Friday, March 09, 2007

So-So Security

Morgan Dawn tells us about an article attacking Social Security Disability claimants. The article is a blatant "lucky duck" argument striving to refocus outrage from the greedy to the needy. Author Melanie Scarborough displays an astounding viciousness regarding the social consequences of disability. She apparently thinks that people with mental illness or autism are just milking the system, to judge from her assessment:
The guidelines say “social functioning’ includes the ability to get along with others, such as family members, friends, neighbors, grocery clerks, landlords or bus drivers.

“You may demonstrate impaired social functioning by, for example, a history of altercations, evictions, firings, fear of strangers, avoidance of interpersonal relationships or social isolation.”

Why should anyone collect a check from taxpayers just for being a jerk?

In determining mental disabilities, examiners also consider the applicant’s “concentration, persistence or pace.” So work slowly and give up easily, and you might be rewarded with a monthly check.

Scarborough also shows that she has no idea whatsoever how disability for the sake of SSDI is determined. She complains that the list of conditions for which one may receive disability is so "exhaustive that almost everyone has some condition by which they could claim to be disabled." I'll be glad to introduce her to the widow of a man who died from complications of EDS. During the final years of his life, unable to work or even to sit up on his own, he was repeatedly denied benefits until his lawyer managed to bring him in, on a gurney, before the judge who finally realized he was looking at a dying man. The first check came after his death. If that list is so darn exhaustive, how does it miss chronic joint dislocation and organ failure as symptoms that indicate a person can not work for a living?

Insisting that few people have disabilities, she then cloaks her distrust of people with disabilities with a false concern for those with "genuine disabilities" such as MS and Down's Syndrome. Everyone else, she believes, are "chiselers." And a much worse problem than CEOs draining the life blood out of corporations despite their incompetence on the job. Lets see, the people I know getting SSDI get in the neighborhood of $700 a month. That means that, in 10 years time, they have received about $84,000. That's penny ante stuff for any real cheats. Just ask former Home Depot CEO Robert Nardelli.


Kay Olson said...

I saw Scarborough's column a couple weeks ago and considered writing about it, going to the trouble of refuting the nonsense she spouts, but it made me too angry, what with fighting Medicare just now for a few extra supplies per day so as not to die from lack of the necessary tools to keep me healthy.

It's funny, isn't, how these complainers of "chiselers" don't focus on the impossible system that precludes me from paying for my own health care because of prohibitive costs to even trying, or focusing on people with serious preexisting conditions being unemployable because no company wants to take that burden on either.

Anonymous said...

just a heads up - I've moved all my EDS posts to another blog -

could you link to that LJ instead since I am putting together a weekly newsletter on EDS issues