Study: Majority on federal disability admit finding work isn’t a goal
posted at 12:06 pm on July 31, 2013 by Guy Benson
Caution: Reading the following statistics may cause extreme sadness at the hardships faced by some fellow citizens, and involuntary anger over the insidious attitude of entitlement “safety net” benefits have instilled in others. The data is drawn from an extensive 2009 government survey of 2,300 disability beneficiaries, representing the more than 18 million Americans who receive either SSI or SSDI checks. The Washington Examiner reviewed the results from each individual respondent and consolidated them into an comprehensive pool, which helped illuminate broader trends. Here’s a brief explanation of the differences between the two disability services, as well as a few insights into the real, heartbreaking struggles some enrollees face:
Unearned disability, called SSI, is for individuals who have petitioned to be classified as disabled. Many of them have never worked and have never paid into Social Security. Earned disability, or SSDI, is for those who have held jobs for significant periods of time and paid at least partially into Social Security before becoming disabled. Those collecting government checks in the unearned program are in less pain than their counterparts who paid into the system, the analysis showed. They are typically overweight, uneducated and from broken homes. But the analysis also revealed more practical barriers to weaning recipients off the disability rolls: The jobs they’d be candidates for often don’t provide health insurance, which is essential for those with medical problems, and they’d rather receive the federal benefit. Many also say they don’t have transportation to work.
These hurdles are real, if not insurmountable, for some disability recipients. But here’s where many taxpayers’ sympathy may begin to wear thin:
Recipients of federal disability checks often admit that they are capable of working but cannot or will not find a job, that those closest to them tell them they should be working, and that working to get off the disability rolls is not among their goals. More baffling, most have never received significant medical treatment and not seen a doctor about their condition in the last year, even though medical problems are the official reason they don’t work. Those who acknowledge they’re on disability because they can’t find a job say they make little effort to find one, according to a Washington Examiner analysis of federal survey results.
This is the killer, in my book:
The Examiner analysis underscores a “general cycle of poverty,” in which families break down, efforts at education fail, and government dependency becomes a way of life:
And before anyone reflexively plays the race card, allow me to note that the large majority of both SSI (62 percent) and SSDI (77 percent) beneficiaries are white. As the president hails his economic “recovery,” most voters disapprove of his job performance on economic matters. One explanatory factor may be the fact that between 2009 and 2012, more Americans were added to federal disability rolls than found a job. Avik Roy labels the resulting $200 billion in annual entitlement outlays a pernicious “disability industrial complex.” Although President Obama has presided over historic levels of poverty and food stamp usage, the relaxation of disability eligibility requirements happened under one of his predecessors: Ronald Reagan.