Jun 7, 2013

Criticism For "Unfit For Work"

     Trudy Lieberman, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review, takes a belated look at NPR's "Unfit For Work" series and finds it lacking. Lieberman primarily criticizes "Unfit For Work" for suggesting that it's easy to get on Social Security disability benefits. Lieberman writes in conclusion that "Unfit For Work":
... did a disservice to an important safety net crucial to the survival of some of the sickest people around. It could have been a useful service had it explained what disability benefits are — social insurance, not welfare. And that the Social Security program has encountered funding shortfalls 11 times before, and these were always fixed by reallocating payroll tax revenues among the trust funds to account for demographic shifts. As the eight former Social Security commissioners put it in their letter, Social Security actuaries predicted similar action would be needed in 2016, and “they were right on target.”


Anonymous said...

And around we go. Does any of this matter? Does anyone think much is going to change? What would happen if someone wrote a piece stating how good and positive the disability programs are? Would you take opposition to that article seriously?

There is no doubt that the need for some sort of safety net is real. We have to have something in place. But the reality is that the programs in place now are run poorly. The agency cannot keep up with the demand and mistakes are being made at alarming rates, I see them daily. Reform is needed period. Some people will be disadvantaged by the measures that need to be taken, that's just reality. The problem is no one wants to step up and propose the kinds of real changes that will be for the greater good in the long run.

Anonymous said...

{rant on}
It's easy?


If getting SSI were so damned easy, then why are there not more than about 8.1 million seniors and disabled people getting SSI???

It took Me from 1998 to 2003 to get SSI and to get the evidence that I needed, some might say people Doctor shop, I sure didn't, Doctors can be expensive and they shouldn't be, they aren't elsewhere in the world, I just had to go to the Doctor more often, I knew I was in bad shape, in 2002 I had a bad accident that has left Me crippled almost, mainly cause of the surgery that a for profit hospital did on Me and the lack of rehab afterwards, now I get SSI, today I have to go to the Doctor again, I'm having pains in My left hip joint, strange as that wasn't a problem in 2002, though the problem was nearby. If I'd played the powerball lottery, and won I'd have gladly given up on SSI, since they give one a pittance and then hem one in with antique rules, like not being able to save up more than $2,000(max since 1989) or being able to be buried or life insurance, both are limited to $1,500(since 1972), whoever heard of a $1,500 life insurance policy? It doesn't exist anymore and being buried costs more than $3,000 today, then there's the $20 exclusionary rule or whatever it's called, totally antique, I know SSA has to work within the limits congress, one reform died in a house committee cause Repubs didn't like it, the $2,000 would have become $10,000, plus indexed to inflation as it should be and the $1,500 twins would have been abolished as unreasonable limits that don't work, as does the $2,000 limit on savings, if I needed to replace a 14 year old car with $10,000 I could replace it or at least have a decent down payment, or even have a down payment on a house and a mortgage, with $2,000 people on SSI are limited to small purchases and even smaller loans.
{/rant off}

Anonymous said...

As well they should be limited, they did not pay into the system. SSI just enough to keep people off the streets, not a "comfortable" lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

"If getting SSI were so damned easy, then why are there not more than about 8.1 million seniors and disabled people getting SSI???"