Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) Denounces ‘60 Minutes’ Disability Report

The fallout from a CBS News story that ran on 60 Minutes titled “Disability, USA” continues to mount, as the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) released a statement condemning the report.

“The remarkable aspect of this story is that it completely ignored all the comments from experts in the field in response to the This American Life piece pointing out that fraud is in fact not rampant in the disability program,” the CEPR reported. This American Life, produced by National Public Radio, ran a similarly erroneous piece on disability benefits this spring that many news outlets debunked.

“There were any number of experts who could have been interviewed on this topic to counterbalance the views of a far-right senator who is best known as a denier of global warming (Tom Coburn),” CEPR said. “But [60 Minutes] apparently could not be bothered to present a more balanced picture of the disability program.”

The CBS piece focused heavily on a Huntington, West Virginia attorney, who along with a former Administrative Law Judge, testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee last month about alleged fraud involving a scheme to win cases for clients. The network spoke very little to experts that work directly with people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

The CEPR piece argued that the network should have looked into a University of Michigan study, which reviewed cases of SSDI applicants who were deemed to have marginal cases. “Of this group (which comprised 23 percent of all applicants), 28 percent were working two years later if they were turned down,” CEPR reported. “If we applied this to all disability approvals and assume that almost none of the non-marginal cases (i.e. more severely disabled cases) would be working, it means that less than 7.0 percent of the new applicants would be working two years later if the disability program did not exist.”

The suggestion that people are abusing SSDI is simply incorrect. There are cases of isolated fraud; however, most recipients truly cannot work because of their medical conditions. In Friday’s blog post, we will focus on a recent National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) report that highlights the importance of disability benefits for millions of Americans.

If you have questions about a disability application, do not hesitate to contact our Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers for a free consultation. You may also reach us by phone at (918) 587-0050.

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

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