In response to Unwilling to Work; 25% in Hale County AL Collect Disability, 14 Million Nationwide; A Simple Solution I received some interesting emails from readers.

Regardless of Insurance, Taxpayers Pay

Reader Chris writes

Hey Mish,

I have been discussing disability for quite some time with others. I know a few people on disability who should not be qualified. I also have one good friend who is on disability for back problems. He had several surgeries and is genuinely disabled. The interesting part is my friend paid for his own insurance for 25+ years and the minute that he was declared unable to work, a lawyer saw to it that he would go on SS benefits. The insurance company collected premiums for 25+ years and now the government (taxpayers) pay.

Discussion on Radio Station KMJ

I was on radio station KMJ in Fresno, California for 45 minutes on Friday discussing my post on disability. Mike, a disabled worker was kind enough to share his thoughts. Mike writes …

Hello Mish

I just heard you on KMJ and agree with what you have said. I am a disabled person working in the social services system, I will soon be retiring due to stress related problems. I would like to keep working at another position with less stress but many of my friends think I am stupid for wanting to work instead of taking social security.

Time to Wave the White Flag

Reader Claudette, writes …

Hello Mish

Thanks for a good post on a complex issue. SSI/SSDI comes from social security funds, making that program even less sustainable over time.

I also see those who are truly disabled and unable to be competitively employed…they are being sustained in poverty by this program because of the sheer numbers in the program.

Multiple disincentives are built into the system to getting a job for fear of losing your stable disability check and Medicare coverage, so that it is very hard for the state Vocational Rehab system (where I work) to get disability recipients back to work.

There are few entry level jobs that pay enough or have benefits adequate for the recipients to take the risk of leaving the safe harbor of Disability.

Let’s just raise a white flag and admit that the “war on poverty” has been lost and look critically at how our programs sustain people in poverty rather than lift them out of it.

Thanks all. Yes, it is time to raise the white flag. Many of these programs are structured to keep people on disability rather than get them off disability.

Reader mike shows the pressure on the few who really do not want to take advantage of the system.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock