The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


May 6, 2013

Columnists' opinions were misleading

I urge that you publish a response to the misleading statements about the Social Security Disability program that were presented in your paper in the columns by Froma Harrop, so called “From the Left,” and Pat Buchanan.

Contrary to the assertion by Ms. Harrop that those who receive Social Security Disability are “preferring to collect disability checks” when they really could hold down a job, I can speak from my personal experience in representing clients that frequently they say they would rather be working than in the office of a lawyer seeking to appeal a denial from the Social Security Administration.

Mr. Buchanan expresses shock at the rise in the percentage of those on disability. But this is a trend completely expected as the result of baby boomers entering their high disability years and the numbers of women in the workforce have increased significantly such that they are now “insured” for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits. In previous decades, women who did not work outside the home did not pay into Social Security and therefore could not collect disability insurance benefits on their own account.

As pointed out in a recent Open Letter from eight former Social Security Administration (SSA) commissioners, less than one third of the initial applications for disability benefits from SSA are approved, and only about 40 percent receive benefits after all levels of appeal have been exhausted and the criteria to be paid are very strict and were made even more so in 1996.

Please provide a “fair and balanced” approach to the subject by contacting groups such as the National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives (NOSSCR) for its reaction to what has been recently published in your newspaper.

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