behaviors wander from job to job until they run out of options.

    What we need to keep in mind, however, is that "they also serve, who only stand and wait." Moreover, if productive people are to have their products used, instead of going to waste, then they have to be made available to the unproductive to use. In order for someone to be generous and make gifts, there has to be someone to accept those gifts.

    Where the mistake comes in is with people who believe that in order to make people produce, they have to set up examples of what happens to people who don't work by making some populations starve. People who can, do. People who can't need to be served.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 06:04:11 AM PDT

    •  i just snorted at this - (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Involuntary Exile, hannah
      Frankly, my dear, some people are useless. They can't work because they cannot follow directions.
      So un-PC to say  but yet so fucking true. I had to recommend someone be terminated last week for this very reason. I feel bad for the guy's family, they deserve better but he just... doesn't listen. Doesn't understand. It's mind boggling. Totally and utterly unemployable.
      •  thanks for giving me the opportunity to add (0+ / 0-)

        that God did not make people to be used by other people. He made them because it delighted him to do so. Moreover, He made each one different and unique. That they should be useful to their own kind is an unjustified conceit. Also, uselessness justifies some people not liking their own kind. But, that's their problem.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 09:12:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped for the effort (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The lack of empathy and compassion from the right is indeed most unpleasant.
    Exposing that unpleasantness has value.
    Thank you debocracy.

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