Apply for Social Security Disability Insurance to this judge: He won’t turn you down

posted at 7:52 pm on May 19, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Social Security Disability Insurance is projected to become the first major entitlement to go bankrupt — but one judge who helps to administer the program doesn’t seem to mind spending SSDI out of house and home. Administrative law judge David B. Daugherty awards disability benefits in nearly every case he processes, The Wall Street Journal reports today.

In 2005, Daugherty’s disability benefits approval rate stood at 90 percent — but it has only gone up from there. From 2006 to 2008, he approved benefits about 95 percent of the time. Then, last year, he upped the ante to 99.7 percent — and is on track to increase that what little bit he can in 2011.

But Daugherty doesn’t merely approve benefits. He also scoffs at “stingier” SSDI judges.

“Some of these judges act like it’s their own damn money we’re giving away,” Mr. Daugherty told a fellow Huntington judge, Algernon Tinsley, who worked in the same office until last year, Mr. Tinsley recalled.

Amazingly, Daugherty manages to maintain these high approval ratings even though he only receives the cases after applicants have been twice denied by state officials.

American applicants for disability benefits must first seek approval from state officials, who play a lead role in an initial review. Applicants twice denied can then appeal to one of the Social Security Administration’s administrative law judges.

You’d think those previous denials would mean at least a few of the applications Daugherty approves aren’t actually up to snuff.

According to The WSJ, Social Security Administration officials acknowledge the responsibility they bear to taxpayers, but say their “hands are tied on some of the more extreme cases.”

Unfortunately, Daugherty isn’t the only approval-happy judge. In the first half of this year, some 27 judges awarded benefits to 95 percent of applicants — and another 100 awarded benefits in 90 percent of cases.

The Wall Street Journal has requested the Social Security Administration inspector general launch an investigation into Daugherty’s approval rating. That is as it should be. Daugherty no doubt is a likable guy (the article says he’s very well-respected in his community) and I’m sure he thinks he’s just doing his job well (his office rewards the prodigious output he’s only able to achieve by unthinking approval), but now’s not the time to treat entitlements — or any penny of taxpayer money — with anything but the utmost seriousness.

 


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maybe man-baby went to this judge.

mizflame98 on May 19, 2011 at 7:55 PM

I wonder if anybody told that Lawgiver-In-Black that the inflated disability payments he’s ordering will be cut by mid-decade.

Steve Eggleston on May 19, 2011 at 7:57 PM

maybe man-baby went to this judge.

mizflame98 on May 19, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Beat me to it.

GrannyDee on May 19, 2011 at 7:58 PM

“Some of these judges act like it’s their own damn money we’re giving away,” Mr. Daugherty told a fellow Huntington judge, Algernon Tinsley, who worked in the same office until last year, Mr. Tinsley recalled.

That’s because IT IS their “own damn money” you jackass! It’s the combined money of all the taxpayers who actually work for a living rather than suckling off the government teat.

KSgop on May 19, 2011 at 7:58 PM

‘Earning’ this money’s easy.

Missing some quotes there…thought I’d help out…

BigWyo on May 19, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Oh my, how times have changed…

d1carter on May 19, 2011 at 8:02 PM

And I don’t even have to wear a diaper?

rbj on May 19, 2011 at 8:03 PM

When I ask someone to administer something for me, I rather expect them to treat it with the same care they would if it were their own.

Count to 10 on May 19, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Money for Nothing and Judges are free!

canopfor on May 19, 2011 at 8:06 PM

I got a bum knee. That’s GOTTA be worth some $$$ huh? Where’s this judge work again?

HONEY!!! ROAD TRIP!!!

44Magnum on May 19, 2011 at 8:08 PM

I know a person who is on Social Security Disabilty and works a full time job in a doctors’s office aing $20 an hours. She is paid cash “under the table”. When I found out she also collected SSD, I got so disgusted I haven’t called her since

CCRWM on May 19, 2011 at 8:08 PM

“Some of these judges act like it’s their own damn money we’re giving away,”

It is their own money, you dumbass

Hiya Ciska on May 19, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Too many people believe government money grows on trees, when in fact it comes out of someone else’s pocket. For many, there’s no shame in accepting money from the government. Combine that with judges like this, and people will rob the government (that’s us) blind.

Paul-Cincy on May 19, 2011 at 8:11 PM

This is just a back door to welfare. Disabilities to liberals are not disabilities to normal people.

GardenGnome on May 19, 2011 at 8:11 PM

CCRWM

Report her

Our Fraud Hotline provides an avenue for individuals to report fraud, waste, and abuse within the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) programs and operations.

We handle allegations regarding violations of law or regulations affecting SSA programs and operations. You may reach us by Internet, mail, facsimile, and phone.

http://www.ssa.gov/oig/guidelin.htm

CWforFreedom on May 19, 2011 at 8:13 PM

I know two recipients of SSI, and neither should be getting it. One is a heavy smoker and gets it for her COPD. Claimed not to be able to work because she “might” have an attack, but hadn’t had one in years. (Praise the Lord) /s
The other person, a relative, gets it for a minor child, and blows it on boozes and an ex. Child benefits not at all and it’s seen as a pay check not something to help the child. (Who shouldn’t be getting it in the first place)
Thank goodness for judges like this.
I fart in their general direction.

mauioriginal on May 19, 2011 at 8:16 PM

This really just makes me sick. Some days, like today, I just want everything to come crashing down…

Gatsu on May 19, 2011 at 8:17 PM

My guess is, it just became to burdensome for him to worry about who got approved. He started out really doing things right, spent time on the cases, so he was at 90%, but as time went along, he likely felt he was spending too much time on the cases, not getting paid or paid enough to do it, so the rubber stamp came out.

WoosterOh on May 19, 2011 at 8:17 PM

If liberals didn’t have such high self-esteem, they wouldn’t feel entitled to so many things.

Paul-Cincy on May 19, 2011 at 8:18 PM

If the judge doesn’t understand whose money is being handed out, perhaps instead of an investigation, there should be a competency hearing.

Hiya Ciska on May 19, 2011 at 8:21 PM

CWforFreedom on May 19, 2011 at 8:13 PM


They don’t care. I’d almost suggest they raise the amount given these liars when they are reported. Geez…the story is about a judge that signs off at a high rate. What is the likelihood that those people would ever be tossed?
My former neighbor was the worst kind of example..SSI, Sec-8 voucher (in an upper middle class neighborhood), welfare, AFDC, was on the program for assistance with her utilities. But come Friday/Sat she was at the bar singing karaoke and dancing. Poor sick little thing.

mauioriginal on May 19, 2011 at 8:21 PM

They don’t care.

mauioriginal on May 19, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Privatize SSDI and make it for profit. They would nip that crap in the bud .

CWforFreedom on May 19, 2011 at 8:25 PM

Milking the Treasury dry. These vermin are just robbing us.

Jaibones on May 19, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Most of the twiced denied have to get one of those lawyers you see on TV all of the time.If a judge approves a case the client gets a lump sum back pay from the date of the initial claim and the lawyer(who probably donates to the judges reelection fund)gets 40 to 50% of the back pay.Easy money from the taxpayer for all involved.

docflash on May 19, 2011 at 8:28 PM

Also my daughter is autistic and apparently will qualify for SS when she turns 18. If I could tell you how many people have told us that… (I’ve never inquired myself and neither has my husband) Anyway we aren’t planning on her getting anything from the government. We’ve paid for all her therapies and don’t use Regional Center services so that others can. God has blessed us so much and we have been able to plan for her future. At this point we have close to $300k put away for her(she is 16) We want to leave
Ca because her money woud go further in another state but we have all our family here in CA and that is actually more important than the money. We aren’t waiting for the government to take care of our daughter when my husband and I are gone. We save for her ourselves and pay for life insurance to round out what she will need. We take her to all sorts of Apple classes (that company and their employees are great!)and she can do so much with their products. She makes videos and movies and does video editing for people and create DVDs for them. She makes jewlery that people want to buy (every other girl and her mother makes jewlery here in Los Angeles)she has sold enough to earn $550.00 of the $900.00 she needs for her iPad. She is an artist so she has a good probability of having self employment. She is our responsibility and we will take care of her and prepare her for her future.

CCRWM on May 19, 2011 at 8:28 PM

Reading this article has made me so depressed I think I’ll apply for SS benefits to counteract my arguably clinical anhedonia.

profitsbeard on May 19, 2011 at 8:29 PM

“Some of these judges act like it’s their own damn money we’re giving away”

Well, yes, Judge Santa Claus, it is our own damn money. Where do you think it comes from, a bunch of elves?

Socratease on May 19, 2011 at 8:35 PM

CCRWM on May 19, 2011 at 8:28 PM

God bless you and your family. Thank you for that post.

d1carter on May 19, 2011 at 8:45 PM

Through work I’ve met maybe 100 people over the years who were getting Social Security Disability. I never had one that was actually disabled. If you ask them what their problem is they usually say “nervios,” which means anxiety problems. Really they’re just layabouts who want to cash a $900 check and watch Jerry.

Ted Torgerson on May 19, 2011 at 8:51 PM

In my experience, virtually every non-quadriplegic who applies for disability is turned down. I’m not surprised that any fair judge would find a majority of applicants to be disabled.

But 99%? No way.

novaculus on May 19, 2011 at 8:54 PM

“Some of these judges act like it’s their own damn money we’re giving away,”

A$$shole. It’s MY money you’re giving away. I mostly work 60-80 hours/wk to keep my two businesses going. My reward for my work has been increasing tax brackets.

What an a$$. I’d be far more profane if Hot Air would allow it…

beancounter on May 19, 2011 at 8:58 PM

I’m surprised a writer has not researched how the poor economy has led to an increase in ss disability applicants. I know a few people who have lost their jobs, cannot get a job, then applied for ss disability and received it. Obama IS creating a welfare state dependent upon Democrats running the government.

HellCat on May 19, 2011 at 9:04 PM

This is a serious issue.

If an under aged child is supported by a welfare mother is diagnosed with ADHD and if said child is given medication for the proposed ADHD then said ADHD child is an auto-lock for SSDI for life.

Look it up.

Key West Reader on May 19, 2011 at 9:06 PM

CCRWM on May 19, 2011 at 8:28 PM

Bless you, I know some people in California who seem to abuse the system, they scratched a video game console accidentally, so they got a new one, they keep buying the same game for different consoles because they want to collect them all, and you come with a story that demonstrates true class.

We have obligations to our family and to our country. Too often people want an easy way out and when they do so, a part of them suffers. It amazes me how many people bring about more problems because they have no stimulation. They claim they have stress and other factors, but they don’t know the half of it.

I know another person who cheated his way through college, being disabled the school allowed him to hire aides, so he hired aides who write his papers for him. He’s now wondering why his US History degree is worthless.

amazingmets on May 19, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Because it is their money you knothead

Some of these judges act like it’s their own damn money we’re giving away,” Mr. Daugherty told a fellow Huntington judge, Algernon Tinsley, who worked in the same office until last year, Mr. Tinsley recalled.

Aggie95 on May 19, 2011 at 9:13 PM

know a person who is on Social Security Disabilty and works a full time job in a doctors’s office aing $20 an hours. She is paid cash “under the table”. When I found out she also collected SSD, I got so disgusted I haven’t called her since

CCRWM on May 19, 2011 at 8:08 PM

I’ll “come out of the closet” here and reveal that I WORK for the SSA.

Getting SS benefits – at the hearing level, at least – isn’t as easy as just sending in an application. There is a sequential process that we go through to approve or disprove a claim, and at times we are somewhat limited by things like Social Security Rulings and Medical-Vocational Guidelines (which mean that some claimants who might have legitimate, severe impairments may NOT get benefits, and some people who might be malingering may wind up getting them).

The first step is whether a person is engaging in “Substantial Gainful Activity”. This is usually determined by what your income is. If someone is making above a prescribed level (per month), they cannot get benefits.

Regarding your friend, the fault here lies within her. At SSA, we have to go by REPORTED earnings….meaning, if someone is getting paid under the table, or is “self-employed” and misrepresenting how much their income is, we can’t really deny those cases at that initial stage, absent proof that they’re lying. It can go towards their overall credibility, however.

So you can report her. If she really is getting $20 per hour, she would probably meet the threshold (provided she’s working a certain number of hours).

Vyce on May 19, 2011 at 9:14 PM

SSDI is very easy to get if you are a welfare recipient.

If you truly are disabled, unable to work and have never been on welfare? Good luck.

My Aunt fell from a balcony in 1978 and broke every bone in her body. She had health insurance and they paid for her rehabilitation. She regained her health and moved on.

In her 70′s, she began to deteriorate; namely her legs began giving out. She applied 8 times for SSDI and was turned down. She died handing out sample pastries in Costco. Literally died on the spot.

Excuse me for getting a bit upset at the welfare queens and illegal aliens that get to claim disability based on limited cognitave skills. My aunt died on the floor at a Costco and we had to have her moved via EMS to her apartment (she didn’t have Medicaid) so she couldn’t go to the hospital. They (EMS) put her in her rocking chair and told my mother she could now feel free to call EMS to transport her dead body to the morgue.

/I think for the good of the World, that we take all of the aunts and grandmothers and grandfathers and everyone else including our children, that we just give way to illegals. They deserve more because they have worked for it.

It is for the collective good.

Key West Reader on May 19, 2011 at 9:15 PM

I know two recipients of SSI, and neither should be getting it. One is a heavy smoker and gets it for her COPD. Claimed not to be able to work because she “might” have an attack, but hadn’t had one in years. (Praise the Lord) /s

How old is this person? Depending upon their age, educational background, vocational background, and what is called their “residual functional capacity” – think of it in terms of their physical or mental functional limitations – SSA might be FORCED to pay her under the law. If you have COPD, which usually IS a severe impairment, we might be forced to pay you benefits under certain circumstances. For example, if you have someone who is 55 years old, has maybe a 10th grade education, has only done unskilled or very low-skilled work (like, say, working fast-food), and because of their COPD are at a “sedentary” strength level……we HAVE to pay that case under the law. Even if that person continues to smoke.

This is why Social Security reform is so important.

BTW, that is not uncommon. I cannot COUNT the number of asthma / COPD cases I’ve done where the claimant is STILL smoking a pack or more a day.

The other person, a relative, gets it for a minor child, and blows it on boozes and an ex. Child benefits not at all and it’s seen as a pay check not something to help the child. (Who shouldn’t be getting it in the first place)
Thank goodness for judges like this.
I fart in their general direction.

mauioriginal on May 19, 2011 at 8:16 PM

It seems like the problem is more that the parent is misappropriating the child’s benefits.

Child’s cases can be rough. The ones that DO get paid, for the most part, actually deserve it.

Vyce on May 19, 2011 at 9:20 PM

I’m sure this idiot thinks of it as “free” money.

GarandFan on May 19, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Most of the twiced denied have to get one of those lawyers you see on TV all of the time.If a judge approves a case the client gets a lump sum back pay from the date of the initial claim and the lawyer(who probably donates to the judges reelection fund)gets 40 to 50% of the back pay.Easy money from the taxpayer for all involved.

docflash on May 19, 2011 at 8:28 PM

This is so ridiculously full of factual errors it is pathetic.

A couple points.

1. Unless a PRIOR claim is RE-OPENED – which is rare – a claimant does NOT get retroactive benefits automatically. They get benefits from what is called the “established onset date.” For example, if you file for disability, and claim an “alleged onset date” of, let’s say, January 1, 2010, and it goes all the way to a hearing, where the Administrative Law Judge finds you disabled as of January 1, 2011…..you don’t get money from any point earlier than 01.01.2011. You would get retroactive benefits from 01.01.2011. You don’t get years and years of back benefits from previous decisions usually, though. That is a RARE thing, and only happens when the ALJ, in the current adjudication, essentially says “the prior ALJ screwed this up”.

2. ALJ’s are NOT “elected”. There is no election, or campaign donations. They are appointed. They don’t get kickbacks from claimant representatives.

I know that conservatives are down on SSA at the moment, but don’t try and lie about things just to fit a stereotype you want to be true. It isn’t. This particular ALJ isn’t doing this to get money under the table, he’s doing it out of some twisted sense of ‘compassion’, or social-engineering.

Vyce on May 19, 2011 at 9:29 PM

It’s all gonna crash. One day. It goes on until it doesn’t. Better get your junk silver and emergency supplies folks. And a bug out bag and some kind of plan of where you want to escape to. Plan ahead.

Hummer53 on May 19, 2011 at 9:29 PM

CCRWM on May 19, 2011 at 8:28 PM

GREAT POST! Thank you for that…

Nils2en on May 19, 2011 at 9:32 PM

Thanks Tina, I’m not shocked, but I really had no idea this was happening. I hope you’re feeling welcome around here; and I hope you have thick skin, you will inevitably need it–just ask Allah–he gets the most grief, but Ed gets a bit too.

G. Charles on May 19, 2011 at 9:46 PM

Everyone might be interested to know that hundreds of thousands of families have requested that their school diagnose their child(ren) with ADD, because – you guessed it, they then qualify for SSDI.

Hiya Ciska on May 19, 2011 at 9:47 PM

*sigh*

Just no room to cut in the budget…..

Seriously, can you imagine if a REAL accountant (or just anyone with a grasp of 3rd grade math) went through the various thousands of agencies in the government and “axed” just 10%???????

SSDI is just the tip of the iceberg, believe me. From the county level on up through the federal level more money is completely wasted on worthless sh*t than we would need to balance the budget.

Tim Zank on May 19, 2011 at 9:48 PM

I am a full time paramedic and RN. I can tell you that after 20 years in the field I have come across maybe one in two hundred on Social Security Disability Insurance who actually were disabled. The VAST majority of people I have met who are on SSDI have had no discernable disability that I could observe. When I ask patient’s what they are on SSDI for, they usually indicate that they have chronic back pain or psych/emotional problems. It is so easy to get that I actually contacted the Social Security Admin. and asked them what problem must one have to qualify for SSDI. I received a long list of ailments, many of which are easy to manufacture. I am convinced it is a terrible scam and you and I are paying dearly for it.

paraff on May 19, 2011 at 9:49 PM

This pisses me off. I am disabled, I have had 9 friggen heart attacks, a total of 23 stents and a quadruple bypass, I am truly unable to work anymore. I was a RF Engineer prior to my problems, I made great money and would love to still be able to make that money instead of living off this pitance called SSDI. When my doctors told me I needed to file because I would be unable to return to work I was devastated. However my claim was approved pretty much immediately. I will likely be dead within no more than two years due to severe CAD and PAD caused by a genetic disorder where I produce WAY too much cholesterol. I would be happy to go back to work,unfortunately my heart is so screwed up I can hardly get out of the house nowdays. It’s odd I always see people when I do go out who are hopping out of their cars parked in handicapped spots. This is the problem with all these entitlements. I will gladly go die in a ditch if it will save this friggen country. But all these idjits getting benefits for no reason(like the dipshit who wants to pretend to be an adult baby?Get F’n real!) need to be starving in the ditch beside me.

BadMojo on May 19, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Everyone might be interested to know that hundreds of thousands of families have requested that their school diagnose their child(ren) with ADD, because – you guessed it, they then qualify for SSDI.

Hiya Ciska on May 19, 2011 at 9:47 PM

Not automatically.

And the example you gave is actually not a good one, because, well, a lot of people HAVE tried to game the system that way. I’ve worked for years on disability issues, on both sides of the aisle, and TRUST ME, once you have some experience under your belt, it is EASY to determine which kids really have ADD/ADHD and which ones are faking it.

I’ve written denials for children alleging ADD/ADHD. Hell, I’ve written denials for children who actually DO have ADD/ADHD (it just so happened that they weren’t really impaired so long as they took their meds).

Vyce on May 19, 2011 at 10:03 PM

BadMojo, In my 20 years of experience you are the exception. The analogy to the handicapped parking is spot on. I have yet to see a truly handicapped person park in a handicapped parking spot. At my gym people with handicap plates pull into one of those spots and I watch them skip merrily into the GYM. The ADA was way too broad and more disabilities are added everyday.The government needs to greatly narrow the qualifications or we are doomed.

paraff on May 19, 2011 at 10:16 PM

paraff on May 19, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Don’t I know it. I just got a placard a couple of weeks ago, after being declared a year and a half ago. Even with that I usually just park as close as I can and only use the handicapped spot if I’m going to have to park well out from a store. My stupid legs just don’t do too well with long walks anymore. Personally I was extremely surprised that I was approved, the wait was murder, I kept telling the wife I was just going to go find a job. Of course in my condition who would hire me? lol. I mean really, I have an EF of 30…I get tired getting out of bed! I was just convinced I was in the wrong demographic to be approved.

BadMojo on May 19, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Unfortunately, Daugherty isn’t the only approval-happy judge. In the first half of this year, some 27 judges awarded benefits to 95 percent of applicants — and another 100 awarded benefits in 90 percent of cases.

This is the part that is highly distressing – at least 127 of these judges overrule the administrators 90% of the time. That means this giveaway is inherent in the system* – it’s not just 1 bad apple (Daugherty)

*ht to Monty Python

mdenis39 on May 19, 2011 at 10:32 PM

CCRWM on May 19, 2011 at 8:28 PM

Autistic hell. We need to run her for president.She’s smarter than half the people I know.

BruceB on May 19, 2011 at 10:38 PM

The more education you have the harder it is to get SS disability. High school dropout – approved. Medical school dropout – not so fast.

It is not uncommon to be denied SSD the first few times – especially if you’re in the higher education group.

hotdax on May 19, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Don’t be too hard on the blue parking spot users. I have one. My back and my knees are so bad that the pain I have when I walk feels like I have a 1000 knives stabbing my knees and my back. So while I might not look like I am disabled (I am not on disability, just have a blue parking hanger), it really makes a difference in my ability to even go into a store, based on if there is a blue spot open at the time I arrive. I don’t even walk in a grocery store anymore. Fortunately, one of the chains here has a service where you place your order online, they do all of the shopping in the store for you, and then bring it to your car with one of those remote credit card machines. It only costs $7 each time or $25 for the month. I just go once or twice a month. I am glad they have this available.

karenhasfreedom on May 19, 2011 at 11:02 PM

You’d think those previous denials would mean at least a few of the applications Daugherty approves aren’t actually up to snuff.

Tina, that is a completely uninformed opinion. The first and most often the second denials are typically the rule rather then the exception. The exceptions are for those considered terminally ill and expected to die in the next 12 months or those who are objectively disabled AND expected to stay that way for longer then 12 months.

Believe it or not those denials come easy. I have helped many clients file and get past the first 2 denials as a matter of routine. One was bedridden but because his doctor could not certify that he would stay that way for 12 months (18 total considering the 6 month waiting period) he was denied but won on the third ALJ appeal.

Today many more illnesses are based on subjective evidence and level of symptom development of defined illnesses to determine the level of disability then in the past, making it even harder to gain approval in the first two stages (Lupus, MS, ALS, CFS to name a few).

In addition they take into account the level of education to determine the option of retraining for other non-occupation jobs that the person may be able to do.

It is not nearly as simplistic as you indicate.

With all that said, 95% approval is definitely NOT the norm amongst ALJ decisions that I have seen.

LifeTrek on May 19, 2011 at 11:45 PM

damn, this could ruin my plans . . .
i was thinking for the longest time to file for ssdi, food stamps, unemployment, un-earned income tax credits, medicare and medicaid, welfare, maybe some government grants or credits . . .

maybe its not too late? sarc

anyone know the consequences of filing false claims if you are caught? what about the doctors signing off on your claims?

mydogwonthunt on May 20, 2011 at 12:53 AM

There are two different programs. SSDI is social security disability and is for people who had been in the work force and paid into the system. SSI is supplemental security income which comes out of the general fund, not social security. It is for people who were disabled as children and never contributed to the system and it is for the poor elderly who may have social security benefits, but very meager benefits.

bopbottle on May 20, 2011 at 2:24 AM

I am originally from a county in Western New York State where they recently published a report that – get this – 134% of the county tax revenues go toward entitlement programs!!! (That means the county has to rely on State and Federal monies big time!) Many of these entitlement recipients are getting disability checks.

One of my brothers is a police officer there and he is always relating stories about the miscreants who don’t have a job and cause 90% of the problems in the community. He likes to ask individuals why they don’t have a job, and invariably, it’s because they collect some sort of “disability.” Some of the “conditions” frequently cited are: anger management issues; sleep disorder (what – they can’t work because they can’t sleep on the job???); anxiety disorder; depression (yet, they’re always buying alcohol).

On a similar topic, am I the only one who really gets annoyed at those Binder & Binder commercials? I do think they have contributed to the disability check bandwagon that’s rolling through the country.

Logic on May 20, 2011 at 7:12 AM

I know this is anecdotal, but I personally know 4 people on SSDI – not one of whom I would consider disabled in any way. Statistically, what are the odds of that? I have also encountered a ton of other people through work who are on SSDI, who again are able-bodied people capable of work.

This program needs to be narrowed to provide benefits to only people truly not able to work in any capacity. Not to people who are depressed, or who have some slight back pain, or whatever. SSDI is a lot like the ADA, where the definition of “disabled” has been judicially expanded to such a point that anyone with a nose-bleed is now considered disabled and entitled to benefits.

My guess is that over 50% of individuals receiving SSDI should not be.

Monkeytoe on May 20, 2011 at 7:58 AM

Today many more illnesses are based on subjective evidence and level of symptom development of defined illnesses to determine the level of disability then in the past, making it even harder to gain approval in the first two stages (Lupus, MS, ALS, CFS to name a few).

In addition they take into account the level of education to determine the option of retraining for other non-occupation jobs that the person may be able to do.

It is not nearly as simplistic as you indicate.

With all that said, 95% approval is definitely NOT the norm amongst ALJ decisions that I have seen.

LifeTrek on May 19, 2011 at 11:45 PM

While you believe you are supporting the program with this, this is exactly what is wrong with the system. People getting benefits based on subjective symptoms (“I can’t work at all b/c I’m really, really depressed” or “I can’t work at all b/c once every 8 months my lupus flares”). That is ridiculous. These people can work.

Taking into account education is also ridiculous. Maybe, and only maybe, it can have some bearing on someone unable to walk or something similar – if they can’t read or write they can’t hold an office job – but otherwise, there are plenty of non-physical jobs that don’t require education.

The program is a joke. while in Law School, many years ago, I represented a woman with Lupus to appeal a denial of SSDI. she had Lupus. We won for her, but I never felt good about it. she could work. She just did not want to. That is the truth for the vast majority of people on SSDI.

Monkeytoe on May 20, 2011 at 8:03 AM

People getting benefits based on subjective symptoms (“I can’t work at all b/c I’m really, really depressed” or “I can’t work at all b/c once every 8 months my lupus flares”). That is ridiculous. These people can work.

Taking into account education is also ridiculous. Maybe, and only maybe, it can have some bearing on someone unable to walk or something similar – if they can’t read or write they can’t hold an office job – but otherwise, there are plenty of non-physical jobs that don’t require education.

The program is a joke. while in Law School, many years ago, I represented a woman with Lupus to appeal a denial of SSDI. she had Lupus. We won for her, but I never felt good about it. she could work. She just did not want to. That is the truth for the vast majority of people on SSDI.

Monkeytoe on May 20, 2011 at 8:03 AM

My mother is on disability.
She is now 62 & I will be applying for her SS.
She is a veteran & so gets a small vet pension each month. It’s $90.
She was diagnosed with a severe form of Multiple Sclerosis.
Beofre that, we didn’t know what was wrong with her.
But she was always very independent & loved to work. She was always working.
She suppoted us many times when my dad was out of work.
She applied for SSDI in her late 30′s after she & my dad divorced.
It was a hard decision for her. But she really could not work bcs of her ataxia. Living was a challenge for her. But she always was dreaming of the day she could do computer work or something.
Problem was her MS affected her memory & she was just not able.
This is the people that program is for.
I knew a guy born without legs & he wasn’t on disability.
One of our janitors at the school isn’t on it & he is mentally retarded.
A friend of mine had two very bad knees. He could have gotten SSDI.
But he worked. His knees would balloon up so bad & he still worked.
Perhaps there are a lot of people with minor conditions that don’t get hired bcs of insurance reasons & so they turn to SSDI. I’ve seen this in a few cases.

BTW-what did people do 100 years ago when this stuff wasn’t around?

Badger40 on May 20, 2011 at 8:58 AM

I knew a guy born without legs & he wasn’t on disability.
One of our janitors at the school isn’t on it & he is mentally retarded.
A friend of mine had two very bad knees. He could have gotten SSDI.
But he worked. His knees would balloon up so bad & he still worked.
Perhaps there are a lot of people with minor conditions that don’t get hired bcs of insurance reasons & so they turn to SSDI. I’ve seen this in a few cases.

BTW-what did people do 100 years ago when this stuff wasn’t around?

Badger40 on May 20, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Exactly. I’m not saying that the program should not exist, but that it should only exist for people who are truly disabled from doing anything. And “disabled” doesn’t mean have some hardship, or difficulty. Working through aches and pains is part of life. Yes it sucks, but we simply cannot afford, nor should we make it the norm, to pay people not to work because of aches and pains. Or because they can’t work in their preferred job because of some condition.

this isn’t SSDI, but our state has disability for state workers and the standard is not being able to perform the job you have. So, for firefighters and police, you can have a bad knee that makes it difficult to run or carry heavy weight, but otherwise be perfectly fine and able to do anything else and still get disability. It’s insane. I know guys who work out and are in great shape but have a weak knee due to some injury, so they are on disability. They could do just about any job outside of a job that requires running or carrying another person.

I think SSDI is similar in they look at what your working experience and education are and determine if you can do that type of work, not just whether you can work.

Like I said, this is similar to the ADA. We had a guy file a complaint of disability discrimination based on his having lost about 5% of his hearing in one ear. That’s generally called normal aging, but there are actually cases out there that let this type of nonsense go to a jury trial to determine wether the person is “disabled”. Pretty soon if you stub your toe, you can claim a disability.

Monkeytoe on May 20, 2011 at 9:12 AM

The deficit problem is NOT SS its all this other crap the politicians have funded by gutting the SS lockbox over the last 40-50 yrs.

The Repub leadership and candidate should be promising actions in this order.

-1. Full list and disclosure of all the programs that have been funded by pulling money out of the SS lockbox. (NAME NAMES of the politicians who supported and pushed these)
-2. Full AUDIT of all Government spending every department down to the pencils.
-3. Low hanging fruit. Cut duplicate and outdated or unnecessary (stupid) programs departments first. (cowboy poetry ice block service for house etc.)

-4. Work time ELIMINATE THE MAIN PROBLEMS
1. WELFARE
2. Disability
3. Unemployment
4. gov funded Art, Music, civic this, civic that
5. Medicade
TELL THE TRUTH IT IS NICE IT IS FUZZY WE WANT IT BUT JUST SIMPLY CANNOT AFFORD IT SORRY.

-5. REGULATION gut it.
1. EPA should be heavily limited to only community safety (industrial/heavy commercial).
2. Business license short Medical were a mistake cost someone their life of permanent livelihood eliminate it all. Un-tie the Americans hands and allow our capitalist economy to work.

-6. Tax System. Radical change is required. Either a flat tax on personal NO company (corporate tax complicates business and makes our company less competitive) or a national sales tax (fair tax). I personally would prefer the sales tax because it would force foreign companies to pay just like our company giving natural US companies an advantage.

When all of this is done The Feds should be down to
-Diplomatic services-Foreign negotiation (State Department)
-Military (Defense Department)
-FBI (fed police)
-CIA (Foreign intelligence)
-EPA Very limited to majority gen pop safety (not some swamp bug)
-coast guard
-Parks and Rec, should include offshore fishing zones. Commercial Fishing done as permits, and oil/mineral/tree farm etc.. all done via set guidelines leased out via bid. All funds go directly to offset tax
-SS negatives will have to be eaten for the next 20yrs or so due to the past politicians (see 1. they will be called out and possibly tied at min blamed dead or living). After that all overages should be lock boxed into secure investment bonds etc..

Anything else zoning etc. should be done local.

Main Promise for any candidate would be a full gov audit of every tax dollar spent. The never ending stories of idiotic waste and outright voids in the books packed full of cash is something any exec and the accountants would be summarily fired for or even possibly prosecuted.

Oh When all is done give a date as to when SS will start to push out of the red and explain how from that point on the savings will be transferred right back to the people via tax decreases.

Long Term Self Regulation
-Require any government program to have yearly audits and productivity qualification. Employees with the lowest productivity qualification will be top of list if the audit deems a surplus.
-mandate that any gov job pay including benefits will not exceed 90% of the average free market rate of comparable job. No Tenure
-Make the receipt of a bribe/corruption by gov employee or politician a felony registered against defendant for every US citizen.

C-Low on May 20, 2011 at 11:59 AM