Media Matters Debunks NPR Disability Benefits Story

Earlier this month, we discussed an NPR piece entitled “Unfit for Work: The Startling Rise of Disability in America” that focused on Americans receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Media Matters, a non-profit organization dedicated to analyzing the media, recently had an excellent piece debunking numerous aspects of the NPR report.

Media Matters’ story, entitled “This American Life Features Error-Riddled Story on Disability and Children,” broke down the NPR report into segments. Among the errors, Media Matters said that NPR erroneously reported there has been an increase in people using children to apply for SSI benefits because “a disability can be anything that prevents you from progressing in school”.

According to Media Matters, this is incorrect because a “qualified medical professional must submit evidence” that a child is disabled. To view the Media Matters report, you can click here.

The NPR piece portrays people collecting benefits as lazy and unmotivated. In our blog post, we discussed how the NPR left out some key pieces of information about SSDI, which could have changed the way a person reading or listening to the story viewed it.

Because of our current political environment, you may hear politicians talking about how disability benefits are “bankrupting” our country. Erroneous reports like the NPR piece further this notion that is simply untrue. SSDI benefits are paid for through the Social Security Trust Fund, which does not affect the nation’s deficit.

SSDI is not an entitlement program. People who collect SSDI benefits have paid into the system through taxes and have earned work credits.

Do not take chances if you are applying for disability benefits, as the process can be confusing. If you have questions about an application for disability benefits, do not hesitate to contact our Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers for a free evaluation of your case. You may also reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys


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