I recently read a diary about a person who rents a room to someone who's on disability who think other people who are on disability are 'scamming the system'. Of course, there were people in his neighborhood who thought the same of him because he didn't 'look disabled' either. But there's another element to this whole thing that I think most people miss: Those same people would much rather be working.
I know I'd rather acquire a decent paying job than having to rely on in-laws for help all the time. But that leads us to the other side of the problem: Real employment opportunities DO NOT EXIST for people with disabilities. Not to mention employers have virtually zero tolerance for anything that might cause a disabled person to miss work be it doctors' appointments, counseling, surgery, treatment regimen or anything else associated with a person's condition because profits are more important than human beings.
Speaking of scamming the system, why don't those same morons who harangue those who are on SSI go after shit employers like Mall Wart who pay their workers so low that they're FORCED on public assistance? Because they idolize bitter, stupid, old, obscenely rich white men who lie to workers telling them they can't afford to pay better wages while paying themselves enough to compensate those same workers 10 times over. Worst of all, they think that by letting these greedy fuckers do what they want, they'll become one of them too. Yeah, keep dreaming.
Disabled folks come in all shapes and sizes. Some can work their whole lives with nearly no issue at all while others have more trouble because they can't work a lot of jobs where they live.
For instance, I live in an area that once relied heavily on tourism so naturally most jobs were in the service industry. Of course, this mostly leads to jobs that require a lot of standing, walking and lifting. I can't do any of those for very long without my lower back hurting like hell after about 20 minutes due to my left leg being smaller, shorter and weaker than my right. Even with a heel cord operation at 4 years old, I still can't move my left toes. That kind of discrepancy can wreak havoc on one's body after a while. The Asperger's and Cerebral Palsy don't help either.
Once when I worked at a local Publix, I was scheduled for a 10 hour shift with an hour long break in between. By the time that shift ended my lower back hurt so bad I could barely do anything the next day. My manager at the time recommended a heating pad. I'll admit that would have helped immediately but not in the long term. Needless to say I was soon micromanaged to the point I just walked out because I couldn't take any more. I held a few other jobs after that with the same results.
This leads me to the other element that most people who judge us often miss: Many of us are also educated to varying degrees. In my case, I got my degrees in computer science because I couldn't handle being on my feet much. I also didn't anticipate that the field I went into is virtually nonexistent down here thanks in large part to the shuttle program ending and most tech jobs being outsourced.
So to those who say we scam the system, I say this: Instead of judging us, if you want us off of Social Security so bad, how about working to open up opportunities for us in stead of denying us at every turn? But then I remember why: Because then those companies would have to waste perfectly good profits on PR campaigns bragging about it.
See you around,