You Can Help Shape Our Disability Policy

person holding puzzle piece

Social Security needs your help. We are asking for responses to an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on how we should modernize our vocational rules, which we first published in 1978. These are the rules our disability decision makers use to decide whether an adult with a severe disabling condition can do any job in the national economy.

The Social Security Act sets out a strict definition of disability. Our agency pays benefits to eligible people who can’t work because of a disabling mental or physical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death. This medical condition must prevent the person from doing not only their previous work, but any other substantial work.

On Friday, November 20 in Washington DC, Social Security will host a National Disability Forum. The meeting will focus on the realities of employment for individuals with severe disabling conditions, especially for those who are older, have low skills, or low education levels. The purpose is to gather insight on circumstances such as age, education, and work experience, helping us understand the effect these may have on an individual’s ability to work and to adjust to other work. The National Disability Forum looks to consider how these vocational factors can and should inform our evaluation of an applicant’s ability to work consistent with the Social Security Act’s definition of disability.

Paul N. Van de Water will moderate a panel of experts from varying perspectives on these topics. Following the panel presentation, we encourage comments and discussion from all attendees. Your involvement is of the utmost importance in helping us further enhance our disability determination process.

Comments presented during the forum, panel, and open discussion period will be included in the public record for the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule-making, which is available in the Federal Register. To review and provide written comments, go to www.regulations.gov and enter SSA-2014-0081-0001 in the search box. Comments will be accepted until December 14.

If you plan to attend the forum, either in person or by phone, please register by Monday, November 16, 2015. For more information about the National Disability Forum series, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ndf.

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313 thoughts on “You Can Help Shape Our Disability Policy

  1. I believe that SSI disability should be restricted to those that have an onset and DLI insured date like DIB. In other words, a 50 year old calls up and wants SSIDI because he is not insured for DIB. His onset was 6 months ago. My question is what did you do the first 30 years of your working life. I believe you should have worked in your lifetime to get SSI too, as an adult. Why should we encourage SSI to those that never worked either. I know it is welfare based but there should be a “non held harmless” clause if the person did not work for a length of time. If the DLI is before the onset for DIB then why can’t it be a similar rule for SSI. To get SSI you had to have attempted to work at least 10-20 years of your life, maybe not real recent but SOMETIME. Thanks for listening!

    • SSI is meant for those who do not meet the work requirements of the SS Act. To redefine it as you suggest would in effect destroy the concept. Some young adults and children never had an opportunity to be able to work. SSI also supplements those who receive a small income from either SSA or other income. It was meant to replace State programs and bring them under a national rule.

      • What I can’t seem to understand is, why do they get all available benefits when Those of us who have worked all of our lives and now retired can’t even get dental coverage but has paid taxes into this program ? Those of us who have worked all of our lives and now retired shouldn’t have to worry about dental coverage when those who have not contributed at least five years of work history is getting every thing for free

        • I SO AGREE, PEOPLE DO HAD NOT WORKED OR WORKED VERY LITTLE SHOULD NOT GET ANY SSI. PUT THE MONEY IN DENTIAL HELP FOR THE ONES THAT HAD WORKED AND IS RECEIVING SS. THE FREE STUFF HAS GOT TO STOP. SO SS WILL BE THERE FOR PEOPLE THAT HAVE WORKED FOR A LIVING. AND NOT DEPENDED ON THE FREE STUFF. GO TO WORK

          • I agree, less years in work should not result in richer benefit(s) than those who worked until retirement age.

          • I believe there maybe a generalization in the past comments. What’s to say these people you are speaking of haven’t worked longer that the individuals above? Being on disability does not mean someone has not worked even years longer than the commentators. It means the person is now disabled. This could be from any number of things. I believe each case stands on its own. Also many people put much more in the pot of money than others so those putting more in get out more. America is where we take care of our brother, even when we may not have much.

          • You have NO clue & are NOT informed on Disabled people who are very sick mentally or physically or both! I have had NO quality of life for 30 years since i was 23 i got very sick with multiple physical & mental health conditions that stopped me from working i cannot even go out to do normal daily activities like go to a mall or store or movie i haven’t been to a movie in 18 years i am much too sick & suffering like a dog on a daily basis just getting out of bed is an effort with the chronic pain & medical conditions i have that have prevented me from living any quality or normalcy of life! So before people post here how long other people should have worked or attempted to work they should all mind their own business & feel very lucky you all have a life & good quality of life there are many of us that have nothing but pain & torture on a daily basis & nobody should judge anyone suffering like this that is stuck home very sick unable to function & are crying every single day just be lucky it is NOT you & do NOT judge & say others can work when many disabled cannot they have been too sick for too many years & never lived or had a happy or pain free day!!!!

        • I receive SSDI, I do not have free dental. You might be confusing free dental with Medicaid, which is not Medicare or Social Security disability.

        • i agree with you, p. plessington…it saddens me that we on disability/social security don’t have dental, vision…since we cannot do a days work due to our disability can we not get this most needed help…most of us on disability are in need of each of these…when most of us on ssdisability have worked and probably got injured on the job as i did, i don’t understand why, these people get all these benefits and we on disability can hardly pay for meds, keep our house payments up, etc…we paid our money in while we worked…why should our money be used to give these ‘freeloaders’ the benefits we can only stand on the outside and wish…we ssdisability, have put our time and our money into the social security coffers, but we don’t have the benefits that should be our due…

          • Many of the Medicare advantage plans offer dental & vision, yet they’re not 100% free like Medicaid. But they ARE available.

          • Everyone knows there are exceptions. These comments don’t include everyone. Some of us also have very real chronic pain and multiple health conditions and mental issues like myself. I have worked since the age of 14 and I am know 50. I have PTSD, Peripheral Neuropathy. Chronic headaches since i was a young child, multiple herniated discs cervical and lumbar and sever stenosis. I have had reflux since the age of 20 that caused acute and chronic inflammation in my esophagus, which gives me chronic nausea. I have had two knee surgeries – torn meniscus, and grade 4 chondromalacia resulting in abrasion/microfracture whi h means the cartilage that should be in my knee is gone which is painful daily. I’ve been physically nervous since about the age of 15. I’ll stop there. I’m a Respiratory Therapist, whi h I didn’t become until the age of 29 and before that many labor jobs but always employed. I’m finally at a point to where i can’t go on. I physically can’t do my job. I haven’t quit and filed disability. Why? Because I feel guilty. Because I know how we are judged. I know how many have abused the system. I don’t want people to think bad of me, but I’m truly at the end of mind over matter. I think more of suicide now than the thought of disability. Why because I know how we are judged. I work in Healthcare. I know that way to many people that could work don’t and that makes everyone in Healthcare lump most everyone in the same basket and see this bothers me. Our medical care for people that need stuff like proper pain management has all but disappeared because of abuse. The only people that suffer are those that need it for the abuser will always find something new

          • Thank you for sharing, Pat. The Social Security Act sets out a strict definition for disability. We pay Disability Benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. However, if a person thinks that he or she meets our definition of disability, we encourage them to apply. A person may still be eligible for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program if they work. However, their earnings cannot exceed a certain amount. This is called the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit. In 2016, the SGA limit is $1,130 per month (or $1,820 for blind applicants). In addition to the amount of money you make, Social Security may also look at the number of hours you’re able to work. For more information visit our “Frequently Asked Questions” web page on disability.

        • Just a little information for you, P lessington. I receive SS Disability and have Medicare and Medicaid. Neither of those will pay for dental work or necessary visual aids. Glasses, dentures/dental work are out of our pocket. We don’t get EVERYTHING for free. As a SS Disability recipient, I have the same restrictions and more on what is ‘handed out’ for free. I too pay a premium for Medicare Part B and Part D. I can earn a minimum amount (and do) without losing medical coverage and prescription coverage. It’s a fine line I walk trying to make it on $750 a month from social security and working twelve hours a week with a VERY understanding employer.

        • democrats are 100% behind giving the working person’s taxes to those who are here illegally and those who do not work.

          You voted for OBAMA so your children will suffer the consequences

        • wake up people, these are human beings you are talking about. so sad people like you. I have worked all my life, I am now 70 years old and I don’t get much social security retirement. I would gladly give 5% of my income to help others, if we all did that there wouldn’t be a problem.

          p.s. and I only get $900.00 a month. that’s not a living wage.

          • I agree with this comment whole heartedly. Soon to be 70 as well and would be very happy to have to it continue as it is the JUST thing to do. We are not responsible for our government using our money! As to anyone who has a mental or medical reason for not working it is only fair that they be evaluated to determine their fitness for work. The reason many people are annoyed is that so many are given it when they are not really unable to hold a job, full or part time, but are often lazy or have little desire to work. I hope all these are taken serious as the Seniors of today are in big trouble. Talk of taking it away from those who earned it is awful and very stressful. Please assist us in getting this straightened out as soon as possible so those who are worried can start to sleep again!! Thank you for the opportunity to express this .

      • My next door neighbors have two disabled young adults, ages 21 and 26, living at home. Their disabilities are due to an inherited gene. The 26 year old goes to a workshop every weekday for about 5 hours per day. He makes a tiny salary, but the job makes him feel valued. The 21 year old has just graduated from her special education classes and is involved in a charitable group that helps her learn certain skills. The group also volunteers at food banks and community gardens. They both receive SSID. I do NOT resent that these young adults have never worked, or paid into social security. (Their parent did, and still do.)
        ——————————————-
        What I do resent are people who are on disability due to their poor lifestyle choices. It appears that some families know just how to manipulate the system, and their doctors assist them in getting SSID. Two sisters I know who recently started on disability. One had back problems, received her disability, yet, cleaned houses and got paid under the table for her work. This gal is as strong as an ox. The other sister, who was working for minimum wage, also developed back problems, and got on disability. She also works as a cleaning lady, which is back breaking work. She is overweight and has been hospitalized for hernia surgery because her bellly is so fat. She eats candy bars for breakfast and lunch….fast food the rest of the time. She told me that since it was so easy for her sister to get on disability, she was going for it also. And got it.
        —————————————–
        A woman I had worked with was the only one in her family NOT on SSID. She has 4 siblings, all on disability. She has 3 adult children, all on disability due to drug abuse in their younger years. Her 4th son is receiving disability legitimately due to brain damage as a child when he was injured in an auto accident. She has two grandchildren in their mid 20’s. They were her hope for the future….except, they are both on welfare now.
        ——————————————-
        Years ago, many children followed in their parents footsteps, and if mother was a nurse, the daughter(s) also chose nursing as their vocation. Sons followed their fathers in the auto industry fields, or, in their father’s professional field.
        Now it appears that receiving benefits from the government, in whatever form, seems to be the accepted way of following in their parents, or siblings footsteps.
        ——————————————
        Case workers are overworked, and too many people fall through the cracks and are given benefits they should not be entitled to receive.

        • I agree with the above comments. I too see so many taking advantage/working the system and yet some others, try as they might, who really need assistance can’t seem to touch it. I don’t know what the answer is but a change is needed for sure!!

          • I so agree. My neighbor is on SSDI and I have seen him remodel a house, build a fence, climb a ladder and sand a boat. What I would give to be able to do that, heck, even be able to walk my dog again or plant a garden. I was told I could work 2 hrs out of an 8 hour day. I can’t sit or stand more than 10 minutes at a time without extreme pain. I multiple spine issues but, because I can sit or stand 2 hours out of an 8 hour work day…I was denied. I was told I could do part time work. I would like to know what job…would love to get back to work. I am only seeking the help until all of my surgeries are over and I can sit or stand for a reasonable amount of time and be able to go back to work without fatigue, pain, loss of concentration due to pain killers and be able to walk from my car to an office without using a shopping cart. Something needs to change in the system. I think it is broken.

        • well said Medicaid or chips or something paid for tons of children to have silver crowns placed on their teeth under anesthesia when only 3-10 years old. I know their parents did not pay for this. Their baby teeth were rotted from sugary foods, lack of teeth brushing. I paid for them with MY tax dollars.

          • I know, my teeth are cracking apart & I have no dental insurance due to my job loss after 30 yrs. Didn’t realize I was paying for irresponsible parents who get free dental for their kids and they know nothing about feeding or raising them.

        • You seem to be very confused. SSDI stands for SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY INSURANCE and is ONLY for people who WORKED AND PAID IN a substantial number of hours in the last 10 years before becoming disabled. It’s a MYTH that it’s “easy” to get. Your doctor does not help you get it; all he does is fill out forms you get from SS and provide your records to you to send to SS. You must be examined by an INDEPENDENT DOCTOR arranged by SS and that person’s report of whether you’re too disabled to work at ANY kind of job is what decides whether you’re approved or not. Over HALF or more applicants are DENIED and you can then appeal but the deadlines are very tight and very strict and you must have MORE or NEW information that proves disability. When that’s DENIED too you’re only recourse is a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge again, very tight deadlines. If you don’t have anything more than you did to begin with you’re probably going to lose that one. The entire process is VERY complicated and if you don’t get the forms/deadlines right you’re denied automatically. Even for people who are approved the first time and that’s NOT easy only perhaps 30% of the time the MINIMUM wait is TWO YEARS and sometimes even three. If you appeal it’s definitely going to be three years and THEN no money starts for NINE MONTHS at least. It costs big bucks to get all your medical records and if they don’t show a HISTORY of problems or at least a very SERIOUS injury you’re DENIED and that’s it. NO “doctor’s note,” and records can’t be falsified. Also most doctors CHARGE now to fill out these forms a d they’re LONG and INVOLVED and may come back to him 3 times for further information. Good luck getting one to do THAT on a tight deadline and your doctor DOES NOT collect and compile your records for you. Sending it all in, filling out every t hing, meeting all the deadlines is YOUR responsibility. And ONE doctor is NOT going to be enough to convince them. Go to the Disability section on the govt website for SSDI and read the STRICT REQUIREMENTS that MUST be met to even be considered disabled. That’s the TRUTH, not the stories you hear.

          • So true. Thank you for posting this information. Very difficult for The people that may be mentally disabled to complete and process all requirements on their own. If no family or support available other agencies , if they have been lucky enough to have a case manager, need to assist them and the doctors offices. Some medical offices are hiring outside eligibility workers or care coordinators for their offices. Easy, Never! Thank you

        • I agree with this post as it was stated as I feel as well. We can improve the process and get the unworthy people off the rolls. As to my amount of SSI being collected for working until my retirement, things are not looking very good for us. They say the used the money for something else, isn’t that like STEALING, which is a crime?

    • Your comments on eliminating SSI don’t take many situations into account. For instance, what about an 18 year old who is disabled (who couldn’t possibly have a work history)? What about a person with a disability who was a stay-at-home mom, and is now widowed or divorced? What about someone who has worked for many years, but whose income was so low that their disability payment is below the SSI threshold of $733 per month? Your proposed changes would leave many people with disabilities with no support whatsoever, and not take into account varying life circumstances.

        • Thank you for providing clarity regarding the Title XVI/SSI program and all the individuals this program has assisted

          • My response was direct to all those who provided clarity regarding SSI and DIB. KUDOS TO C. WINSLOW!!!

      • Social security is for people who have worked and contributed. Money should not be taken out of social security for people on disibility, it should not come from our hard earned,given into ss from our first job till we retire. Let it come out of somewhere else.

        • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is paid from the Social Security Trust Fund. It is only for those people who have worked and paid into the system and become disabled, either permanently or for a year or more. It is included in the Social Security Act and is an earned benefit. SSI, on the other hand, is a program that provides a minimal income for people who have been disabled all of their lives, or who become permanently disabled before the age of 18, and have no work history to draw from. SSI is paid from General Funds, and NOT from the Social Security Trust Fund.

          • Very valid pint. The payments for SSI should come from the General Budget, NOT SSI, which was funded by payments from workers & employers for years and years.

          • Brent, you seem to be confused about SSI and Social Security. I recently moved to a small town, a farming community. It seems like half the elderly in town, particularly retired farmers, are drawing SSI. But they do not get Social Security, because as farmers, they didn’t pay into the system. Whatever SSI is, exactly, it has nothing to do with the SSA and does NOT draw on Social Security funds.

          • The Supplemental Security Income or SSI is a needs based program that pays benefits to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. Blind or disabled children may also get SSI. Please read our publication about the SSI program for more information.

        • Our social security contributions cover both retirement and disability. It’s an insurance program with strict requirements to get your benefits before you retire.

        • Like all the trillions that the politicians give to other countries that keep their own wars going. America should be spending more for our own, like availability of jobs, deporting illegal families that do not belong here taking Americans’ jobs, only to send that money to another country. The US Government should be balancing a budget and cutting the free flow of Americans’ money.

        • people do get social security retirement, those with enough credits. my husband has 39 credits and he can’t get retirement social security because you need 40 credits, what a joke. He has to get SSI, he hurt himself at home so badly that he couldn’t work any more. what do you think they should do with him?
          social security retirement and SSI are to separate government entitlements.
          read a little bit.

      • I agree with C. Winslow on Nov. 2, 2015. I have a grandson 19 years old who is disabled but has not worked. He got a job but could not stand for hours to do the job. He drew survivors benefits from my son until he graduated from high school. Since the age of 3 when they started him out with plastic insoles to wear he has had multiple surgeries including removing sections of bone from his foot. His foot is at an awkward angle from his leg. He has also had multiple surgeries on his shoulder and he has had surgery on his hip where he got a hairline fracture from a fall and had to have pins put in his hip. He does not draw disability but I don’t know why on earth not. He stays in tremendous pain everyday. I feel that he has been dealt a bad hand and social security disability needs to pick up where his dad’s survivors benefits stopped. If anyone who reads this knows how to go about helping him I really would appreciate it if I could some way be contacted so that I could let him know.

        • That is exactly what SSI is for, and in most states it guarantees automatic access to Medicaid. He would also be eligible for state Vocational Rehabilitation services which might help him prepare for a job where he didn’t need to stand or which had ADA mandated reasonable accommodations

          • Yes this is what ssi is for people who are disabled but look how many people draw it and they can get a job. They might not make top dollar but they can make a living. A lot of people get ssi because they are depressed come on now there are meds that can take care of that and you can still work. I think it is time to screen these people and see if they really need it.

          • I believe all people under the goverments care should be allowed ssi income especially those of the ex offenders due to the job challenges they are faced with upon release due to the nature of their crimes which makes it uneffective for the employment in which they seek.

        • Hi Mary, we are sorry to hear about your grandson’s medical problems. He can apply for disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The SSI program pays benefits to disabled individuals who have limited income and resources. Also keep in mind that survivor’s benefits can continue after age 18 to an “adult child” who is disabled, unmarried, and that has a disability that started before age 22. For more information or to see if he should apply, your grandson can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. and speak with one of our representatives. He can also contact the local office directly.

        • My son was born with a rare birth defect of his brain called pachygyria and has ODD and ADHD. He has poor motor skills and graduated school reading at a 5th grade level yet he was turned down for ssdisability. When he was 2 ss said he was medically qualified but he was getting ss from his dad who is disabled so they turned him down. Yet people with their so called “back” problems get it. When he turned 18 ss said there was some menial job he could do but where,? we live in a small town not New York city. Yet if I would keep him on the meds for ADHD most of which didn’t work or gave him side effects he could get it.

      • I agree on all points C. Winslow. I am a parent with a disability and mother of an adult who has MS and HAS worked enough quarters but has been denied SSDI. there is no way those who are children can obtain SSI if their family income is over a strict limit. Given that I worked the minimum number of quarters to qualify for SSDI, I don’t have the issues of a child who grew up with a disability.

        Parents of those children cannot hope to provide total care for their adult children. Those adult children also do not qualify for Medicaid if the family income is too high. They are all caught in a defective system.

      • I did not work enough quarters to qualify for SSDI – I was a student and a mom. What work I was able to do was not enough for the program. After a divorce I find myself unable to hold a traditional job due to disability. There are many others like myself that are in this kind of predicament. I don’t relish taking aid, and I don’t qualify and am not receiving any, but it is really difficult to survive financially.

        • If you do not have enough credits to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits under the SSDI program, you may be eligible to receive benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The SSI program pays benefits to disabled adults who have limited income and resources. You can call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to schedule an appointment and to speak with one of our representatives, who are available Monday through Friday between 7:00am and 7:00pm. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. We hope this helps!

      • I don’t know what I missed, is the plan really to eliminate or just change procedures? People in real need should have the support needed, but shouldn’t there be some way of eliminating the expense of those that could work but have just found a way to use the system?

      • This was well stated and I agree that it can happen to anyone.
        We must not judge the person. We must determine on each of the merit of the problem. If not able to work so be it. They need food and creature comforts as we are all aware. If they are not worthy of the criteria then they should not just hire an attorney to get it, as that is almost fraudulent!!

    • I had open heart in 1967 ‘at 8 yrs old they gave me bad blood so chemo, coma and still worked all my life till 99..Thats almost 20 yrs I worked and still sick. No one should get disability who do not deserve. You nor I should stand in judgment for that .The need how much easier it would be to get it .I don’t think they need this as much as you should education ones answering phones and if they know how to find correct answers

    • Ms. Catania would you please explain what all those acronyms mean… just write out the words… so that those of us who don’t know can more fully appreciate your comment. Thank you, Ms. Catania.

    • Hello Frances,
      Great info. I think I know SSI. But what the heck are DLI, DIB, & SSIDI?
      I thought John Deere had a lot of acronyms.
      Thank you
      Regards,
      John Hansen

    • Frances R Catania –
      DIB -Disability Insurance Benefits – Title II
      DLI Date Last Insured – Title II disability insured status
      Title II – Social Security Disability Insurance
      I do know what you are purposing will cut out many who are in need. Yes there are those that abuse and take advantage of the system so finding the loopholes/grey areas is where it needs to start. Once the loopholes are filled in the benefits should be applied where they need to be. It should not matter your age or education or even how long you have worked what should be focused on is what the problem/problems one has so a determination can be made. Some should be retested and or revisited every few years to see if they can finally work that should be a requirement. SSI/SSID should not be looked at as a “welfare” benefit but as a means for those that are in need to have to survive. Get these programs away from the “government welfare” programs so that they are not cut when the others are. This should be a stand alone program geared toward helping those that cant help themselves.

      • The problem is in one word of your statement….”This should be a stand alone program geared toward helping those that “can’t” help themselves.” The problem in this society is, and thanks to government hand-outs, the new norm is people who WON’T help themselves. There is tons of fraud in all government programs but no one can be bothered to go after it. It takes all the staff they have just print checks and lick envelopes. Sounds to me like SSI could employ nothing but disabled folks. .

      • SOCIAL SECURITY
        IS NOT WELFARE
        IT IS A ENTITLEMENT FOR PEOPLE THAT WORK
        ITS DEDUCTED FROM
        YOUR CHECK EVERY PAY PERIOD
        SO THEREFORE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE WORKED THE LAST 32 YEARS. ARE. ENTITILED TO THESE BENEFETS EITHER. SSDI— SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY OR. JUST SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT WE HAVE PAID INTO SOCIAL SECURITY FROM ALL THE YEARS. THAT WE HAVE WORKED. SSI IS A SUPPLEMENTAL
        THAT IS. A HORSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR.

      • Excellent response. We need to fix areas where those who don’t really need it or are not disabled, are receiving it. Lawyers are great at putting info in individuals minds as far as what they “deserve”.

        • Too many instances of lawyers getting “disability” for non-disabled. Since the NAFTA was passed, jobs for unskilled and low educated are scarce (and even more so with illegals being given the jobs over American citizens). There are several men in my community that draw disability with no visible ( mental or physical) handicap or disability. they couldn’t find jobs when the textile plant outsourced to Mexico and Taiwan. So when their unemployment ran out, they gave up, got a lawyer and ta da, 2 years later, disability checks every month. One actually said he played he was mentally violent so the judge would think he was incapable of holding a job. Some way of distinguishing the fraud from the real, needs to be found. Also he has not had one single revisit to see if he was capable of working, either. In other words he was never interviewed again. Now he is a fat, lazy, sorry good for nothing drawing a check that frankly I think he never should have had from day one. LAWYERS! If they had scruples, maybe a lot of people would be working who are now just plain lazy.

          • Why haven’t you submitted a complaint to your local office or on the 800 phone line?
            Don’t be angry, let them investigate.

      • Whatever is decided, I feel that the program should have clear enough rules that a person does not have to hire a lawyer to apply for the benefits. Right now 80% of applicants are denied and have to have a lawyer to appeal, the cost of the lawyer eats up the benefits that the person needs. My son is 21 and had an accident that he lost his leg, when I discussed it with SSI, they told us yes apply – he will get accepted – it took over three months and he was rejected. He did work for 4 years prior to this so yes he did contribute to the fund. He was more interested in the programs that would have been available to him to learn to stand alone and earn a wage for the rest of his life. Yes, I understand that there is a lot of fraud, but a lost leg is tough to fake. When you have people that want to learn and move forward, but need help to start that process we should be able to help them.

        • Seems another broken system. I am sorry your son lost a leg, too. A system that KNOWS and yet denies, ONLY for you to have to pay a lawyer, really is flawed. these are the differences that should be an easy acceptance. Maybe the people that are hired to make those decisions should be re evaluated. (oops, I forgot. A government employee cannot be fired)

    • The below scenario depicts that even working 10 to 20 years of your life can not guarantee that you qualify for SSDI. That is why work credits should never expire. Once earned, always qualify. Work credits should never expire.

      SCENARIO:
      Individual started working at age 15. At age 46, health issues caused them to have problems working full time. Individual puts in for SSDI at age 51, after going through Vocational Rehabilitation for 5 years and VR determines that due to the individual health problems that they are unable to help them find any gainful employment and that the individual should file for SSDI. The individual files for SSDI and is found disable but unable to get benefits because they have not earned enough work credits in the past 10 years,

      • Hi! Work credits never expire, but you are correct that when it comes to qualifying for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) program, you must be “currently insured” or have worked long enough–and recently enough–under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits. Credits are the “building blocks” we use to find out whether you have the minimum amount of covered work to qualify for each type of Social Security benefits.

    • what do you want to do with those people? kill them. maybe some of those people tried to work, everyone doesn’t fit into society or work force which is so sad.
      the USA has an obligation to take care of the people. do you think these people should just die, so USA doesn’t have to take care of them, or what?

      • Oh my, how could people be so cruel as to not want to take care of the disabled and poor?
        We are our brothers keepers……
        Shame on anyone who feels that they are all that count in this world. I thank God I am not like that other person, so mean!

    • I am disabled due to being hit by a truck in a crosswalk. I receive SSI. I did not receive Dental. I paid for my dental work and dentures.
      I was a stay at home mom after my second child. My husband worked and I did all the child raising cooking cleaning shopping banking saving there is heavy responsibility.
      I worked before marriage. I worked up until I couldn’t my.
      Some people at born with disabilities. If they can train and work they do.
      Where are you getting the info that it’s a free ride? It is difficult to go from healthy to a wheel chair or on oxygen physical therapy. Etc. Many are in pain as I. SSI barely covers one and there is no way one could live on heir own, pay rent, and the children? No one can be totally self sufficient. I had to fight for proper medicine, medical, the system in place you are charged for everything.. you have no choices and anyone capable of holding down a job knows Medicaid treats clients as a second hand citizen. You have no idea how many recipients of SSI are kept in poverty and one learns to budget and finds roommates( can’t live alone) choose medical needs over food. Worry ,yes it’s stressful.Free dental? Ha! It costs me $2000.00 for dentures. We qualify for a credit card and it has to be paid or they receive no dental. Unless the dental coverage came from the Catholic Church you go without. Tell me more.

  2. I believe you make it to easy for people to get on disability, especially young people.
    Anyone who receives disability should be rechecked every few years, visual observations of day-to-day behaviors, etc.to make sure they are actually disabled.
    I know of two or three people that I would say didn’t need disability but receive it.

    • Some disabilities are not visible to the naked eye. Another part of the definition is “likely to result in death within …”

      • Thank you John, I have major depressive disorder with OCD and anxiety. Although looking at me I may look “normal”, but on the inside I don’t want to live anymore. Looks can be deceiving. Just buy looking at some one, you can not tell how they feel, what they are thinking. Thank you for listening.

    • I worked most of my adult life. If I was not working, I was taking care of my two children whom had major health problems. I was a caseworker for the Dept. Of Welfare. I, myself, had no easy time to get onto disability. What I saw, through my clients, was a mental disorder for disability seemed to get approval faster than a physical disability. It took over a year for me, and I know others took longer.

      Also, we are checked to make sure we still qualify as fully disabled. I did not ask to be disabled. My doctors would not release me to work after they saw my suffering for 15 years.

      • Care to share with us the name of your disability? Bet it’s some mental condition you got from taking care of 2 sick kids. I’m sorry your kids were sick, but sounds like you had enough time to work while you had 2 sick kids. I wonder how long you worked as a “Welfare Case worker” before you got it figured out how to get on disability yourself.

        • Spinal and cervical stenosis, degenerative disc disease, degenerative disease of left hip and that is just the beginning of my list. I went back to work after my children improved. We were a military family at the time.

          You may sit in judgement all you want. I paid into the system. I hoped to retire, but my health took a spiral diwnward. No mental condition, but I thank you for being so genuinely caring.

      • I have been fighting for my disability for five years now. Anyone that knows me will tell you that there is no possible way for me to work but because of my age they think I should be able to. I had worked from the time I was 18 paying into ssi but when I need the benefits they keep denying it. They try to starve out the people that deserve disability but are quick to hand it to the ones that there is nothing wrong with exept being lazy.

    • Donna Smith – There are many disabilities that you who are not trained to spot exists. We have no right to judge another least you be judged yourself. Now with that said I do agree there are abuses but its due to the “loopholes” not the ones applying and using them. I posted before that re-evals are needed yes but remember these simple facts 1) any job they take is recorded and affects their monthly benefits 2) If they were to be “observed” it would be costly in man power and the system cant afford the influx of people as it is so no money to budget extra hours 3) Young people are not the problem here. Our older population are because they cant get jobs at their age and they do have medical issues and their cost of living is higher then most due to their medications and doctor visits. There is no 1 catch all to this problem so start at the beginning and that is to find the loopholes and fill them in. Revisit those that are on the programs and see if it still applies to them.

      • EXACTLY….any job you take reduces your benefit. What a beautiful system to have a built-in reason to never work. It’s the same thing for all types of welfare. All recipients of government welfare payments should be required to “work” for those benefits. If you are well enough to be on a computer and write on a blog, you can surely do something for the government to defray the expense of these welfare payments.

        • Hint: Welfare is a separate program from disability. So many seem to confuse the two.

          I paid into the system from 1974 to 2012. Many have paid into the system. It seems there are those that will judge even if you worked most of your adult l8fe.

          Sigh. Disability can happen to any one at any time.

        • Susan, SSI reduces benefits by one dollar for each 2 dollars earned. That means you can earn twice as much as you get from SSI before you loose SSI. There is also an additional free $85 for transportation and other such expenses before the deductions start. It is considered an incentive. And in most states it means you go off SSI when you are working full time at about minimum wage. Many people think at minimum wage is not enough. So how is half of minimum wage enough?
          Entirely different system for SSD. Currently you can earn up to 1090 before you loose benefits, but you loose them all. So SSI has a sliding scale, while SSD is all or nothing. There is also a one in a life time 9 months of being able to earn anything you can under SSD, in an attempt to get people to return to work. There are all kinds of incentives. Social Security is not dumb. They know you can entice and encourage people, but you cannot punish them for happening to be either elderly or disabled.

        • I don’t think you get the real point of the benefits being adjusted down or in what manner. The benefit payments are reduced if one works but because of the manner in which they are reduced that person will have more income than they would by just getting their benefits alone. This should in fact be encouraging beneficiaries to work and get off SSI or other like program in fact as someone makes more money the SSI payments can shrink down to $0 once you hit that point you are no longer entitled to any benefits whatsoever. I myself yes do receive SSI and yes I do not currently work. However I have Aspergers Syndrome/ High Functioning Autism, because of this and the fact I was misdiagnosed until I was about seventeen by the ever so incompetent education system (I still don’t understand why they think that’s their responsibility btw) with some sort of degenerative brain condition I was in the “Special” classes. Let me tell you I sure felt so special being taught out of textbooks that had a special OBSOLETE stamp on them and being put in the equivalent of an isolation chamber just because I mouthed off or asked a question they did not like and this all before I started 7th grade! After middle school because I wasn’t Mentally deficient or learning disabled I was put in a class for the severely emotionally disturbed in fact they had some one who actually was accurately diagnosed with Autism in there because they did not know where to put him. Anyways as you can see I did not have a lot of educational opportunities in fact I feel the public education system pretty much failed me. As a result I started doing minimum wage jobs until I was 23 at which point I had a work related accident that strained/ sprained my arm and later on I leaned had damaged my back in the bottommost vertebrae I have been in so much pain it’s ridiculous and my doctors never figured out my disc was herniated until I was 30 probably because they knew my wonderful Medicare / Medical would not like them to tell me that. So anyway yeah there is nothing more I would like to do than work I’ve been going stir crazy for seven years from not working, in fact despite the fact they will more than likely make reforms to the program that could effect me I am most defiantly voting Republican this upcoming election as long as Donald Trump is not the candidate. Any ways this just me stating the fact that not all peoples disabilities are physical they are also mental and that working while on SSI will get someone more money than SSI alone and that not all people are on SSI to “Milk the System”.

      • I think that maybe it is OK to be “judgmental” about how public money is doled out, especially when you are one of the productive people who are supplying that money. Yes, we want to help the truly disabled… and we can be judgmental when who is and who is NOT!

        • What what makes you even believe or want to believe that Social Security doesn’t care about the public funds they are charged with spending wisely and compassionately. SS does its job, occasionally too well, but never have I seen it done not well enough.

    • I disagree. Whenever I talk to somebody who has to apply for SSI, I end up telling them “be prepared for a fight.” I’ve also heard this from public caseworkers at several agencies. Many, many people end up appealing several times, battling for years and having to pay lawyers for help. You MUST prove without a shadow of a doubt that you cannot work, constantly rebutting their reasons why you can supposedly do certain jobs that you’re unable to perform. Its actually quite a stressful and lengthy process.

      Admittedly there are people who seem to get SSI rather easily. They’re a minority compared to many. Also, people who are actually working while claiming to be disabled and lying to Social Security about it are DEFRAUDING the government and the taxpayers. It is a crime. How about you guys report them instead of use their story to label everyone else?

    • Thank you for your comment, Donna. Our agency pays benefits to eligible people who can’t work because of a disabling mental or physical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death. The Social Security Act sets out a strict definition of disability, and those who qualify based on our strict definition of disability are among the most severely disabled people in the country.
      The Social Security Administration conducts Continuing Disability Reviews from time to time to make sure the individuals receiving checks are still eligible to get them. Generally, if medical improvement is possible, we will do a continuing disability review (CDR) approximately every 3 years. If not, we may review it less frequently.

    • The rules (medical-vocational guidelines) are stacked against you the younger you are. If you are under the age of 50 and aren’t objectively disabled (i.e. paraplegic) you are pretty much guaranteed to be; denied once, wait 3 months, denied at the second level, wait on average 14 months to receive a hearing before an ALJ regardless of your diagnoses.

      In regard to them checking up on you every few years, these exist and are called “continuing disability reviews.” Additionally, if SSA suspects fraud they will send undercover operatives called “cooperative disability investigations” to interview your neighbors and watch you directly.

      Speaking of fraud, the estimated improper payment rate found by the Government Accountability Office (an office entirely independent of SSA, and actually independent of the executive branch entirely as it is under Congress) is 1% with .6% of that being accidental overpayments (i.e. governmental error, not fraud).

      Finally, award rates have decreased from 52% in 1992 to 33% in 2010. As the fraud rate has never significantly changed during this time period there are two possibilities; fraudulent applications have skyrocketed or the disabled are being denied their valid claims.

      In regard to you stating two or three people you know don’t need disability but receive it, report it to the local field office. I’m sure they will greatly appreciate it, especially considering your exceptional medical skill being able to diagnose both mental and physical functional impairment at a glance.

  3. I am in the medical field and I see people frequently on dis ability but who are healthier than I. I believe most practitioners just don’t want to deal with these patients and just fill out the papers to get rid of them. They forget that these healthy individuals cost us a lot of money. There needs to be a way to deny permanently dis ability until ALL avenues of are exhausted. If they can’t walk get them a sitting job. If they can’t do something find some job they can do.

    • Wait till you have a severe injury to your lumbar spine which makes sitting even more painful than standing before you make these sort of incompetent remarks. Your post makes me believe you are not a medical professional.

      • I agree with you. I have worked my entire life. retired at 63 because of multiple chronic pain issues caused by 3 failed spine surgeries and other degenerative disks and trapped nerve. I cannot sit, lie down or walk for very long distances yet SS told me I cannot qualify for disability. I can’t do any job that requires constant sitting, standing or even focusing for long periods due to the chronic pain distraction. I also am legally deaf and have major depression. what do the want? I worked from the age of 18 until 2013. I want to work but I can’t. they also said I did not submit new information for my appeal, not true, I hand delivered documents to my local office and had a phone hearing regarding my increasing hearing loss, soon to be deafness which was apparent since I couldn’t hear half the questions.what do they want? for me to be homeless , in pain and on freaking drugs I don’t want just to exist? I want help. If I could find a way to magically cure this trapped and inflamed nerve that works, I will do it, but every one of the 3 surgeries I had only made the pain worse. this is so wrong. My doctor even submitted a form that states I am not capable of doing any work due to my long term, ongoing conditions and hearing problems. Hoping my hearing in a year or two does something. A year or more for a hearing, some people could be dead or homeless by the time they get a hearing. Wrong, so wrong, I should move to Wisconsin where seniors over 65 are well taken care of if they are not among the rich who can afford outrageous fees for medical procedures and PT and the best doctors who don’t make them feel like whining lazy people just looking for a handout. My experience after working for the State of Oregon for over 20 years, and no, I don’t get one of those outrageous giant pers pensions, tyvm. good luck all.

    • Well said Paula. Most of these so called permanently disabled can certainly find ways to enjoy activities other than than work. I personally know several on the disabled roles that can function very well in all sorts of activities that could translate into useful work. I even have a relative that is lying profusely about his inability to do any work. He can ride a tractor, mow lawns, paint houses, hunt and fish but damned if he can find a job that fits his capabilities.

      • Can he do it consistently and at close to full time hours.
        I am a vocational counselor. I had a man with an “explosive personality.” He was generally pleasant and amenable, but without warning, he could turn murderously violent. When I first got him he was living in an abandoned house and picking up food where he could, even dumpsters. He could work for short periods of time, but he also needed a minder who could have him step out and go through some sort of de-escallation via either meds or deep breathing. But that is not “being able to work” as most employers define it.

    • Paula – Please send those that abuse the system health care included to the proper agencies. I for one did not get disability due to what someone wrote on paper as it was the opposite. I had to be denied 3 times and then get an attorney before being told I am something I already know. I do not think its the medical field that doesn’t want to do the paperwork since they do it and people are still denied. Again send what you suspect as abuses to the agencies and let them decide if its a legit case or not.

      • Are you serious? The “agencies” spend very little, if any, time trying to root out fraud. You got a LAWYER to sue for disability…have I got that right? PERFECT!!

        • We used to call it the “lawyers retirement plan.” A person must apply on their own, and unless they know the system, it is easy to make a mistake. Only after being denied, can one get a lawyer, who then gets the normal 1/3 of back payments. But they also manage the proper medical paperwork and other supporting evidence. All future payments are the sole property of the recipient.
          I had one recipient who had gone through 3 lawyers before finally qualifying. A garbage hauling firm had dropped a dumpster on him. They had to remove part of his shoulder, but he had become addicted to pain killers and for this SS kept denying him, it seems. Anyway after 8 years the judge ordered SSD to being paying him at least the SSI payment while they figured out his SSD payment. Meanwhile he had to survive off his wife’s earnings and what his extended family would give him. Incidentally his new lawyer was only awarded 1/10 of his settlement. He should have been handled under Workmen’s comp, but they treated the initial injury and then, as so often happens, turned him over to SSD for long term disability.

          • It is not just being able to work at something. You have to have someone who is willing to hire you in spite of your disability. That is not something that can be done easily.

          • It is so sad that we are treated like criminals after workin our whole lives. Fate took a bad shot at us and we pay the price. I never planned on being disable, I’ve taken care of me and others my entire life. I believe I deserve the respect and the disability benefits I deserve. If I should improve to a state where I think I can work part time or something, I will. It’s not fun hanging around being depressed because I can’t do anything due to this pinched, trapped nerve and resulting chronic pain (agony) 24/7. My mind is still active and I so want to get back out into the world of being busy and productive. why is being unexpectedly disabled treated like a crime> why?

    • If you think someone is faking it then you should report them. End of story.

      Also, I can tell you from experience that we do have to constantly prove that we can’t do certain jobs. If you have a spinal injury, they’ll come back with “well, you can do an office job” and you have to prove to them that you can’t, usually with documentation.

    • The definition of disability is the inability to engage in substantial gainful activity ($1130/month) in any occupation anywhere in the national economy. “Sitting jobs” are considered in the determination of disability and are termed “sedentary work.”

      In regard to a permanent denial, under the constitution everyone has the right to due process of law and Congress wrote the Social Security Act to permit reapplications if previously denied, however the prior decision is taken into account and you have to show worsening of conditions or significant advancement of age.

  4. I feel that a person with server mental illnesses are mental retardation should continue get disability ..I myself is mental retardation has been since HIGH School even getting assistance its still w struggle for me yes I continue need the assistance BC ur not able take care of everything u need have to with bills..Some ppl work so I think that is should be no different and be understanding ok for someone work ppl have a hard time making ends meet…As where they can work certain many hours.. Still keep they benefits for someone

    • Many companies hire those with limitations, physical and mental. Increase those incentives. You are better off mentally if you work.

      • My daughter has Down Syndrome. She goes to every interview, she dresses correctly speaks correctly and is chair of her RICC. She can’t get a job! She says once someone sees her they only see her Down Syndrome. She’s more handicapped by the employers than she is by the Down Syndrome. She’s had her food stamp help cut and is so afraid of her Social Security being cut it makes her scared and she gets physically ill when she thinks about it too much.

        I have rods in my back and 3 artificial joint in my back and I have more verterbra going. I am in so much pain some days I can’t think. I work 40-50 hour weeks. My left hand and arm has recently been so painful that I’ve been taking 1/2 of Norco and 1/2 of a 5mg of valium every 4 hours just so I can concentrate on work not pain. I’m not going on Social Security be cause it doesn’t pay hardly anything and because people always want to take it away because “people are milking the system”. They are the same people who, when it happens to them think they are the only ones to deserve it. Geez, this is the only 1st world country that doesn’t give a damn about it’s people. Well I think Romania is worse.

        • If your daughter has Non-mosaic Down Syndrome (chromosome 21 trisomy) , she will not get cut off from a medical standpoint. That diagnosis meets the listing requirements. Maybe she can work with VESID or a vocational rehab service that can help find her a job.

        • So, why don’t you move to a country that really CARES about their people? When you find one, why don’t you start a “kickstarter” campaign to get the money to buy your ticket. I’m sure there are lots of people who would contribute so you could live in a country where people really care about you!

  5. I believe we should put more emphasises on retraining people on disability insurance. I see several people who are on disability insurance and are out riding four-wheelers, hunting and working for cash. It would be cheaper to re-train them than pay them Social Security benefits.

    • Considering what they receive to pay for rent, food and clothing, I am not surprised they have to hunt to get enough food to eat.

      • You know what….if there weren’t so many freeloaders in the system, there would be plenty of money for the people who are There would be plenty of money for the TRULY disabled if not for all the freeloaders. This blog is enough to make a person sick….listening to all the whining from all of you who get free handouts from the taxpaying people of this country.

  6. I can’t see why we don’t get a raise like 10% for Cost Of Living increase the people who work for the goernment shouldn’t get a raise either.
    That is very unfair.

      • If you want to make things fair then let’s do away with the government unions. It’s impossible to fire anyone on the government payroll for poor job performance. The VA mess is a good example.

        • Those are not because of unions, but rather because of civil service rules. We instituted civil service, which covers almost all government employees, while unions do not, and in many places unions are restricted in what and how they can bargain. But earlier we had massive corruption in government employment, which is the reason why we now use the civil service system, so there are good management and employment practices.

    • Nobody is getting a 10% raise.

      social security is asking for comments on how vocational factors such as age, education, and work experience affect an individual’s ability to adjust to other work that exists in the economy. This is about SSDI , not SSI, and about one step in the process of deciding SSDI claims.

  7. I just went thru the hearing process with a vocational rep. He listed only 2 jobs I could still do with my disabilities, (one non existent here), BUT, did NOT mention where they were available in my state! Just that they were, I feel that IF you have one of these reps at a hearing, they should give the type of jobs available in the claimants area. Not just the state they live in!! AND, it’s a moot point to list the number of those jobs available nationwide!

    • The “vocational experts” are the ones “milking the system” The vocational experts reports are completely speculative with no basis in fact. Social Security should get rid of the “vocational experts” and use the money saved to help the disabled who are being shortchanged on their benefits.

      • I’ve been in vocational rehab for 3 years…They are paid by SS through the Ticket to Work to help me…
        I’ve received almost NO help from them…They get more then I do a year to do so too…
        They told me to not tell prospective employers about my disability.

        In the USA many people are debilitated from pesticides and chemicals in our environment…When your body becomes “overloaded” with these foreign molecules in our bodies things go haywire- from the brain to the bone marrow…even mutating our DNA…

        This is not being addressed, as our society becomes sicker, and sicker…

        In other countries they test for a common mutation in every child born, the only way to deal with a deficient G6PD is to avoid Xenobiotics…The poisons…

        In the USA they pretend it does not exist…and when you tell a doctor (I’ve told 50) that what happened was pesticide exposure they refuse to not in chart, or acknowledge you even said it…Even though you say it in every other sentence!

        The results to exposure is traumatic for me…I laid in bed 1 years and could not move…That’s how much nerve damage (and happened 3 times to me – at 7 year intervals since ’95) It takes a few years to get back on your feet…But, this last time has taken 8 years to come back or at least to where I can do more…
        This time was different because it was identified that my blood was clotting…I lost hip joint, finger tips, and toes…almost my arms and legs…

        I’m terrified to leave my house…People spray poison without a thought everywhere!

        I need to tell people I’m disabled, and why to avoid being hurt

        VR doesn’t get it, or this is a ruse to screw me up with SSI…
        I cannot sit in A/C for very long because my fingers and feet turn purple, and after a few weeks they begin to peel, and really hurt…Makes it hard to file…

        I was given SSI without any problems…straight off the bat..I live in Hawaii- The doctor said I had Frost Bite…

        I had temporary disability before that this time too…all the other times I just layed on friend’s couches…and they feed, and supported me…
        I was better prepared this time, and had moved into public housing where rent is based on income…I cannot drive…my hip will not let me lift my leg repetitively…My entire body will not allow repetitive work…After a while to survive you find work a rounds.

        UNTIL it is recognized as the real cause of ILLNESS being our environment nothing will change…

        and more will become sicker…with a swift death by lack of caring in communities…

        Peace and Love

  8. I believe that social security was set up for working people to have the ability to retire even if the places they worked at did not have a retirement fund. S.S. I.
    should not be under the social security system. The
    Feds should fund the states for that. The states could keep a better check on the costs than the Fed can.

    • SSI is not under the social security system and has nothing to do with the trust funds. Payment for the SSI program comes from general fund taxes. SS only administers the federal portion of it, Many States still supplement SSI payments. Prior to 1974 the States controlled the entire program and each State had their own disability rules. Federalizing the program brought about uniformity.

    • The states programs for the disabled like California’s EDD SDI program are disastrously mismanaged, a political train wreck to provide jobs for political patronage. The last thing we need to do is let the states manage the program.

    • Our state just had some administrators who misappropriated funds for the Community mental health program. These people literally got moved up to higher jobs in the state government while the people who received community mental health services were supposed to sign their person centered plans to receive fewer services. The U.S government sent a letter stating that this was not acceptable cutting funding but they are getting around it by having mentally impaired people sign their supports away. Way to go Local State Government.

  9. If anything should be done it should be to tighten up the requirements to get disability to save the trust fund for the truly disabled. Disability reviews should be mandated every three years for those under 50. Work incentive periods need to be shortened. As it now stands disability is used as a political tool to mask and hide the fact that we are in the worst job recovery period in history.

    • Unless there are two people named John OMalia commenting here, you seem to be contradicting yourself. At 10:39 am you wrote: “tighten up the requirements to get disability to save the trust fund for the truly disabled” and at 10:44 am you wrote: “SSI is not under the social security system and has nothing to do with the trust funds.”

    • On average continuing disability reviews occur every 1.5 years. Rarely will someone be declared permanently disabled, usually from permanent paralysis, birth defect, etc.

  10. My son is on Social security disability he works part time he Is neurologically impaired Suffers from seizures I got a letter last week I had to do. So I went to The Social Security office For help and the lady was upset because I came in for help my son needs his Social Security You guys make me feel so up set because you make it sound like I’m lying But I’m not he works a little and that’s it some times he gets sick and he can’t. I now you guys can change The stuff for the better thank you Roseanna weston

  11. I LIVE ON SSDI AND IT DOESN’T GO VERY FAIR SO IF I GO BACK TO WORK I WILL LOUSE MY SSDI AND I ALSO CANNOT GET MEDICAID BECAUSE I GET TO MUCH ON SSDI AND IT IS HARD FOR TO MAKE ENDS MEET BECAUSE I JUST GET A LITTLE OVER 1,100 MONTHLY AND IF I COULD GET MADICADE THEY PUT ME ON A SPIN DOWN WHICH IS ABOUT $600.00 BEFORE I COULD GET IT THIS IS NOT RIGHT BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE THAT KIND MONEY.

      • It is exactly this kind of mis-information that causes people to believe they will loose what little they have if they try. Instead he needs to talk to a real savvy vocational counselor who will set him straight. In almost every case he can work part time and begin to get back into the world of work, or get in for the first time, which will be better mentally, physically, and vocationally.

  12. The Doctors and Lawyers who are getting the unqualified people on the Disability programs have to be held accountable. When a doctor certifies that a person is disabled, make them also draft a plan that will get the person back to work. Require two doctors to certify the person is disabled and then require both of them to draft the back to work plan. This will make the docs accountable for their approvals. Instead of rubber stamping the request, they would have to think about the additional work involved. The money needs to be reduced for the lawyers. Why is the TV channels filled with lawyers trying to get people to call them so they can get disability payments. There is too much fraud in the current system. The original goal of the program, to help the truly disabled, was a good one. We need to protect this program for the truly disabled. The only way to do this is to do something about the fraud in the program.

    • I agree with den on this. I don’t believe that the ballooning in the number of people receiving disability benefits is due to an increase in the number of disabled workers. I doubt that any private disability insurance program would hand out money so freely that it would cause a mini-industry of disability lawyers advertising on billboards or TV for clients. But like most government programs the administrators don’t remember that you’re taking money away that someone earned and you’re giving it to someone who didn’t earn it. If you can justify doing that then at least have the integrity to administer the program so that it isn’t a giveaway that encourages workers to drop out of the workforce.

    • Another excuse for doctors to “milk the system” and shortchange the disabled. As if doctors aren’t being paid enough already, and the disabled aren’t being ripped off by everyone trying to help themselves to the Social Security fund leaving the disabled with inadequate funds to provide the bare minimum.

    • You have to remember there has to be employers who will employ you. Many employers will not employ people with disabilities. Just try to make an ADA case about it. Spend your own money to make someone employ you because you want to work. Geez. Most of you speak only from opinion. Not knowledge. Go out and find out what is going on at your state job sites. Talk to people who work with the disabled to get them jobs. They can’t get them jobs and the jobs they get make less then SSI at times. Honestly, and no benefits. Get educated.

  13. I have worked as a Service Coordinator and Social Worker with elderly and handicapped people for over 20 years. often I have seen disabled people want to get out and get a job on the side, often part time.

    But what holds them back is that if they make any money on their own, they can be penalized by loosing their Social Security Disability, their Medicaid, so they loose the enthusiasm, the idea of working fades, and they go back to depending on the government for their income.
    I know these people can work, often they have volunteered to help (no pay involved) at activities at the Housing Complexes (for low income Senior Citizens, and handicapped people) I have worked at.
    Maybe they can’t work a 40 hour work week, but they could work 15 or 20 hours a week – but that is just enough to screw them up in getting help from the government that they count on to live.

    A second thought is that people get better. People get Social Security Disability income when they come down with an illness or injury that stops them from working. But people can get better, their health can improve, and they could work some. Again, maybe not full time, but 20 or 30 hours a week is possible. Plus maybe they were working on their feet earlier, but they could sit and work, or work with a telephone, and keyboard taking applications. But if they loose benefits dollar for dollar, or loose health care, then they will not admit to improvement in many cases.

    Somehow they should be able to keep some benefits, esp. health care, but give away part of their government benefits if they work.

    I believe people should do some work, you get pride when you work to get what you need. But to expect them to give up benefits dollar for dollar is to ignore human nature. So many people are disabled in the last few years as jobs have gotten fewer – allowing them to do limited work would go a long way to increasing the payroll, and cutting back on what the government has to pay out.

    PS. I am 68 and still working full time. But I work with elderly, so there is no age discrimination, I am one of them.

    • Many people on SSDI have disabilities that limit them from doing the easiest of jobs. They want to, but when they do their suffering intensifies and creates embarrassment and humiliation. Disability is also cognitive problems which causes a person many problems then the stress increases and this enhances all the other inherited ailments to start hurting, including seizures.
      You who are over 60 and still working, consider yourself blessed because there are many who enjoyed working, but now they can not without creating a domino effect of numerous health issues.

      • Forgot to add that ex-service persons may also qualify for additional VA benefits upon retirement. I had one man who was a successful professional. T-boned in an auto accident by a red light runner. He was treated by insurance, but then put on SSD as he was unable to work, because he was subject to severe temper outbursts. (Sounds like some of them on here.) But he recently turned 63 and VA offered him an additional $500 which now means he has a decent retirement income.

    • You need to learn. People on SSI get a pass on the first $85 they earn each month, then they loose $1 for every $2 earned. They need to report their earnings each month to Social Security. But that means they can in many states work full time at minimum wage and still receive a few dollars from SSI and importantly still qualify for Medicaid. This is something that the ACA was meant to solve as now you are eligible for Medicaid for up to 125% of poverty level. And above that, at least in Michigan, the ACA is very cheap, only a very few dollars per month.
      Those on SSD can earn up to $1090 (this year, raised each year) per month before they loose SSD. But it all or nothing. I usually advise them to go for about $1000 per month or less because some months have more working days than others. August and October are the riskiest as there are no holidays and have 31 days which means up to 23 working days. They can also through the state Vocational Rehabilitation Department, Division or Service, can write a plan to return to work. This exempts them from the 3 year review of benefits and disability. They can also qualify for up to 9 months of unlimited earnings before loosing SSD. The months do not need to be sequential (any low month may not count toward that 9 months total) but that is a once in a life time offer. 9 months total in a lifetime.
      Incidentally persons who retire at 62 and who continue to work, will have their retirement benefits reduced 1 for 2 earned over $1100/month. That is reduced later for 1 for 3 and even later 1 for 4 earned until he reach full retirement at 66. If they wait for 66 they will get about 1/3 more per month, and even more if they wait until they are 70 to retire.

  14. Want to know once you are approved for disability why do you have to wait 5 month before you receive any money I feel it should start when you are approved thanks

    • Thanks for your question David. Current law requires everybody that is approved for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI program to serve a 5 month waiting period. The waiting period ensures that we pay benefits only to persons with long-term disabilities and avoid duplicating other income protection plans (such as employer sick-pay plans) during the early months of disability. Remember that Social Security disability benefits are paid to individuals who cannot work because of a disability that is expected to last at least one year or result in death.
      The first Social Security disability benefits will be paid for the sixth full month after the date the disability began. Here is an example: If the state agency decides your disability began on January 15, your first disability benefit will be paid for the month of July. Social Security benefits are paid in the month following the month for which they are due, so you’ll receive your July benefit in August.

  15. People with severe mental or physical disabilities should be the only recipients of disability insurance benefits. Too many who are able to work in some capacity but are still receiving benefits are decreasing the funds for those who truly need and deserve it.
    It appears that disability insurance is being used to extend unemployment benefits for many individuals. It might be helpful to cross reference unemployment benefits recipients to disability insurance benefits recipients. It is far too easy to move from one to the other.
    I would like to see my tax dollars spent responsibly and with intent. I work hard for the income that I get to bring home and for the money the government spends. It’s not play money, it’s taxpayer’s money.

    • Many of the disabled PAID into the system to provide coverage if they got sick or injured to where they could not work. For you to denigrate what others have paid for is inappropriate.

    • Unemployment benefits are cross referenced with social security benefits. The receipt of unemployment benefits required you to state you are ready, willing, and able to work. Disability means you aren’t able to work. In the claims process your unemployment claim history is considered.

  16. It’s me again I forgot to tell you that one time I had to send all my son pay Stubs to you guys on how much he made and I was telling the truth about my son I guess you guys thought I was lying And then they said if they dident get those pay Stubs that he would lose His security disability So I sent all of his pay Stubs over 5 years of them they got me so sick and upset but you
    Guys do you really care ? Thanks Roseanna Weston

  17. I know that they are those who are milking the system, but are lots of honest people who wish they could get out and work at a regular job, and make 2 to 3 times what they draw from as I,. I have a 26 yr old granddaughter who has been on SSI for 5 years. Her parents struggle from the time she eight up 21, trying to get her a good education, not knowing she could have been on SSI since she was 8, when diagnosis with a mental disability. She probably could have got more help on education, medical, and training to cope with her disability. I am sure her family is not the only ones to suffer for years, because not anyone informed her family they could get help through SSI. So I wonder why are the benefits withheld from people like my granddaughter, and not mention to parents when some are constantly at doctor offices, or tested at school and no one ever told her parents she could have health insurance, special training to teach her how to live a close to normal life. I guess because she was never consider a minority.

    • Being a minority has nothing to do with your family not receiving the needed services, it has to do with not asking what services are availabe and doing the research to assist your family member. Why does everyone blame the minorites for their ignorance?

    • The doctor[s] who treated her, the school counselor[s] and/or teachers should have told you. But mostly they don’t know.
      My sister was a teacher, and she used to call me if she had a disabled student who she thought might benefit from extra services, especially as they began mainstreaming former special education students.

    • Hi Leslie!Sorry It’s so late getting back to you .I’ve been quite busy lleaty .but in a good way! We used a combination of things ..one being Aloe vera juice. The other was a drug prescribed by my son’s doctor, and I don’t have it with me but can get the name of it for you. Take care! Thanks for reading!!

  18. Some people have had there disability since before they were old enough to work , but when they were old enough , tried to work and found that they were unable to handle it. So it would be unfair to expect them to work before they are able to get SSI.

  19. My wife and I came to U.S. as political refugee from Cuba, that have a Authoritarian Regime since more fifty years ago. I have a degree in law from a Cuban University, and my wife have a high educational formation in Health Care in Pediatrician Clinical Laboratories, but we came over sixty years old and can’t work here. We studied English Language there, and here too with financial aid. We are proudly U.S. citizens, and immediately we were registered to vote.
    We know that the SSI is very important as Supplemental Security Income. It’s independent from the taxpayers, because the SSI provide from the budget of the Federal Government. It’s a humanitarian help for everybody in urgent necessity.
    Thank you so much.

  20. I think it’s high time we check the people that are getting a disability claims, they should be checked to be sure they are as disabled as they claim. I feel there is a lot of folks getting disability money that they not eligible for. Our Doctors do a pretty good job to check out the applicants. There are some Doctors that do not follow the procedures We need to have a verification system to help stop fraud. The second thing have the Government replace the IOU money they have used. From 1968 to present.
    These are a couple things that will help a lot. I would like to see a lot more little changes that would help with out confusing the people we are here to help.
    Remember this is our money paid to the government for our retirement. we should not be cut and scared how they will cut our money again. They fell this is there money and giving us a hand out. BULL

    • They go through extensive scrutiny before approval and have a review every three years. This later review can be waved if they are enrolled in a planned vocational rehabilitation program with the ultimate goal of a return to full employment. I remember before that was added, the three year review was traumatic. But the truth is that few long term disabilities go away, but they did not trust the government, same as you. But the truth is that it is not easy to get on either program, as both require some sort of disability.

  21. I have 3 conditions in the blue book and yet i’m denied.I can’t work or be out in the sun for long.They need to change alot of areas!

    • You can and should get a lawyer, who will help compile the necessary documentation. The review process is really just a document review. One of the most compulsive people I ever met became a disability examiner, we said because he could always order more tests and more documents. P.S. he also played chess, and was ranked the 5th best chess master in Michigan.

  22. There is a need for the young and old for some type of government assistant. Supplemental government benefits should be temporary not for life. The government need a program like Peace Corp where the recipient most repay in full the amount received. We have to stop lazy Americans from stealing from the system. Back to work lrograms!

    • Some so called “LAZY AMERICANS” cannot work! It is the ones that can work that make it bad for those who cannot. I am completely deaf in 1 ear, and almost deaf in the other, I have severe anxiety/PTSD issues, HEP-C, absolutely no feeling in left hand, and extreme lower back pain due to degenerative discs and a really bad right knee. Also some other mental issues and other health issues which I would rather not discuss.

    • The Netherlands has the model program for this. Incidentally it cost them about twice as much as our system does.
      The provide various sheltered workshops for the various grades of disabilities (Mental, Emotional, physical, aged). They pay all benefits out as minimum wage to the workers (Defined as amount necessary to keep a family of 4 above the poverty level) When I visited, about twice then US minimum wage. They also require all business with 25 or more employees to employ 4% (1 out of 25) severely disabled. The Dutch are very work oriented and very work motivated. The workshop are reimbursed for the difference between what the person actually can earn and that minimum wage figure. There was a educational program while I was there that showed how the Children’s puzzles that you can find here, made of wood with printed animals, shapes, or other things that can be lifted out of the thick wooden base are all made in a sheltered workshop (Sociaale Werkplats— Social workplace). I also saw emotionally disabled (factory midway between two mental hospitals) making steel frame office desks, and an Amsterdam Special Education factory making all kinds of cardboard cartons, including those for exporting cut flowers, with die cut windows and glassine window. In Dutch, the way you say top quality is Export Kwalitait I mention this because you may have actually seen even bought some of these top quality products from Dutch sheltered workshop.
      But remember I told it at the beginning as impressive as it was, and I was impressed, it costs them about twice as much per patient as we spend in the US.
      Additional: On an Anglo-American tour by workshop administrators, the Dutch gave the tour to the Brits in British English and to the Americans in American English. Now that is attention to detail.

  23. Truly, any national policy that’s an effort to reform the protocols of disability insurance must include the voices of the poor and disabled themselves. If that can’t be done then we’re all just whistling Dixie! I’m afraid that the current policy has been contaminated by far to much middle class sentiment at the expense of not including what has to be said by the working class and others who may want some form of socio-economic stability. More and more churches and community churches need to be deployed into the venue of Community Services and Community Development. Seniors and the Disabled are ideal to fill these ranks and also serve as a model to those who are younger and not necessarily don’t want to work but who are addicted by their vices {fueled by all types of social security payments], and are not competitive for entry level to middle management jobs based on prior education and former work experience. Far too many Homeless Services Providers hoard up opportunities, i.e., the SOAR Program, should be placed in the hands of the homeless or near homeless themselves relative to program reform such as what this national forum is all about. In conclusion, insightful and cultural competent policy needs to come forth so that any and all programs of SSA that are targeted at the poor and struggling reflect the thoughts and opinions of the actual poor who disproportionately racial minority and very low to low-income.

  24. 4 years ago when I turned 65, I had to go to the ss office and get my card replaced. it tok two trips to get it done. Both times when i went I went in, I was the only person in a waiting room full of people, all under 30 years of age. In the past several years, there are more people each month going onto disability than there are entering the work force. This typical of government creating a problem and then coming up with a fix for a problem.

  25. As an emergency physician I treat many injured and ill patients, some of whom ask me to fill out the forms for disability. That’s not my job and refer them on to their own physicians. The problem in my community, as I suspect occurs throughout the USA, is that there are certain doctors, well known to those seeking disability, who will certify people as disabled, i.e. basically running a disability mill.

    Shouldn’t there be some standard for physicians who certify those trying to get on disability? As it currently stands, any physician, including me, can fill out these disability forms. There are no requirements from the government or from a specialty certification board for these physicians. I had to take and pass exams by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and am required to constantly keep up with the standards of my specialty as well as be re-certified every 10 years by the ABEM.

    It would be great to see our government take a stand and create standards for “disability doctors,” or better yet require those seeking disability to see only government physicians who are specifically trained in this “disability specialty” who would cull out the headache, neck pain, back pain and psych fakers and hopefully allow those with true disabilities to be compensated fairly. Likewise, there should be a standard by which “disability” attorneys are allowed to represent those seeking disability.

    As long as it stays as is, there will always be physicians who will certify anyone as being disabled….for the right price, of course. Our government has the ability to stop this easy street for getting on the dole. After all, it’s you and I who are paying for it.

    • The disability examiner can also order additional tests and or documents. As I mentioned above, one of the most compulsive persons I ever knew became a disability examiner, and I understand a good one. We said it was because he could keep asking questions until he was satisfied. I have known only a couple of people over the last 40 years who got Disability on the first try, including people who were blind. It is not the kind of cake walk you make it out to be. The person must apply himself the first time, doing all the application by himself, except for supporting documents or by a guardian. On appeal they can get a lawyer. We used to call that the lawyer retirement fund. The system is really loaded against the disabled applicant.

    • There are standards. The DDS (Disability Determination Services) at each state has board-certified specialty physicians–in a wide variety of specialties–who, along with a trained “disability examiner” (who is usually not a physician–but may have a PhD of some kind), make the determination. These board-certified physicians are M.D.’s or D.O.’s (with the rare exception of licensed Ph.D.-level clinical psychologists, or PsyD’s; as well as “speech-language pathologists”; and podiatrists). These professionals must maintain their licenses/credentials/Continuing Education units. To work in this capacity, they must complete a year-long, 9 to 5, intense training session; many drop out. Then, if they are approved, they may eventually reach “journeyman status” after 4 years or so.
      The “designated specialties” can be found here:
      ____________
      http://www.disabilitysecrets.com/resources/disability/find-out-what-type-medical-consultant-reviewed
      ____________________
      Also, any doctor can fill out forms; and provide evidence; yet, a doctor does not “prescribe” disability benefits. Specialty physicians carry more weight; as do NARRATIVE reports justifying “check boxes”; as do “meaningful treating relationships”. SSA decisions takes into account MANY other factors–e.g. other eligibility, vocational factors, age/education/work experience, that may be relevant according to regulations.

  26. Those of you who think you know what’s going on with people you don’t know shouldn’t make assumptions about other people disability situations. Some people may appear to be healthy even though they’re not. No one can base anyone’s situation on what he or she believes they see.Mental disabilities to hidden physical disabilities such as HIV; Aids, cancer, lupus, fibromyalgia and so on; are all diseases that can be very debilitating. Another fact that many of you are forgetting is that, if someone is collecting SSDI, they have to report a work history of at leather 15 years. This means that the money they collect is rightfully theirs because that’s the only way to build up SSDI funds. They have paid their dues, so when or if any of these working people should ever become disabled, they are still supporting themselves because it is their money that they are receiving. So to the people who believe that your taxes are supporting someone else when it comes to getting SSDI, you’re wrong. And even if that were true, if any of you become disabled and need financial help, other people’s taxes would be supporting you as well. Lol! People always have so much to say until a terrible situation hits very close to home. It’s bad enough that when someone becomes disabled, they gotta be on their death bed or jump through hoops to get what is theirs in the first place. I say, if SS is gonna change anything, it should be to make things easier than they are now, not harder.

    • Correction: They need to work 10 years, 40 quarters, to collect either disability or retirement, not 15 years. If the disablement happened before 30 the time is prorated, so at 29 only 9 years, etc. It is considered that many people either miss work or do not start work until age 20. The exception is that a person born with a disability can collect on his father’s account after his father’s death, as survivor’s insurance, also part of Social Security. It employs the fiction of Adult-child. But these are all attempts at fairness for unusual circumstances.

  27. I am 77, worked since I was 15 paid into the system and devrloped parkinsons 8 years ago. Cannot work mentally and physically. It is not fixable. Living on ssi just barely. I should qualify for disability?? What to do?

      • SSI should have converted, as SSD does to retirement SS at age 65. But if the earnings would lead to under SSI levels of payment, he can also qualify for SSI along with retirement. I recently had a Hispanic man who worked for cash in a gym, so his earnings were [illegally] never reported so he did not have a work record with Social Security so received SSI.

    • You should be receiving social security retirement by now. They don’t give disability money to people that are past the full retirement age.

      • True! Once you reach “retirement age”, you no longer can collect–or qualify for–adult Social Security Disability benefits–or: adult SSI disability benefits. Instead, the benefits “convert” into retirement benefits, or “old age” benefits; or, in some cases, “survivors benefits”, or in some cases, you receive benefits based on your spouse’s benefits.
        ____________
        Hence, “OASDI” –Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance.
        __________
        Put simply, you cannot collect BOTH SS disability AND retirement.

  28. I have a hearing disability and it takes a lot of extra work but when the court refused to make their office hearing impaired I was totally loss in my defense to do a proper defense because I could not hear what the other people were saying. Now in my own environment I pretty much can control things to insure I hear the majority I have developed coping skills. Outside of my environment I do not have the controls and have long been in deniable but the ugly reaction of a judge and I want a new reality and I am tried plus the added weight, neck and knee injury I have lost faith and having depression issues. At 57 I am just tired of doing taxes and seeing reality 36 years is enough.

    • That is why on appeal, you can now hire a lawyer to represent you. Then you will have compensatory skills on his part to help you.

  29. Any disability program needs to provide for some type of work contribution. 2 Thessalonians Chapter 3 verse 10. Please do not continue to undermine the dignity and self worth of people struggling with a disabling condition by not helping them to earn a living.

  30. I feel all on SSD need drug test. I feel some on SSD should not be. I feel 800 a month which I am blessed to receive is low compared to NO way to get out of apt to retrieve my food, home supplies and such. I took care of a person w/diabeties my soul mate of 20 yrs and being not married ,,there kids took car, my meds !! and all I needed to help myself move .I struggled and made it .I believe common law marriage should of been the law since we marry Gays now .and I am the looser again.
    I believe the transportation REALLY need looked into as Troy Oh has funding but will not re-issue the card for my big 2 trips .I am not allowed more than I can carry home ? and other need ride I need doctor care. I feel legalizing POT is the biggest mistake this country has ever done. (just get needle park somewhere and all addicts met there ..This is a choice not a disease ..don’t care what anyone says ..I made bad choices to ..and I got over it ..SO Get over it .
    I believe in a tough love country . I believe there is way too many chiefs and not enough Indians
    I also believe they need to leave Obama there and finish the job NO ONE will let him
    I believe in God . And we are loosing touch with our awesome God and this is not a good thought .
    I believe in a compassionate Government and they are loosing the touch ..and thinking more of there selves and nothing should be taken for granted .All a can be gone in a NYM
    I believe Mental Health is never going to get a fair shake as long as we let society ,news people talk about things they know nothing about,, there will be more suicide as they are too scared to get help for fear of being ”that nut case “” we are labeled and are not .
    I believe less is more .. and it’s too overwhelming to convince me you can drink, drive ,talk on phone, and blast your tv, radio in a car w/children pets in there and you are focused on driving?? No YOUR not..
    Phones should be against the law PERIOD in a car.
    You need to look more into Education and Environment ,,then where are you going to deploy the next ”DROOM ” Please
    My parents would be shaking in the world today. Leave Obama alone , if all are hopes are for like candidates like Trump ..He is the biggest adult bully there is and I thought we were trying to keep our kids from those .
    I am so srry Jesus for setting in Judgment of ideas your asking me ..AND you should already know

  31. It is the instant penalty for working that keeps people quaking and afraid to attempt work.

    A year or two after I was forced on LTD by my employer (who refused to accommodate my disability by letting me telecommute a couple of days a week) I expressed the wish, in my annual SSA questionnaire, to get back to work. Instead of trying to figure out what kind of work I might do, or urging my former employer to rehire me part time or telecommute, the SS administration simply stated that they decided I wasn’t disabled, and that they would not send me my next check, and take me off Medicare.

    People I know who do try to do the right thing and work part time, if their annual income accidentally rises above the $710 dollars a month allowed (as often happens in part time jobs with need-based schedules) they will be kicked off SS immediately, need to shell out for a lawyer to get back on. I know someone who was evicted after just such an attempt to use the Ticket to Work.

    The fact is quite a few people with disabilities can get better, and could work 10-30 hours but the system is all or nothing. When I was young I got laid off from a job, and was eligible for Unemployment Insurance. I temped three days a week, which I reported, and set two days aside for job interviews. This allowed me to make ends meet until I obtained a permanent job, in the three months.

    I wish the disability system would allow a similar arrangement. It would help people get back to work and de-stigmatize disability.

    • Your figures are outdated. It is now $1090 per month you are allowed to earn. Yes it is still all or nothing but you can register with your state Vocational Rehabilitation, who will issue a ticket to work, which allows to to earn unlimited for up to 9 months (doesn’t need to be consecutive) in an attempt to return to work full time. Also your state VR should help you, or your state Civil Rights division should help you file an ADA suit where the employer has to show how allowing you to telecommute would not allow you to substantially do your job, or how you could not be transferred to a similar job that you could do. The burden of proof is shifted to him, and is not on you. The ADA has been around since 1992.

  32. As do all other government programs, SSI has three constituencies: recipients, administrators, and taxpayers. Recipients can be counted on to support its expansion, as can the administrators who also live off it.

    But support from taxpayers depends on their perception that the program benefits society (i.e, takes care of the truly needy) more than it costs themselves. And this is far from obvious to today’s taxpayers – who see few efforts made to control blatant abuses as outlays grow yearly.

    I believe an organizational focus on promoting “managers” who successfully control abuse is the key to taxpayer support – the likely alternative is the budget chopping block with a return to state and local charities.

    • Unfortunately government programs are often constrained from really advertising to tell their story. In the Netherlands, there are public service announcements and even educational TV programs that get the word, the truth, out. I happened to meet a man who had just retired from the Dutch army. His job for 20 years was to toot his flute as the Queen rode in review of troop every morning. The last person who one would expect to know anything about rehabilitation. He explained that the workshops were for the people to lead complete lives and truly to become members of the wider community — one of the best definitions I ever heard in 40 years.

  33. I have to say they already make it very difficult for us to get on disability. I worked 2 jobs all my life, since I was 16 yrs old, worked very hard & would love to work again. I pushed myself so hard while I was sick until I could no longer get out of bed. Then I had to wait & fight for 2 yrs to get approved plus fight my insurance company to pay my ltd benefits which I lost most of (and I paid into that all the time I was working just in case something happened). I don’t get enough to live on alone, I must depend on family. I’m on so many medication its sickening to even think about. I’m in so much pain I just cry every day. I cry because I’m sick, I cry because I want to work & make more money, I cry because I have to depend on my family, I cry because I just lost my brother & nephew both at young ages. All I have left is 2 sisters & a mother who I am supposed to be taking care of. Now 1 sis is in the ICU very sick herself. So no everyone on disability is taking advantage of the system. And they make it so hard to just do anything that needs to be done like getting refills on my meds. I have to go to the doctrs office, then to the pharmacy to get it. I just can’t call or mail it in. Little things like this are a BIG struggle for me. I can’t cook for myself any more. I can’t take care of anything. If I take a shower that’s all I can do that day. If I feel better for one day I try to do as much as I can only to suffer even more the next week or so. My life is a living hell & I honestly have no life any more. No friends, lack of family life. Can’t attend any functions. It hurts me to put clothing on. It hurts to even ride in a car. I can’t afford a car. I was lucky enough that an aunt gave me an old car so I can get to the doctor & store when I need to. But my life sucks to say the least. And I get tired of people always saying but u look good. So what, I feel like crap. Don’t judge people unless you have walked in their shoes!!! Enough said!!

  34. A man in our neighborhood has been on disability after only working 2 yrs in this country. He recently put a roof on his garage. He may have been injured a while ago but seems fine now. How can he be considered disabled?

    • SSDI or SSI? or Private disability?

      SSI does not require you to have worked any length of time, only be disabled (unable to earn substantial gainful activity) for 12 months or more, have insignificant assets (less that $2,000 in bank, $3,000 if married). Also one car and home don’t count.

      If he has recovered his benefits will end, which is good. SSI pays ~$710 a month and you can earn far more than that pretty easily.

  35. Nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants need to be given the same weight as medical doctors. More and more people can only see nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants and those that do are often lower income with Medicaid. Social Security needs to keep current with the medical reality of our times. They cannot disregard evidence from the practitioners that most of their applicants are able to see and have more time with the applicants than the consultative examiners and state agency physicians. It’s making it easier for ALJs to deny poorer applicants who cannot afford to see MDs.

  36. People with mental disabilities should be treated for their illness 1st. to see if it can be treated and people on disability simply because they are too fat to work should be put on a diet and monitored before drawing disability. This administration has made it too easy to cheat the system and some do such as people who had a job but were laid off due to the economy and are unable to find work, now apply for disability and some of them get it, never to look for work again !

    • I am disabled 81 yrs old and I agree you cannot yell when a person is legally disabled. When I go to the market and try to find an elec cart cant because it looks like all are being used by fat people and I sometimes have to wait up to a half hour for a cart. I see people park in handicap and run into the store. There is no way to really know if the person in the handicap car is the person who owns the placard or plate is even there. If the SSDI people knew how to do their jobs not so many people would have to hire expensive attorneys. We should not have stop all medications to prove that we are disabled. Jerry

      • Attorney fees are limited to $6,000 or 25% of retroactive benefits, whichever is less. The attorney fee cap hasn’t been raised since the early 2000s.

        Frankly, I think a great deal of disability attorneys would agree with you that SSA needs to learn how to do their job and award more cases earlier, as they clearly aren’t in it for the money. There are far more profitable fields of law requiring far less effort.

  37. I think people who are “truly” disbled should get help; however, I know too many people who are on the take that are not really disabled. My thoughts are: if you can go out and work full time for a charity, or clean houses for money or do other work for money “quote under the table” then you are not disabled. You just do not want to work. There are too many people who want an easy way out. We need to revamp the whole system and then someone to follow up on those who are receiving it to comfirm that they are really disabled. Let people know that they will be checked up on regularly but not know when it will happen.

    • And most people on disability have to undergo a medical review every three years.
      This is also why you should report the employers who pay under the table. If there is no Social Security paid, there is no record. So the employers are facilitating a possible fraud. If they are found, they may be required to repay all the benefits received, and also a penalty.

  38. At eight years old I woke up paralyzed from the waist down. When school started in the fall I was able to walk but my mother still had to take me for physical therapy for a few more months. I worked until I was about 40 when I started falling, my ability to walk continued to worsen and as a result I became depressed to the point of considering suicide. Fortunately, by then I had two children and a husband I had to consider. I applied and was able to file for “disability retirement” through Federal Civil Service in 1994. One of the conditions was that if I was able to work a year I’d considered able to work again. I thought this was a great option. Eventually I decided to go back to school to get a degree that would help me find better employment. A year after I found out about Vocational Rehabilitation, they were able to pay for tuition and books. Then I was assessed at a wheelchair seating clinic and prescribed a scooter and handicapped hand controls and lift for my scooter which would allow me to continue walking for as long as I was able. I earned a bachelor’s degree in social work and was hired as a counselor for kids with disabilities. A couple years later I earned my master’s degree and was hired to run my own program called High School High Tech. My job was to help kids in high school stay in school, encourage them to go to work and/or go on to earn a degree. I even worked with students in a Department of Juvenile Justice facility. Approximately 90%-95% boys in that facility had some type of disability. I found as a counselor the majority of my clients were on social security and when SS attempted to get those kids off SS they were unable to do so. Parents with kids with ADHD, ADD, etc., even those with CP, wheelchair users, etc. wanted SS because it added to their income. Many of those kids were discouraged by teachers as well. I had a young lady that was graduating with a regular diploma after the school approved three waivers – because the student failed three courses. I took her aside and told her that they were not doing her a favor nor any future employer. I encouraged her to take classes during the summer to earn her GED which she did. She was employed on a military facility with benefits soon after she had her daughter. I have no recommendations because the people you would rely on to do what I was doing are not going to set higher standards these kids need. Kids with disabilities do not have to be in special classes and given a “special diploma” which is useless. The High School/High Tech program can be found online and if I remember correctly at the Workforce website. Just key in High School/High Tech.

    I am now 63 yrs old and have applied for SSI/SSDI and am waiting for a determination. I am still on Disability Retirement because in spite of my work history I was not able to work a full year due to my disability becoming worse each year. Age has only added additional medical problems which should qualify me as eligible. I hope this helps you all come up with some ideas to help change the program for the better. You might also check out how accessible businesses are in complying with the ADA.

    Darlene

  39. Most of the comments above seem to miss the intention of SSA in the coming forum. They wish to replace obsolete and difficult to implement fairly, rules for deciding disability for individuals who are not severely disabled enough to meet or equal our listings of impairments (unable to do any work) or have an impairment that has no or minimal work limitations. I don’t think that they are looking for feedback whether to keep the disability (SSI or SSA) program or radically change its aims.

  40. I am 62 and have been unable to work since I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Sjogrens. I am in tremendous pain and on narcotics to help relieve this pain but it is not effective even 50%. I am a CPA and have worked from age 16- 60. Fortunately, my husband has insurance benefits through work because The SS Admin said I was not eligible for 2 years. The amount I receive couldn’t possibly allow me to rent an apartment, eat or pay utility bills.
    What bothers me most are those who do not need to be on SSDI because they ARE capable of working, they are simply collecting cash (under the table). The next thing is collecting social security for those born in the late 1920’s if they still are with us. My parents are 91, are incredibly wealthy and have been paid every penny + interest back for all they put into the system.
    One of the worst situations is actually applying for disability. I have heard nightmares of being denied multiple times and then seeking an attorney who receives a fee to help. I wasn’t denied perhaps because I was 60. In order to receive SSDI, you cannot have worked for the prior 3 months. So, how do you afford to eat during that time? Even after you apply, there is still a considerable time difference for when you receive the benefits. You must see the SS doctors and psychologists and the reports have to be reviewed and then some “person” subjectively decides whether you “deserve” the benefits. The medical doctor I saw had never heard of Fibromyalgia!!!!! She showed up unkempt and unprofessional. I complained to the SS office and whatever they did (probably nothing) I don’t know. So, in other words, the reports that were sent by your personal doctor were ineffective yet the doctor hired by SS, was also ineffective. What does the incapable doctor says or reports to the SS …. is that credible????
    There are people who have never worked because they CANNOT. Disabled emotionally or physically or both. Who are you (SS) to determine whether this is true or not when a myriad of other doctors deemed it to be true?
    Who determines what is severe? Perhaps SSDI should pay those who can work a few hours a week…. you could calculate what they would be paid in disability payments less how much they made. If you work at all, you collect nothing but the person above said you shouldn’t be able collect any because you can work. Do you honestly believe I can exist on working 4 hours a week? Get real here.
    It is not the fault of people collecting SS who are still able to work causing the funds to diminish. The government is in DEBT. They are taking funds out of one department and sticking it another. In order to fix the government, you have to fix how decisions are made and who is making them. In every single department, there is abuse. Unfortunately this is a fact of life. In my opinion, the SS doctor I saw was another example of abuse. Why would they hire someone who had no idea about the disabling disease Fibromyalgia is? Because she doesn’t cost a lot to hire?
    There are so many things which are wrong in our government and to correct one would affect every other.
    There will be no cost of living increase for 2016. Who decided this? Have they been to the grocery store lately? Have they looked at the cost of RX and doctors and tests? I’d love to question this person…..he/she probably makes several hundred thousand dollars a year.

    • There still is a lot of discussion in the medical community over whether Fibro is a real disease. Find a doctor who does believe in it and know about its treatment. If not able to find, look for a good allergist. Fibro is often caused by food allergies. My wife suffered for many years and we tried excluding all kinds of foods, until we discovered she was gluten allergic. Fortunately now there are many gluten free food now, so she can almost live a normal life. But not so, not so many years ago. Fortunately I had earlier worked for one of the men who created the field of allergy medicine. He had an extreme case where a woman was allergic to the fluoride in toothpaste and the water.

  41. I find it remarkable that so many address others comments and fail to give constructive idea’s to improve the system we now have. Many attest to knowing people who collect benefits and yet do nothing to report the fraud. Investigation into fraud is a time consuming labor intensive adventure and the system was never designed for the number of fraud occurrence that we all know are currently taking place. Private insurance investigators make their living doing this all the time. It’s either hire private investigator or increase the number of government investigator we currently have. You have to spend money to save money!

  42. It would same a large amount of money to give everyone in AMERICA that was born here $70,000.00 per year and collapse all HEALTH EDUCATION, health insurance housing etc. AND WELFARE PROGRAMS .I know I could take care my needs with $70,000.oo PER YEAR AND IT WOULD SAVE MONEY ! social security is a racket ! apply deny appeal ect. IF ANY BUSINESS DID THIS THEY WOULD BE HAULED INTO COURT ? BUT WHEN THE GOVERNMENT DOES IT ,DOES THAT MAKE IT LEGAL ? ,READ THE R.I.C.O. STATUTES?

  43. People should not have to hire an attorney to qualify for SSI. It is common knowledge you will be turned down the first time you apply. It takes over a year to finally receive an SSI payment once the process is started.
    People act like those receiving SSI are lazy and living the easy life. They live in poverty! They do not receive enough money to afford rent and basic needs.
    I am 58 years old. My husband was unemployed for two years. He worked for a year at half his prior wage. He died suddenly in the middle of my fight with breast cancer. I couldn’t work. I have worked since I was 15 years old. My medical insurance wants me to go on SSI. I can’t afford to. I have been looking for a job for 2 years. I have a degree and twenty years experience in my field. Age discrimination does exists. Cognitive skills slow as you age. It takes longer to learn a new skill. Our maturity and work ethic offset this.
    I am homeless. There is a three month waiting list for a homeless shelter. I am not on Welfare and I do not have a young child. There is no help for me in the state I live in. I have lived with two different family members in different locations of the state. This doesn’t help when searching for employment. There is a huge demographic hole in the state system. Do not take away the Federal safety net that is SSI. Improve it! Make the process user friendly and pay enough to cover basic living expenses. Thank you.

  44. If this question is appropriate for your blog…..are there any changes coming to the way-outdated WEP? i lost half of my $800 soc. sec. because of the WEP. i could really use the other $400 that i don’t receive because of it.

    thank you
    cindy oeser
    was in Califronia when i retired, now live in Reno, NV

  45. Anyone actually read the proposal and understand the subject that you are commenting on?

    Here is what social security is asking for comments on:

    1. Is the factor of age predictive in determining an individual’s ability to work or to adjust to other work? If it is predictive, what are the vocationally significant age milestones we should consider? If it is not predictive, what data support that assertion?
    2. When determining if age affects an individual’s ability to work or to adjust to other work, what other factors or combination of factors should we consider?
    3. Does an individual’s educational level affect an individual’s ability to do work or to adjust to other work? If so, how? What data support the conclusion that an individual’s educational level does or does not affect an individual’s ability to do work or to adjust to other work? How does literacy affect an individual’s ability to do work or adjust to other work?
    4. Does the skill level of an individual’s past work affect his or her ability to adjust to other work? If so, how? What data support the conclusion that the skill level of an individual’s past work does or does not affect an individual’s ability to do work or to adjust to other work? How does the skill level of an individual’s past work considered along with an individual’s educational level affect this adjustment?
    5. Are there other vocational factors or combinations of vocational factors that we should consider when determining an individual’s ability to do work or to adjust to other work?

    • 1. They are attempting to make it more difficult to receive disability benefits due to age in conjuncture with medical impairments by finding age wouldn’t preclude alternative work, only past work.
      2. They are attempting to determine what other factors should be considered along with age. The current additional factors are education, work history, and exertional limitation.
      3. They are trying to ignore education’s impact on the ability to accomplish simple work.
      4. They are trying to address the vague nature of transferability of skills from past work to alternative work..I.e. if you did past work as a administrative assistant, maybe you could have a leg up working in a call center.
      5. Frankly, this one just seems to be an attempt to get around the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, a publication released by the department of labor back in the early 90s and hasn’t been updated since.

  46. As an old cancer doc, I have taken care of lots of patients whose diagnosis/extent of disease meant that they were unable to work at the present time and very likely for the remainder of their lives. In all the years I practiced, I don’t recall a single case where, if I submitted records relating to the patient’s disability, the reason for it and the absence of any likelihood that they would ever be able to return to work, their application for disability payment would be denied. For patients not yet eligible for medicare, I wanted to help them establish the start of their 2 year window of disability so that they could become beneficiaries of medicare. So many patients are living paycheck to paycheck when the are healthy, and they simply have no savings to help cover their expenses. Finally, there is a subset of patients who might be able to work, but their employer doesn’t want them back because of their diagnosis. I know that there should be no discrimination in situations like that, but employers seem to be able to find ways around that policy.

    • Cancer is a totally different animal, Doc. I can appreciate your anecdotal experience, but in the real world, it’s simply not true. There are thousands of other legitimate long-term permanent disabilities out there for which denials are far too routine.

      As far as your comment regarding employers is concerned, that will never change. You seem like a smart guy, you know that. Money comes before their people. Always. Whether they’re working for their shareholders, or simply working for themselves. It’s been happening since the dawn of time, and no law, rule or regulation, with it’s federal or state or local, will ever change it.

  47. Too many on the system that don’t belong there. I live in a subsidized apt. building and we have young men and women in their 30’s who collect SSI . One went and applied for a job and was hired. Worked one day when he found out his benefits would be cut, he quit. Still goes out and buys his weed and cigarettes and they do work on a cash basis so they don’t have to report it. We have one woman that says she has emotional problems and needs a ‘service’ dog. Her dog is a support dog but she bought some of that fake stuff you see every where and gets that dog into places it shouldn’t be. Emotional problems, why are they allowed to have guns in their apt. Our system needs to be revamped….completely!

    • Silly and ignorant post. There will always be people trying to cheat a government system. The richest people in the country try to cheat on their taxes, and every year are in cahoots with politicians to *legally* receive billions of dollars in local, state and federal subsidies and additional corporate welfare, all on the public’s dime. This fact hurts the very people you’re describing the most.

      So why don’t you make better use of your time and attack them instead.

    • You also highlighted why we should not allow employers to pay under the table. If they are audited, they should have checks for every reported payroll expense. And if you hire contract labor, you should require an employer number, and they should have on file, their records showing Health insurance, SS taxes, and income taxes withholding showing. Otherwise you need to do such. Of course that is the vision of the ACA, which is only partly implemented.

  48. Pointless post, get real. Good government PR by posting this for ordinary citizens and for holding a “forum,” but who’s anybody kidding. I may be old and disabled, but I’m definitely not naive and stupid.

    There is so much money being poured into lobbying to prevent any substantive changes, this is nothing more than a dog and pony show. The people responding here and/or attending that forum thinking anybody is truly listening are completely wasting their energy and their time. Period.

    • At least if they read some of my posts, they will know more about Social Security than they do now.
      Remember too, if you support most of the more popular, and especially Republican candidates, and you are now possibly in need of any of this, or conceivably be in need, you are only cutting your own throat.

  49. Social Security was suppose to be a locked box program. All the money you and your employer (you alone if your were self-employed) does not and never has belonged to the government. Disability Insurance should not be part of Social Security. Retirement and Disability Insurance are not the same thing and our retirement funds should not be used for anything but retirement. We taxpayers have been milked enough for government programs where billions of dollars seem to disappear into thin air year after year with no one ever being held accountable. Our retirement money, not the government’s, has been raided by politicians and greedy agencies with no intention of ever paying it back or allowing it to earn interest. I cringe every time I hear a politician say they want to fix the system that they are guilty of pilfering for every pork project that keeps them in office. Nineteen trillion in debt and growing every second of the day. Who will pay us back?

    • From the beginning, SS was not allowed to invest funds in regular companies like through stock. Too afraid of the government dominating the stock market. So any excess funds could only be invested in government bonds. They do pay interest and this was the solution for the expected bump in retirees from the Baby Boom. Currently the SS taxes are apportioned out among retirement pensions and disability pensions. And there is no challenge to retirement funds for 20 years, but much closer on disability funds. SSI is actually federalized welfare, only paid out by Social Security as the one service with the ability to pay out such large number of checks. And more approrpriate than the Army the other really big part of government, that also pays out huge sums. SSI is funded each year from the general fund, and is unrelated to social security either disability insurance or retirement insurance.

    • That is not the issue. You need to return again to your meds, so you, we hope, can continue to work and pay into the system. But you live in a dangerous fantasy world if you believe even half of that.

    • They have to apply, have worked enough to qualify, and not worked for cities or states that have opted out of SS, or worked for the railroads, which have a separate system.

  50. When AIDS was a new problem, lots of people who had it were placed on disability. Probably appropriate, since it was fatal in a short time and very debilitating. But now its not. New treatments mean AIDS patients are living long reasonably healthy lives, having children, etc. They could work, and should be reevaluated and some taken off disability.

    • And the biggest part of social security, retirement, should only last for so long because people used to die an earlier death. And now modern medicine saves all those lives and lets them continue to collect? You sound like someone looking for excuses to be mean and penny wise and pound foolish.

  51. Pending on one’s situation shouldn’t going to Vocational Rehabilitation and then trying to find a job with the help of one of their connected agencies that hep find appropriate work be considered? Doing so before filing for Social Security does show on record options were being sought before turnig to the goverment.

    And, of course, there are those on social security who can work but do have restrictions due to their medical conditions. What of them who can work but not have gainful employment?

    Back before the full-time work week was considered 40 hrs, it was explained one was considered disabled if, due to a chronic medical condition, they were prevented from working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Whle I realize full-time is now considered 30 hrs. I don’t see how that still shouldn’t apply.

    • To encourage people to return to work, there are all kinds of means whereby people can work part time while still collecting some SSI. Even some where you can work part time and collect SSD. If you don’t know this, you don’t know about SS. Each program has different incentives, but we cannot starve people to death if they cannot work. And despite more than 20 years of the ADA and its rules, so many companies just do not hire with any disability. Although both the state and federal governments do try hard to decrease that number. But we have more barriers to hiring in the form of certification, licenses, and other hindrances, was well as corporate policies.

  52. Disability is an equal opportunity club. Anyone can join at any time. It was 9 long years ago that I was hit by an underinsured driver coming out of a gas station at full speed into rush hour traffic. I have lived in constant pain ever since. As a result of that accident, I have had six surgeries including a cervical spinal fusion. Even with Social Security Disability Benefits, I went from working full time to living at poverty level. The company where I worked fired me at the recommendation of their Workers Comp Insurance Carrier because the carrier did not want a second injury. Prior to the other party at fault injuries I sustained, I lived an active life. Now the pain I live with is intolerable and as much as I have learned to live with it, my life will never be the same. If you take a look at the statistics of Administrative Law Judges who grant disability social security, you will see that it is very difficult to get.
    So making it harder to get isn’t going to do much to help people who have paid into the system. It is there for a reason. Without it, I would have been without any income for years. People who are disabled especially on the job deserve disability payments wherever they come from. It is a horrible misconception that SSDI and SSI are easily obtained or excessive. I went from being lower middle class to living at poverty level. If you want to shift the burden from tax payers who fund social security, shift the burden to auto insurance carriers and create minimum auto coverages that go from $20,000/$40,000 to a mandatory $1,000,000. Medical bills are high and living in pain is expensive.
    Instead I get Social Security that keeps me wondering how I am going to pay my bills as my income stays the same and the cost of living rises at a rapid pace.

  53. Please add DSPS (Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome) to your disability list, if it is not included already. It is the most debilitating condition I can think of, as you cannot hold a regular job. People with DSPS (also called DSPD) cannot sleep at regular times, because they have a delayed biological clock (circadian rhythm). They are constantly sleep-deprived and exhausted, since they cannot fall asleep at required times. When forced to wake up after only a few hours of sleep, they cannot concentrate or function at their jobs, and often it takes all their strength just to stay awake. By any rate it is a far more debilitating condition than many other disorders people currently get disability for, such as bipolar disorder.

    • Do you have bipolar disorder? You want your disability added, but you think you know if your disability is more debilitating than bipolar disorder? Or any other mental disability? If you want your disability added, then ask for it to be added. But try doing it without assuming that it’s worse than a disability that is already on the “Disability list”. You act like bipolar disorder shouldn’t even be on the “list”…get a clue. You have NO IDEA

      • A couple of things:
        1) Mental health conditions can be extremely disabling. These are very difficult to qualify for. Meeting the FUNCTIONALLY LIMITING REQUIREMENTS for a listing for any mental condition is extremely difficult to prove, including bipolar disorder (affective disorders, adult listing 12.04). One does not simply “meet the listing” for having bipolar disorder. Also, the SSA’s interpretation of “meeting the severity of the listing” is not the same as most people’s. There are many people w/ mental disorders, incl. bipolar disorder, who can work full-time; esp. w/ effective treatment medications. Not all people respond to medical treatments the same way. Also, one can still qualify for DSPS by meeting or equality the severity of a listed impairment; or by qualifying for less than unskilled and/or less than sedentary work on a physical and/or mental RFC (residual functional capacity); or qualify with a medical/vocational exception based on age/education/work experience/other RFC factors.

  54. can this nov. 20 meeting be shown on CSPAN; just let us know which cspan will be airing it from what specific time to another?

    thanks! we’d really enjoy listening/hearing this as we work here on pc.

    thanks for your consideration.

    bettyg, iowa BORRELIOSIS/TICK activist,
    parkinsons, alzheimer’s/dementia, etc

    • SS…i’m still waiting for you to REPLY to my question above.

      i’ve NEVER gotten a reply on the 4-5 questions/statements i’ve made prior; why?
      **********************************************

      bettyg, iowa

  55. It is not judgemental when we see so much fraud in every level of the government employment & businesses.
    There are people that can do more than 1 job and some do! The “water cooler” meetings in agencies can be cut and an open hiring of people who spend a high % of time doing nothing but socializing can do the resources of needed.
    Investigate what whistle blowers are pointing out!! Detectives use this method .
    At the same time, cost of living can happen, if we quit giving out all the BONUSES to the administrators in every level of state, city, and federal government that already get enough money to retire on!!
    Our VA hospitals need observation, yes we need to get the ‘comfort ,of a government job scrutinized . Evaluate, evaluate, employees in ALL levels! Have the patient talk or rate the job done!! Also, have the survey really looked into !!! With honesty!
    Yes, honesty … Not practiced in our country!!!

    • True— what about “teleconferencing” to save government funds/travel expenses? Or, would that be too “efficient”??

    • Last I checked Social Security Administration spends roughly 3% on administrative costs. If anything, SSA should invest more money on addressing the massive backlog of claims, and once the claims backlog is actually reduced transition spending into proper service.

      Cost of living wasn’t increased due to the fall in gas prices…a factor which does little to help most disabled.

  56. Instead of bashing people that do receive disability, I think some of the rules should be revisited by ss on their own part. There have been many times I have known people who qualify and get turned down, while others have milked the system and get disability handed to them while that persons case never gets revisited. I myself have my own dealings with social security and at the moment, I can’t say I’m impressed. This is a program I have put into, as well as my husband has put into and we have had no say. While working, we have no option to pay in, it’s automatically taken out. My husband still works and I have run into my own health problems that have prevented me from doing what I have done in the past. Under a guideline as stated above in their own statement, I qualify for disability, but I am told no, as well as I have a special needs child to take care of. My husbands sister has never worked a day in her life. She has pumped out three kids, all of which she has lost. She has SSI and will receive it indefinitely. What would I do if I actually had a check? Ensure that my family is taken care of, weather I am working or not. Government gives her a check and not a penny of it goes to her kids, but you better believe she is a regular customer at the liquor store. Yeah, this seems fair.

  57. Virtually every comment says NO WORK, NO SSI disability. They are all correct. This is NOT A WELFARE PROGRAM. It is an INSURANCE PROGRAM which you pay premiums into BY WORKING!!! Keep it that way.

    • Actually, SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) is an insurance program.
      Technically, SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is a “federal welfare program”.

      • And, in limited cases, one can qualify for BOTH SSDI and SSI (and thus receive SSDI-linked Medicare AND SSI-link Medicaid–such “dual insurance” eligibility/coverage is know as: “Medi-Medi”.
        However, statistically, this is rare–and one’s benefits would be low (since the amount of SSDI benefits would offset the SSI benefits SIGNIFICANTLY; so the SSI payment would be very low, and the total benefits received would be quite low. This would be for people with a very low-pay work history, with an onset date/protective filing date that just made it in time to qualify for SSDI, yet low-enough pay to not be limited to SSDI only.

  58. I would like to see more sheltered employment opportunities. It needs to be linked in with community employment opportunities, but they can provide an opportunity to those who have too much difficulty getting or holding jobs in the community. We might take a lesson from the Netherlands, which requires employers with 25 or more workers to hire 4% disabled. They also reserve civil service positions such as library stacker and sports field maintenance jobs. In Eastern Europe, they reserve the entire shoe industry for the disabled. By reserving an entire industry there are a wide variety of jobs at all kinds of levels.
    We need to fully implement the ACA so we don’t have many people uncovered for medical insurance. And we need to make sure that auto and workmens comp insurance companies don’t pawn their patients off on Social Security, but they actually care for them.

  59. I agree…time to crack down…instead of paying out to lazy generational deadbeats why don’t they use that money to hire more dedicated case workers to check into not only those applying for disability , but the doctors also. I know of several folks on disability, yet working under the table at hard types of jobs. Disgusting. Then hollering they have to do this because they can’t afford to live on such a low income, yet they are out in clubs, playing bingo, going to the casino, getting their nails done. The list goes on & on & on. Some even brag that they are getting nut dollars because they are bi polar, looks to me like they need to work to keep their mind busy.

  60. I think there should be a stricter method used to give SSI and SSD. I personally know a number of people who are capable of work who draw it. If some help is needed then work should be required of all who can do work of any kind. If investigation can prove that NO work of any kind can be done by the person then there is no problem, but this should be proved and rechecked often. Benefits should not exceed benefits paid to the average of the bottom third of regular Social Security recipients.

  61. As long as tax payers are paying taxes the poor can rest knowing money will come their way for being lazy and not wanting to work, but they still feel they need to have five or more children.

    • Thank you for your question, Frank. The Social Security Act provides for an automatic increase in Social Security and SSI benefits only if there is an increase in inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). As determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there was no increase in the CPI-W from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015. Therefore, under existing law, there can be no COLA in 2016. For additional information, please go to http://www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

  62. I sense alot of anger and frustration as I read through this blog. Not only by the people who need the program but also those who feel the system is broken and is being abused. No one will argue that the system we now share isn’t broken, but I’m still not seeing alot of suggestions to help fix it! I was to understand that this blog is an attempt to solicit suggestions to fix or repair.
    We have to get back on course, “park the frustration” and make some sound suggestions. Hopefully any suggestions offered will be considered by those in the “driver seat”
    One last thing before leaving this blog. We need this program and if we are unwilling to take steps to improve it, people who justifiably deserve it will be short changed by those who “Steal” from it!

  63. In response to your request, there are a few considerations concerning the realities of employment for individuals with severe disabling conditions, especially for those
    who are older,
    have low skills, or
    low education levels.
    “The purpose is to gather insight on circumstances such as age, education, and work experience, helping us understand the effect these may have on an individual’s ability to work and to adjust to other work”.

    I am on SSDI with a background in psychotherapy and gender specific programming for women and girls. I am also 55 yrs old. Please understand I appreciate and have a great respect for all older citizens. I am merely using this platform to answer the questions presented.

    I believe many (not all) older adults need additional considerations for a variety of reasons.
    1. Lack of exposure to technology coupled with intimidation
    2. Concerns in the disparity between social interactions in comparison to the younger generations in the current workforce.
    3. Transportation can be an issue with additional health and poverty constraints.
    4. Older citizens often suffer from a broad spectrum of ailments which require doctor appointments, therapies, unscheduled periods of fatigue and pain…beyond their disability. If employment is the option required for this group, one needs to consider a flexible schedule.
    5. I have experienced that many seniors (especially females) feel more confident and thus productive, working in group settings.

    Addressing considerations for those with low skills concerns:
    1. I believe a lack of empowerment is a huge obstacle for many people in attempting to enter the workforce…the addition of a disability can add a strenuous hardship. Programs assistance in this matter may be of great benefit. I suggest group approaches.
    2. In realization, low skilled people need training and support (funding considerations). Even McDonalds uses a great amount of technology in daily activities.
    3. There has been a movement towards hiring older and less skilled adults such as door greeters. Possibly looking into contracts for similar positions would become a great benefit for the severe needs or older populations.
    4. While I have been focusing on older adults, I believe it to be critical (for appropriate) disabled younger citizens to obtain at minimal a GED
    5. Finding ways to offer a set of skills training can boost one’s self esteem. Vocational versus educational can give one a great steady focus and career.
    I hope this is helpful in answering your request for feedback.

  64. ATTENTION: ray fernandez,

    bettyg on November 3, 2015 at 4:20 am said:

    can this nov. 20 meeting be shown on CSPAN;
    *****************************************************
    just let us know which cspan will be airing it from what specific time to another?

    thanks! we’d really enjoy listening/hearing this as we work here on pc.

    thanks for your consideration.

    bettyg, iowa BORRELIOSIS/TICK activist,
    parkinsons, alzheimer’s/dementia, etc

    on November 5, 2015 at 1:09 am said:
    *********************************************

    SS…i’m still waiting for you to REPLY to my question above.

    i’ve NEVER gotten a reply on the 4-5 questions/statements i’ve made prior; why?
    **********************************************
    bettyg, iowa

    3rd time is a charm i HOPE?

  65. Recently I had an autistic client who was found ineligible for SSI because the vocational expert said he could pick crops. An autistic man picking crops!?! He would become distracted in the first minute.

    I recognize this is a 40 year commitment by the SSA, and that the incidence of diagnosed autism is increasing. But since we have shut the state hospital system where would this man be without his family, who subsequently moved to Colorado.

    Ronald Reagan’s closing of California state hospitals such as Camarillo should be reversed so the mentally ill and developmentally delayed have a safe and economical place to live.

    • 1) You mentioned:
      “An autistic man picking crops!?! He would become distracted in the first minute.”
      ________________________
      Most likely, yes. That is why the important of a well-qualified, board certified (e.g. NOSSCR/NADR) experienced attorney) is needed at a hearing, who can cross-examine such a vocational expert. This would depend on the “specific individual circumstances” of the claimant’s case. Yes, they take into to account all jobs in the nation’s economy. But would a hypothetic person with his/her particular functioning limitations resulting from his autistic condition–even “high-functioning autism” (as regards to autism)–be able to perform that on a “substantially gainful basis”? If not, what specific factors in the medical/psychological records indicate that? Medication side effects?
      _________________

  66. Greetings

    Some of the comments above are cruel and callus.

    And the reason why the ADA activist took to the streets in protest. And fought for the ADA laws to be put into place. ( Discrimination )

    To those that are not disabled you have no idea what it is like to be disabled and limited in your physical or mental capacity.

    Some of you lack compassion and spiritual understanding until you become disabled and lose your dear and precious abilities or someone close to you or they pass away.

    Have you ever noticed in the news where someone is in a serious truck crash and they or a realative at that point has become a paraplegic.

    Have you noticed how the relatives or the injured person like Christopher Reeves at the time after there injuries then becomes an activist for paraplegic persons to the point of becoming famous in the science of the reversal of their being paraplegic?

    But before that had no interest or very little interest in paraplegics.

    That is because at that point of becoming injured and being in the physical state of being a paraplegic they are in shock and disbelief at their condition and at first can not see how they can live like that.

    But then thru the love and compassion of family and friends or a pastor or counseling they then have a spiritual awakening and understand like Stevie Wonder or others how they can go on and why.

    My point is how you can not understand what its like to be disabled nor see yourself as one.

    And some are even cold and calluse towards people whom are disabled. Because of Verious reasons they discriminate against them.

    Every consideration should be taken in the evaluation process.

    Age and lack of education or vocational training.

    As well as many have not worked because of missionary work or Volenteerism for the majority of their working life so huge credit needs to be given to those that have made that sacrifice for others.

    You should accommodate any persons disabling condition in helping them.

    Wheather you yourself is disabled and making the evaluation or not.

    Because you should not judge another’s disabling conditions in comparison to your own disability.

    Stop looking to cut the 99% of the people’s benifits and look to increase the 1% lack of contributions to society as a whole.

    We are not their slaves. Compassion and human dignity. Do whatever it takes to help them!!

  67. Social Security and Social Security Disability are not entitlement programs. SSI is. When the politicians refer to SS and SSD as entitlement programs, they should be voted out of office. Hopefully Donald Trump will be elected and clean up the crooks who run both systems.

    • You mean to say that “SSDI” (Social Security Disability) is an entitlement program; whereas “SSI” (Supplemental Security Income) is not. (I think you mistakenly reversed the two).
      Technically, adult SSDI is “Title II”; and adult SSI is “Title XVI”.
      However, SSI (“Title XVI”) is a true adult “federal welfare program”.

  68. Although Medicaid is required in every state, it is left up to each state to determine what seervices will and won’t be offered in their Medicaid packages. In Indiana, prior to 2010, there was a $500 yearly cap on dental coverage through Medicaid, not unlike the employer provided health care insurance that I myself have, and pay premiums for. Due to a lawsuit 5 years ago, the ceiling for dental coverage in Indiana has lifted, and adults and children are not limited in the dollar amount paid for by Medicaid. Medicaid in Indiana does not however pay for dentures or partial plates. If you think that Medicaid should be providing more complete medical services, that is an issue to take up with your local State senator or representative, however, most voters are reluctant to allocate more tax dollars to Medicaid services. The original question had to do w/ working and still recieving RSDI and SSI benefits. It seems as if the current system of allowing/encouraging the disabled community to seek paid employment can only be beneficial

  69. There are so many on disability who do not deserve it, you would be astounded! Especially now that Obama told the judges to make it easier, and to put more people on disability. (By doing that, he made his unemployment numbers look better.) What a great president–making it look like he’s putting people back to work, when he is actually only costing those who ARE willing to work more of their hard-earned money. There is the lady who had a parotid (salivary) gland problem 5 years ago. There is a 20-year-old healthy male who had a “seizure” 6 years ago which was determined to be due to “stress”. He takes no medications and has not had a seizure since, but he continues to collect disability. There are countless trolls on disability for anxiety. The abuses go on and on, and it would surprise me if they don’t outnumber those with actual disabilities. The only thing they know how to do is to keep voting the Democratic Party into office, to keep the money flowing to them. The Democrats will apparently never learn that you can’t solve a problem by throwing money at it.

  70. I was born with congenital muscular dystrophy and am wheelchair-bound unable to walk. I also have joint contractures affecting both legs and both arms all four limbs. Limited range of motion along with weak muscles equal unable to work at a substantial gainful activity.

    Although I was approved for disability benefits without the need to appeal or hire an attorney, the approval process still took several months. I’ve heard countless stories of others disability applications taking several years to get approved even with the help of an attorney.

    Despite my permanent disability status I like all other disability recipients must undergo a continuing disability review every three years or so to ensure we are still disabled.

    Receiving disability benefits even for severely permanently disabled is anything but easy and quick.

  71. The sad part of SS disability is once you start receiving it you have it for life even for those who don’t deserve it. SS disability recipients should have to get checked every 6 months just like if they were on regular disability thru a private company. I know 2 SS/SSI auditors and they just laugh about how people take advantage of the system. congress sure wont step in because its always election time no wonder the system is going broke.

    • We appreciate your concern Jack. The Social Security Act sets out a strict definition of disability, and our agency pays benefits to eligible people who can’t work because of a disabling mental or physical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death. Those who qualify based on our strict definition of disability are among the most severely disabled people in the country.
      The Social Security Administration conducts Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR) from time to time to make sure the individuals receiving checks are still eligible to get them. Generally, if medical improvement is possible, we will do a CDR approximately every 3 years. If not, we may review it less frequently.

      • That a lie I was denied twice I have PTSD,MAJOR DEPRESSION,ANXIETY MMD…bulging fractured degenerative disc problems from neck to lower back atrial fibrillation gurd tear in shoulder pancreatitis can’t walk copd,ASTHMA,take 15 meds I was discriminated for being a firefighter at 911 when I been a firefighter since 1988 and saw so many things that cause my mental. Problems now yes 911 was a major factor vivid dream feeling sometimes I’m not worth the life I have and so many more problems .when I see people that get approved that are just fat there is a problem with the system and I agree with the every 6 month rule I’m forgetting problems that I have because I have memory problems I only remember the tragedies in my life …it’s a shame the lawyer I have didn’t feel well that day and she discriminated 911 and me bein on pain meds in her report a comment was I wanted my dr to stop the insulin shots for pain meds lmao why would I say that I said I wanted to stop the insulin because it was hard sticking myself every for the replacement of.metformin which is a.pill form … it’s not fair ….but I guess life isn’t fair!!!

  72. Sad to see that so many people here who would rather see fellow Americans suffer or die than receive benefits, on the grounds that they paid little or nothing into Social Security. I think of all the elderly women like my mother who were full time homemakers (not paying into Social Security), who are able to survive today because of Social Security. Social Security was not intended to serve as a retirement savings account, but actually was established on the basis of “the common good.”

  73. I am already 64 and getting my late husband SS, but, I have breast cancer, Hep C and I also have crappy insurance so, every time I try to go to doctors, I am broke when I leave..I just need alittle more money than I am getting, just to survive..Is it possible for me to get on SSI Disability? How do I do it..Thanks so much..

  74. If you are sincere,
    and really want to improve your service,
    you will personally go uncover and apply for SSI.

    You will stand in line,
    wait on hold, wait six months only to be denied
    figure out how to survive with no money
    be scrutinized and dehumanized.
    And then it will become crystal clear to you
    what needs to be improved.
    I dare you to give it a try.
    It will open your eyes.

  75. I have experienced how ridiculous the rules are for SSI. My family member has developed heart condition (congestive heart failure and Atrial Fib) because of an illness that was undiagnosed. He has been unable to work a full time position for 3 years — due to his health. And, has applied for SSI (because he had worked almost 14 years full time) – He was denied — OK – appeal done. Lawyer hired. Denied again — Appeal done – -Court date set up – (after waiting 2 years) and went for evaluation, — However, the government nurse (in her judgement) decided this was NOT creating disability for this person – and so was denied again!! Instead the nurse decided it was an anxiety problem (although cardiologist disagreed!!)
    and for the patient to be seen by a psychologist! – Now isn’t that a little ridiculous??? So against doctors recommendation, he is supposed to work??? And, when it makes him ill or kills him, who cares?? Certainly not the social security determination staff. However, he paid in to this program all the years working. And, I believe if he just had a drug problem, or an alcohol problem, he would have been approved!! This government process is ridiculous. How about relying on the medical records – the doctors opinion – and the FACTS!!!

  76. There are some people on here who are about to have karma bite them. No empathy at all for people who have to struggle. It could be you with the health problem – so beware.
    I would like to see more help for people who would like to work but cannot work for more than a few hours per day. It would help their morale to be able to do productive work. Also for disabled people who do freelance work – which means that one month they may have money and the next month no money coming in, this needs to be addressed so that they can still do some work.

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