Another day, another attack on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This seems to be a common theme within the media and among politicians, as debate has intensified over funding concerns.
Last week, outrage sparked nationally after Sen. Rand Paul argued during a dinner about government waste that the majority of people receiving SSDI benefits are taking advantage of the system. Paul said, “[T]here’s always somebody who’s deserving” of entitlement programs, “But everybody in this room knows somebody who’s gaming the system.”
“What I tell people is, if you look like me and you hop out of your truck, you shouldn’t be getting a disability check. Over half of the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts — join the club,” Paul said, according to CNN.
He then reportedly tried to backtrack and said there are people who are legitimately disabled collecting benefits.
Democratic leaders quickly lashed out, acknowledging that there are cases of fraud, while saying Paul’s estimation that half of the people collecting SSDI are not disabled is a “detachment from reality.”
It should be noted that CNN reported that a 2013 Social Security Administration report showed that 59 percent of disability applications are actually denied.
As we have reported, attacks on people who collect SSDI are often debunked, as most statistics indicate that fraud is actually very rare. In fact, the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities recently reported that fraud constitutes less than 1 percent of SSDI paid benefits.
Additionally, as CNN reported, the SSDI application and appeals process are very complex. To collect benefits, a person must have accumulated work credits, so he or she must have a work history and paid into the system. He or she must also prove that his or her disability could last for longer than a year or result in death.
Am I Eligible for Social Security Benefits?
For more information about the disability process, you can visit our Social Security FAQ page.
Over the upcoming months, you will probably see many unfounded attacks on Social Security, as politicians are debating funding issues. Many of these attacks are mere smokescreens or an attempt to persuade public opinion, as many politicians are attempting to avoid voting on or passing legislation that would help constituents.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers