Oct 19, 2011

What Does Disability Look Like To Senator Coburn?

     From the Washington Times:
The California man who lives part of his life as an “adult baby” and collects Social Security disability payments says the federal agency has cleared him of wrongdoing and will continue sending checks.

Stanley Thornton Jr. now wants an apology from Sen. Tom Coburn, the Oklahoma Republican who called for the benefit review because the investigation disrupted the final months of life for his roommate Sandra Dias, who playacted as his mother, spoon-feeding him and helping him into his baby clothes until her death in July.

John Hart, a spokesman for Mr. Coburn, said Tuesday that the senator, who is also a medical doctor, is still puzzled by how “a grown man who is able to design and build adult-sized baby furniture is eligible for disability benefits.”

“Yet, the problem is not with Mr. Thornton, per se, but with the politicians and bureaucrats who have coddled him,” Mr. Hart said. “Disability fraud effectively steals from those who are truly disabled, while weakening the economy for everyone.”

Mr. Thornton said that during the course of the investigation he underwent a three-hour interview with Social Security investigators and an FBI agent over his disability status and whether he received any compensation from his participation in the reality-television episode.
     What does disability look like to Senator Coburn? Absolute incapacitation to do anything? I know nothing about Mr. Thornton's disability claim other than the silliness that appears in the press. Senator Coburn knows no more about this man's capacity to work than I do. I cannot express a reasoned opinion about Thornton's disability claim and neither can Senator Coburn.
     And why was the FBI called in on this?


Anonymous said...

actually Coburn did express a "reasoned opinion." He said that an adult who can build furniture is not disabled.

You may not agree with him, but it makes sense to me.

Victor said...

Why was the FBI called in? Simple cause Repug Sen Coburn wanted them to be there, total waste of tax dollars sending the FBI in if Ya ask Me.

Anonymous said...

I doubt that Senator Coburn had any role in the FBI being involved in the investigation, considering he has no authority to direct the FBI take part in a Social Security fraud investigation. If you read the articles, Coburn contacted SSA recommending a review because he had reason to question whether the individual was actually disabled. How SSA proceeded and who was involved was not up to Coburn.

No Saj said...

I'm torn on this. If you read into this, and see the pictures, you'll see what I mean: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/meet-the-adult-baby-sen-coburn-just-asked-the-govt-to-investigate/

Coburn's insensitive comments aside, I think this is a legitimate concern for SSA. Should SSA encourage this man to get mental health care? Is there a cure for this?

Anonymous said...

I think Coburn and other folks miss the point. Being disabled does not mean that you have no skills nascent or otherwise. It means you DO have a condition that prevents you from working. So, just because you have a skill doesn't mean you are actually able and capable of being employed.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Senator Coburn hire him in his office if that's the kind of person he thinks is employable? Seriously, if I were hiring, that would not be someone I would want working for me.

Anonymous said...

@anon 3:46

The question of disability isn't whether you want someone working for you...it's whether they can physically and mentally perform a job. Believe it or not, those are 2 DIFFERENT things. Many people get them confused, but the ability to work is not the same as the ability to get hired.

Anonymous said...

is his baby-building enterprise and reality show considered SGA yet?