You may recall the bizarre story a few months ago about a California man, 30-year-old Stanley Thorton, whose Social Security Disability benefits case caused a bit of a controversy. Thorton appeared on the National Geographic Channel show Taboo for his life as an “adult baby.” 350-pound Thorton spends part of everyday role playing as a baby, including sleeping in a crib and drinking from a baby bottle.
Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn saw Thorton on TV earlier this year and asked the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) to investigate the man’s eligibility for disability benefits. Thorton received about $860 a month in disability benefits. The SSA recently cleared Thorton and found that his disability was ongoing.
Feeling vindicated, Thorton took to the web, posting his thoughts in lengthy discourses on his blog. He noted that he receives disability benefits not for his life as an adult baby, but for other maladies such as post-traumatic stress disorder, ADHD, spinal problems and depression.
Thorton is demanding an apology from Coburn, but Coburn and his spokespeople are not backing down. Coburn still remains puzzled at how Thorton receives disability benefits, but is able to run a website and design and build baby furniture that fits an adult. Coburn’s spokesman said, “[T]he problem is not with Mr. Thorton, per se, but with politicians and bureaucrats who have coddled him. Disability fraud effectively steals from those who are truly disabled, while weakening the economy for everyone.”
Videos and articles about Thorton are widely available on the web. What do you think about his case? Should Thorton be receiving nearly $10,000 a year in federal benefits for his disabilities?