Social Security Disability Claims- Where We are Headed

The recent AP article(s) (House investigators: Social Security lax in judging disability claims; fund nearing insolvency; and/or Judges: Social Security pushes approval of claims, Associated Press, June 24 and/or June 27[MF1] ) that your paper ran was/were extremely misleading. The articles’ central claim – that Social Security is “lax” in evaluating disability – is clearly contradicted by the facts. As an advocate for people with disabilities, I know firsthand how strict the disability criteria are. Most people who apply are denied, and only about 40% are awarded benefits-even after all stages of appeal. Many beneficiaries are terminally ill-about 1 in 5 male and 1 in 6 female beneficiaries die within 5 years of receiving benefits. Literally every day, I see people with significant disabilities who have been denied benefits.

No one knows when disability or illness will strike. That’s why Social Security Disability Insurance is an important part of our nation’s safety net. Instead of tearing down this vital program with myths and rumors, let’s focus instead on strengthening it for current and future generations.

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