Comments about ‘Letter: Welfare program abused by people who claim minor imperfections as disabilities’

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Published: Wednesday, Nov. 7 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

Hey Bryce, be thankful you can work at a job to supply your needs, and stop being so judgmental of others. What evidence can you cite to show massive abuse of the Social Security disability program?

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Of all the schemes, scams and unnecessary or overdone government aid, I would regard Social Security disability payments far, far down on the list in terms of importance and detrimental effects on our society.

Sure there are people who cheat the system but there probably a whole lot more people who legitimately need and benefit from the system. Until there is a good way to measure a persons disability I vote we let some people cheat so that all who need it may have it.

If I stand or walk more than a minute, I experience pain in my legs. Not necessarily a debilitating pain but enough to cause me to give up some of my former pleasures. Like shopping and browsing in stores. I often opt for one of their electric scooter carts. Sitting down I’m as young and agile as ever, standing up I’m 77 years old with a broken leg. As I cruise effortlessly through the aisles I often encounter a little old lady or man hobbling along on their cane. Though it sometimes gives me a moment of guilt, embarrassment, I carry on with my happiness.

JoeCapitalist2
Orem, UT

Ultra Bob: The overall economic impact of disability fraud may be small when compared to the $16 Trillion mountain of public debt, but it is not a small matter. It is a multi-billion dollar problem.

Yes, there are many, many legitimate cases of disability but I would not be at all suprised if the fraud rate is 50% or higher. We have reached the point where even a little discomfort makes someone feel entitled to a free ride on someone else's dime.

It is demoralizing for those who work hard to see a neighbor who is on disability and "can't work" out on the golf course Saturday afternoon.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

I have a disability, and receive Social Security disability benefits. It's a rigorous process. I doubt that disability fraud exists at all, and if it does exist, it's more at the 1-2 percent level.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

So is the solution to have the general public vote on whether an individual is "entitled" receive Social Security Disability benefits? With all of your medical expertise, as well as JoeCapitalist2's medical expertise, I'm sure you'll be fair to those who have legitimate disabilities.

If you saw my brother at the store, you wouldn't know he was disabled, yet that half hour trip to Walmart will cost him days in bed in excruciating pain from over a dozen cancer surgeries, the last surgery resulting in a MRSA infection and three months of inpatient treatment. He is lucky to be alive, and my family is lucky to still have him around.

The process for him to be deemed "worthy" of Social Security Disability benefits took years of paperwork and about a dozen doctor opinions. It was NOT an easy process by any stretch of the imagination. In your world he would most likely not be eligible because he can still walk.

GZE
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Judge much?

Nan BW
ELder, CO

I agree with the letter writer. I have no idea of the per cent abuse of disability benefits that exists, but it is signigicant. All too many people consider that if they have a disability that keeps them from doing the kind of job they want to do, they shouldn't have to be trained to do something else. I know two very able bodied young men who collect disability because they have a shared problem that makes communication difficult. Rather than learning a skill to compensate, they collect disability and enjoy an abundance of swimming, motor-cycling, and just plain messing around. They are personable and capable, and taking advantage of benefits. I know of several other individuals who collect disability benefits, who clearly could be working and making those funds available for something else. I know of one man who collected for several years, then saw a need for greater income so he got lined up for training and became gainfully employed.

One disability that many of us share to a greater or lesser degree is being resourceful. It can be overcome with effort and practice.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

If the letter writer is upset about this kid of abuse ---
I can'te even begin to imagine his outrage of the abuse by none-disabled MILLIONARIES who abuse the system!

But it's always the sick, needy, elderly, widows and children who take the hits....

George
Bronx, NY

you have no idea of the level but it is significant because you know two people you think are able bodied? does that seem like a little weak on the reasoning part to you?

one old man
Ogden, UT

Joe Capitalist -- I'm going to call you on your claim of seeing supposedly disabled neighbors on the golf course.

But it, by some chance, you happen to be telling the truth, you have a responsibility to report what you've seen to proper authorities so they may investigate.

VIDAR
Murray, UT

I think the only kind of social security anyone should get is for a disability.
If you are over 65; and can still work, you should not get social security.
Feel free to retire anytime you want; just quit making younger workers pay for it.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

It’s not that I would excuse dishonesty on the part of social security recipients, it’s just that there are so many other things going on that are worse. The people of Utah just voted 2 to 1 to exempt military people from paying property tax on their home. Talk about able-bodied, and they are well paid to boot. Further more, this is just the tip of the iceberg for the freebies and benefits they receive from the taxpayer. Yet they are just ordinary people doing a voluntary job with a lousy record of accomplishments from the last 60 years.

Then there’s the Arts, charities, religions, and millions of special perks and breaks for businessmen, special parking for certain cars, different tax rates for some kinds of earnings, Utopia, bird sanctuaries, Zoos, theatres, stadiums, etc. etc. The list goes on forever.

The only reason people complain about people getting taxpayer money is because they fear it won’t be there for them to get.

VIDAR
Murray, UT

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If you do not want to pay property tax: then I suggest you join the military and to to war.
Otherwise, have some respect and honor; for these brave men and women that are protecting you.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@VIDAR

How many people in the military (including me for twenty years) are sent off to war with no paycheck? Going off to war should not absolve anyone of their financial responsibilities. It isn't a matter of respect. When I was deployed, my mortgage, taxes, insurance, and other bills still had to be paid. I wouldn't expect otherwise. If you can't live on your deployment salary, then you haven't planned properly and are living beyond your means. You can be deployed at any time and need to be prepared to live on that salary. I, as a military retiree, voted AGAINST it.

KVC
Sahuarita, az

I feel qualified to comment on disability fraud. I am a Family Physician who sees a lot of patients who are on disability. I would say that I am very qualified to determine if someone is truly disabled or not, and in my estimation 40-50% of those receiving benefits that come through my office are not disabled to a point where they cannot work. Unfortunately there are many doctors out there who will rubber stamp disability paperwork as easy money. When I tell them they do not qualify, they go and find another doctor who will say they do, many times doctor shopping around to find the easy guys. Lawyers are well aware of what doctors will sign off on these forms and refer their clients directly. These disability mills are very similar to pill mills that hand out narcotics to anyone with the cash in hand who walks through their door.
When a 26 y/o walks into the office and says he is on disability for Bipolar, and goes on to say he needs no medicines to control it, while he spends all his time out partying with friends, that is fraud.

KVC
Sahuarita, az

Ultra Bob:
If you think the military personnel are well paid, you don't know much about them. They are paid much less than similar positions in the private sector.
I would bet Pat Tilman's family, and the families of all those who have died or been severely disabled in combat would argue that they are paid well for what they do. You should be thankful that we have men and women willing to protect us for so little in return. You cannot put a price on the skills our Seals have, and the risk they undertake. Tell me who else in our society could have taken out Bin Laden as well as they did. Our Air Force pilots could make a lot more in the private sector, the same goes for the military physicians.
The vast majority of our military are not in it for the benefits and pay. They could do a lot better elsewhere.

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

States that take the most from the Federal government

1.North Dakota
2.West Virginia
3 Alabama
4 Kentucky
5 New Mexico,
6 Hawaii,
7 Maryland,
8 Virginia,
9 Alaska
10 Texas

States that have the most people NOT paying federal income taxes not in order but Utah has 39% of people NOT paying federal income taxes.

Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida

It like a Freeloader belt right down from Idaho all the way through the Republican south.

KVC
Sahuarita, az

Screwdriver:
You stated 39% of Utahns don't pay federal taxes. Considering that the National number is 47% not paying any Federal Income Taxes, Utahns are paying a lot more than the the Nation as a whole by a large amount. So how does that make them freeloaders when they pay at a much higher rate than the Nation as a whole? Sounds like they are the givers, not takers.

Nan BW
ELder, CO

KVC, you have some great comments and solid experience to back them up. I appreciate seeing them. I used to work with people seeking financial help, and I heard some strange excuses for not working back then (late 60s early 70s), but I think things are much worse now, and disability benefits are all too often handed out to people who could be working. Being employed isn't easy, but it is the preferable way to support oneself.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

KVC.

I believe every thing you say except “I would say that I am very qualified to determine if someone is truly disabled or not”.

Nan BW.

As an employer seeking an employee, and having 100 or more qualified able-bodied applicants and some possibly disabled or just think they are disabled. Which would you hire?

It is my understanding that there is too many unemployed qualified able-bodied who need jobs now.

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