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Thread: What happens when the U.S. disability fund runs dry?

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    What happens when the U.S. disability fund runs dry?

    I watched this tonight, it pretty much backs up what I have posted here and at other boards. The system is over-run with fraud. The statute reads "if you can work any job, you are not qualified for disability". It is sad what society has become.

    This week, Steve Kroft reported on the U.S. disability fund, which is on track to become the first government entitlement program to run out of cash.

    Kroft and his team, 60 Minutes producers James Jacoby and Michael Karzis, found that the disability program has become a "secret welfare system."


    "A lot of it is just people gaming the system," says Kroft. "If you're 50 years old and you've got a bad back, what are you going to do? Are you going to try and take a minimum wage job with no health insurance? Or are you going to try and get on disability?"


    When it began back in the 50s, the disability fund was a small program, intended only for people who were unable to work because of illness or injury. Today, the 60 Minutes team reported, the disability fund serves nearly 12 million people, up 20 percent in the last six years alone. But perhaps the most surprising figure in Kroft's story is the overall size of the program: it has a budget of $135 billion -- more than the government spent last year on the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, and the Labor Department combined.


    Why the sudden surge in disabled people in this country? Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who is leading a Senate investigation of the disability program, says millions of people are gaming the system:

    What happens when the U.S. disability fund runs dry? - 60 Minutes Overtime - CBS News

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    Re: What happens when the U.S. disability fund runs dry?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
    I watched this tonight, it pretty much backs up what I have posted here and at other boards. The system is over-run with fraud. The statute reads "if you can work any job, you are not qualified for disability". It is sad what society has become.

    This week, Steve Kroft reported on the U.S. disability fund, which is on track to become the first government entitlement program to run out of cash.

    Kroft and his team, 60 Minutes producers James Jacoby and Michael Karzis, found that the disability program has become a "secret welfare system."


    "A lot of it is just people gaming the system," says Kroft. "If you're 50 years old and you've got a bad back, what are you going to do? Are you going to try and take a minimum wage job with no health insurance? Or are you going to try and get on disability?"


    When it began back in the 50s, the disability fund was a small program, intended only for people who were unable to work because of illness or injury. Today, the 60 Minutes team reported, the disability fund serves nearly 12 million people, up 20 percent in the last six years alone. But perhaps the most surprising figure in Kroft's story is the overall size of the program: it has a budget of $135 billion -- more than the government spent last year on the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, and the Labor Department combined.


    Why the sudden surge in disabled people in this country? Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who is leading a Senate investigation of the disability program, says millions of people are gaming the system:

    What happens when the U.S. disability fund runs dry? - 60 Minutes Overtime - CBS News
    It's a shame that well intended programs like this one are hijacked in this way. I think the problem is in execution and oversight though. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    "Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers" - Voltaire
    "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self" -Hemingway

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    Re: What happens when the U.S. disability fund runs dry?

    Quote Originally Posted by opendebate View Post
    It's a shame that well intended programs like this one are hijacked in this way. I think the problem is in execution and oversight though. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    One of those interviewed stated Fibromyalgia was a good example. There is no way to prove you actually have it or that you don't. I think if you followed the one statute that if you can do any job, you can't be disabled it would be fairly easy to manage.

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    Re: What happens when the U.S. disability fund runs dry?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
    One of those interviewed stated Fibromyalgia was a good example. There is no way to prove you actually have it or that you don't. I think if you followed the one statute that if you can do any job, you can't be disabled it would be fairly easy to manage.
    So, am I clearly understanding where we are here?( that we agree on the basic premise that these programs are a good idea but we need to find a better way to discourage fraud or make it more difficult to defraud) If so, fibro is a weird one. I completely understand your point however, womens healthcare is much more complicated then men's. We often get this kind of blanket or catch-all diagnosis when doctors can't figure out what is wrong but a women is really suffering from symptoms. I have had numerous docs tell me they thought I had fibro and I basically told them to **** off because I get what it is. I get muscle aches and pain that are debilitating but it comes in waves. i can go months and have nothing then weeks and I am miserable. I just struggle through it and keep going and have for years. But....if it was constant I really wouldn't be able to reliably execute my work. I am a workaholic so this is a very difficult truth for me to accept but it is what it is. So, I would suggest something other than targeting illnesses that have sketchy or loose/difficult diagnoses. Also, I am curious about the fraud. That in and of itself would probably be a difficult thing to track or isolate. What if we found that there was a tiny percentage say 2% that could work and didn't. If keeping them from getting away with fraud also kept say 50% of applicants from getting assistance they deserved would it be worth it?
    "Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers" - Voltaire
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    Re: What happens when the U.S. disability fund runs dry?

    Quote Originally Posted by opendebate View Post
    So, am I clearly understanding where we are here?( that we agree on the basic premise that these programs are a good idea but we need to find a better way to discourage fraud or make it more difficult to defraud) If so, fibro is a weird one. I completely understand your point however, womens healthcare is much more complicated then men's. We often get this kind of blanket or catch-all diagnosis when doctors can't figure out what is wrong but a women is really suffering from symptoms. I have had numerous docs tell me they thought I had fibro and I basically told them to **** off because I get what it is. I get muscle aches and pain that are debilitating but it comes in waves. i can go months and have nothing then weeks and I am miserable. I just struggle through it and keep going and have for years. But....if it was constant I really wouldn't be able to reliably execute my work. I am a workaholic so this is a very difficult truth for me to accept but it is what it is. So, I would suggest something other than targeting illnesses that have sketchy or loose/difficult diagnoses. Also, I am curious about the fraud. That in and of itself would probably be a difficult thing to track or isolate. What if we found that there was a tiny percentage say 2% that could work and didn't. If keeping them from getting away with fraud also kept say 50% of applicants from getting assistance they deserved would it be worth it?
    You should try to watch the news piece, there was a lawyer operating in Eastern Ky that is getting 100% of his clients on disability. I did not know until tonight, but if you hire a lawyer for an appeal and win, the government has to cover those fees. It is a racket that needs to be stopped.

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    Re: What happens when the U.S. disability fund runs dry?

    Quote Originally Posted by opendebate View Post
    It's a shame that well intended programs like this one are hijacked in this way. I think the problem is in execution and oversight though. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    Weird, your statement was essentially what Sen. Tom Coburn said in the interview...
    "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure" - 2006 Senator Obama...leadership failure indeed!

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    Re: What happens when the U.S. disability fund runs dry?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
    You should try to watch the news piece, there was a lawyer operating in Eastern Ky that is getting 100% of his clients on disability. I did not know until tonight, but if you hire a lawyer for an appeal and win, the government has to cover those fees. It is a racket that needs to be stopped.
    Yeah, like the taxpayers spent $1b last year on these legal fees (if I heard it right)...
    "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure" - 2006 Senator Obama...leadership failure indeed!

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    Re: What happens when the U.S. disability fund runs dry?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
    You should try to watch the news piece, there was a lawyer operating in Eastern Ky that is getting 100% of his clients on disability. I did not know until tonight, but if you hire a lawyer for an appeal and win, the government has to cover those fees. It is a racket that needs to be stopped.
    Whoa, I did not know about that. I would hope that this would make the system better. They would try to avoid getting into that tangle by improving the approval/denial process. That's interesting. I will definitely check that out. Thanks.
    "Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers" - Voltaire
    "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self" -Hemingway

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    Re: What happens when the U.S. disability fund runs dry?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dickieboy View Post
    Yeah, like the taxpayers spent $1b last year on these legal fees (if I heard it right)...
    I guess the lawyers liked it.

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    Re: What happens when the U.S. disability fund runs dry?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dickieboy View Post
    Weird, your statement was essentially what Sen. Tom Coburn said in the interview...
    Hmm.. Smart man.
    "Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers" - Voltaire
    "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self" -Hemingway

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