Like most stories that make the news, cases of Social Security mischief only tend to make headlines when they are the most outrageous – the New York City man who dressed up as his deceased mother to collect Social Security checks, the Michigan man who crashed his van into a Social Security disability office, or the New Yorkers who wheeled their deceased friend around in a wheelchair in order to cash his check. If you are unfamiliar with Social Security and disability benefits, you might get the impression from reading the news that the system is rife with these kinds of abuse.
The outlandish behavior in these stories tends to mask the fact that, in reality, these cases involve just a few bad apples. Quite a bit more Americans apply for benefits and use them, lawfully, to get through difficult times. In fact, 60 million Americans receive some sort of Social Security benefits. Nearly 15 million Americans receive disability benefits. The help that these benefits provide the country far outweigh the few cases of fraud that occasionally make the news, and studies last fall confirmed this. For further details on how disability benefits can help you if you suffer a disability, we recommend speaking with a Tulsa OK Social Security disability lawyer.
Cuts to Social Security Pose Biggest Problems to Small Towns
Researchers looked at who benefits the most from Social Security payouts, and they found that most beneficiaries live in rural communities. In rural counties and small towns, nearly one out of every four residents receives some form of Social Security. The benefits are a big help to the people receiving them, as they are typically senior citizens or severely disabled Americans unable to work to support themselves. Additionally, the benefits themselves play a large role in keeping these communities thriving because beneficiaries in small towns spend their money right at home. Without the extra income in these smaller communities, many of them would cease to exist, as businesses would go bankrupt.
No one doubts that some fraud exists amongst disability beneficiaries, but severe cuts or drastic changes would do a lot more harm than good, as the studies showing who benefits the most have demonstrated. Later in the week, we will look into how media accounts of fraud tend to dramatize a situation that can be approached more reasonably.
Are you a Social Security beneficiary or have you received benefits at some point? How helpful were the benefits in getting you through a rough time?
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys