Mar 29, 2012

I Think We Have A Ringer!

     From time to time I notice reader posts on this blog that appear to be from ringers -- people pretending to be Social Security employees who aren't. Here's one now:
Figured a claimant's finacial assistance the other day. If she were paying taxes, she would have to make about $20.00 an hour to have what she is currently receiving from all finacial assitance. I can not think of any reason she would ever try to go to work. With her background and abilities she is not worth over $8.00 an hour. An thus the system continues to redistribute the wealth.
      If you are talking about $20 an hour, you're talking about approximately $3,500 per month. There is no way you can get to this number if you are talking about needs based assistance. You cannot get much over $1,000 a month. If you are talking about non-needs based assistance -- Title II benefits -- you could get a bit higher but still you could not get to $3,500 per month. And for that matter, Social Security employees are not in a good position to calculate the value of Medicaid, food stamps and housing assistance. How would a Social Security employee compute this anyway? I say the post quoted above is bogus. Don't believe everything you hear on Fox News. Relying on public benefits is a tough life. It's never the equivalent of $3,500 per month of income.


Anonymous said...

Actually you are incorrect. I used to work for SSA and saw some families on SSI making more than that. Here's how: Multiple disabled children getting almost $ 700 per month each (there is no family max on SSI). I have seen families with 3 or 4 kids on SSI. Plus, if both parents get SSI, they get half of the couples rate, which is somewhere around $ 1200. Throw in food stamps and energy assistance and it can easily top $ 3500.

Anonymous said...

Subsidized housing, subsidized public transportation, subsidized cell phone, subsidized utilities, subsidized state medical insurance, food stamps, $200.00 cash a month from the state, and subsidized child care. There may have been more at the time, but I was amazed.. No ringer, just an employee that has been around for a while..

Nancy Ortiz said...

And, boy, what a grand life it would be to be the parents of three or four disabled children. Just the life of Riley, no doubt about it. I am sure that my experience in SSA was singular and completely atypical. But, in all the cases I reviewed and all the people I talked to, I can't remember even one family like the one "anonymous" claims to have encountered.

Is it true that SSI has no family max? Yes. Is it true that some families have more than one child eligible for SSI child's benefits? Unfortunately, yes. Now, imagine taking care of two disabled children 24 hours a day. I don't think that's an enviable situation for anyone. And, of course, you'd have to compute the hourly value of the SSI on a 24 hour per day basis, since caring for disabled kids is not one of those easy 40 hour a week deals, is it?

There are 720 hours in a 30 day month for one person. That would amount to $14,400 a month at $20 per hour so anonymous's math wasn't based on a 720 hour month. Anyhow, if you divide $3500 by 720 you come out with $4.86 per hour, less than minimum wage. Now,that leaves aside any childcare help one could receive from friends, family or other sources. Also, if there are two parents involved the number of hours would be higher and the hourly rate lower.

So, anonymous wasn't right on the math concerning the value of the care of the children in such cases when judged on a 24 hour clock.

I'd certainly expect the supervisor of such an employee to give close attention to the accuracy of hs/her work products. Yes, less Fox News and more attention to the work at hand would certainly be in order. Nancy Ortiz

Anonymous said...

A household of 5 SSI recipients (which is more common than you might think) would get about $ 3500per month, before even adding in food stamps and utilities. I was an SSI CR for 8 years, then in management for 9 years. While technically it's true that one individual can't get all that, a family certainly can. If the parent is the rep payee for all the disabled kids, however, then all that money comes in the one parent's name. I think you should correct your statements...and I'm not a ringer either.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Ortiz - I wasn't debating the fact that raising multiple children with disabilities isn't challenging or expensive. I was making the point that someone can get $ 3500 per month on public assistance.

Anonymous said...

What is the additional cost of raising a child with ADHD or a speech impairment??? My son has ADHD and I have to pay a co-pay for his meds (as well as pay bi-weekly medical premiums.)

Yes there are children with much more difficult disabilities, but there are not the rule, rather the exception.

SSI is for food, clothing and shelter - last I checked that was the responsibility of the parent to provide. Why are we paying children for the basic needs a parents should be providing?

Nancy Ortiz said...

Anonymous 1:04P--SSI is a needs program. If it costs $3500 a month to raise several disabled children, then the payments received are hardly excessive, are they? The alternative is an entire family on the street with sick kids into the bargain. It's worth it to me to pay such a family so that I can walk down my street without encountering families of beggars. You may think differently. NancyO

Anonymous said...

There are some severely disabled children on SSI, and CRs do feel sympathy for these deserving cases. But too many seem to be of the PTSD/ADHD/OCD variety. And it doesn't even seem to distress the parents; it's become normal for their families to sign the kids up for disability. Then the kids grow up, have kids of their own, and sign them up too. As a woman said to me last week: "My daughter has anxiety so I'm here to sign her up for a check". It's very sad.

Anonymous said...

nice post

Anonymous said...

Yeah, we've got 4 or 5 families in our area with one or both parents and having between 7 to 10 minor kids all receiving SSI. When we do medical reviews on the cases, invariably the kids have no medical sources beyond their primary care LPN who treats their colds and runny noses. Of course, as soon as they get the CDR notices, they go running with the kids to the local mental health facility to get them some therapy and ADHD medications.

I'm sorry, but the parents of these kids are using them as cash cows, and ruining their lives in the process.

Congress should take the cash money out of the system for minor disabled children and use the money to instead provide comprehensive medical insurance coverage for these kids.

David Lillesand said...

Seriously, folks: Not one of us posting here would agree to take a severely disabled child to our home and care for him for the grand total of $698 cash payment per month. Live in public housing? Wow, what an extra! How many guns do I need to defend my family.

How do I know people won't make disabled babies for profit? Look at the adoption rolls. Even with subsidies, people will not adopt disabled kids.

Anonymous said...

Are there kids who are so sick that they require >$700/month in medical bills?? Of course.

We are talking about them.

Most people are outraged about the "ADHD" kids who incur less than $50/month in medical bills, yet are still paid the full $700. It is outrageous. Particularly since most of these kids are attending school fulltime, in regular classrooms and are getting good grades.

Anonymous said...

Just today I made a decision that a mother of three SSI children was no longer suitable to be payee since she was now on her 8th double check negotiation in 3 years. After her first three DCN's in 2009, we annotated the record to verify return of the missing check before releasing a replacement. As soon as that restriction ran out, the DCN's started up again, five since October. I looked at the MSSICS file of each child. 15 different addresses between 2009 and today. A couple of different states (one on the East coast, one one the West Coast) and several different cities. Who knows how many schools she has put these kids in? She doesn't seem to consider stability to be a priority, for whatever reasons. And she thinks she should get money because her 15 year old is failing school. She, of course, had zero recent medical evidence for his recent CDR and he didn't cooperate with the psych CE and actually said there was nothing wrong.

In California, the payment rate for children in 2012 is $761.40 for a take home pay equal to $2284.20 per month. At a 40 hour work week, it is about $14 per hour. Since she almost never takes her kids to doctors, there is no value for the free medical care. Since she did something fraudulent somewhere along the line, she is not in subsidized housing. But since 10/11, she has gotten an extra $3800 or so because of her DCN fraud. It was like an extra check each month, equivelent to a raise of $5 an hour for a full time employee.

Of course, SSA rarely proposes to collect more than 10% of the SSI per month, and if the kids all turn 18 and no longer meet the adult criteria, SSA just bills this mother and she ignores it. But four, five, six years from now, this so-called disabled child who is now a working adult, will be showing up at a Social Security office wondering why SSA grabbed his tax refund and we tell him, your mother did it to you.

I hope I will be able to define these DCN's as misuse so I can move the debt to the mother and we can attach her tax refund or her future benefits.

Not a ringer, a twenty-five year SSI claims rep.

Anonymous said...

Fyi, also not a ringer, it is possible to have a disabled child and still work. The parents don't get SSI just because their child/children are disabled. As the parent of a disabled child, and also a DPS, I know first hand it is possible to work and have a disabled child. These SSI parents are receiving SSI for their children only because they do not work, if you work, it basically disqualifies you from the majority of all assistance, with the exception of state run therapy programs for the first three years. There are plenty of cases out there where children are considered ADHD due to lack of parenting, then the children are medicated to an almost coma state all in the name of making parenting easier and picking up their $674 SSI check per child. The end.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hall, what evidence do you have that the information you find so offensive came from Fox News? You don't say in your original post, just assume that any statement you don't approve of came from Fox.

Nobbins said...

Arg right wingers. You ruin everything!

Thanks Chuck and Nancy for straightening this all out, btw. I also noticed that guy's post from the last article and it smacked of nonsense.