Jul 30, 2013

The Washington Examiner Has Lots Of Attitude

     The Washington Examiner is running a bizarrely slanted piece on Social Security disability benefits. I think this goes well past the line between journalism and propaganda, starting with calling Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits "unearned" disability benefits. You could call it that but I don't think anyone previously has called it that. I don't know why you would use that term unless you were deliberately trying to be pejorative. 
     The piece are headlines such as "Many say they're on disability simply because they can't find a job or are picky..." followed by a chart saying that 11% of SSI recipients report that  they cannot find a job they want, a result which may have as much to do with the way the question was phrased as anything else. Should you answer this yes or no if you cannot find a job you're capable of performing? Why would you want a job you're not capable of performing?
     If you want to believe that everyone drawing disability benefits is a lazy bum, you'll love this piece. Otherwise, you'll probably find it weird, annoying or just boring.


Anonymous said...

I get SSI and I sure didn't get SSI cause of a lack of jobs, I'm severely disabled and not by My choice either, the amount per month is not easy to live within, but it is doable, if one has no debt and has a nice landlord or own your own house, but then @ $710.00 a month no one who lives on their own will ever get rich, the savings limit of $2,000.00 is too small and should be $10,000.00, if I had that ability I could then legally save up enough for proper a/c for the house which in an estimate I'd gotten once was for $6,000.00 I never got that done since I do not have a credit score and with $710.00 a month I'm unlikely to ever have one, if I wanted to put a down payment on a newer used car than the 14 year old car that I have now I'd only be able to save $2,000.00 max, now there are two other limits that just need outright repeal, the $1500 burial limit(burial plot, headstone and service, this limit is unrealistic and so I can't die according to the SSA) and the $1,500.00 Life Insurance limit(there isn't any such policy in the USA and this limit is unrealistic and so My relatives wouldn't have enough money to bury Me according to the SSA), SSA is advocating a benefit increase of $227.00 a month, but only for those who get Social Security, what about those who get SSI? Are We chopped liver? Parity is what is needed, as that would be justice... Oh and since I live in CA I don't get SNAP benefits at all, no SSI recipient in CA gets SNAP, it would be nice, but then USDA would have to agree and I don't see that happening anytime soon...

Anonymous said...

if you are arguing that calling SSI benefits "unearned" is not right. What's the argument? They are not earned. They are welfare payments that require a finding of "disability".

Anonymous said...

I had a very long diatribe typed out, but I deleted it and will instead only say the following:

Title II is very much like private disability insurance--one pays premiums based on his income (and thus the amount of disability payments he would receive) and receives payments commensurate with those premiums.

Title XVI is a program we have as a country to ensure those of us who cannot work due to disability but who, for whatever reason, didn't manage to get Title II insurability before they became disabled, don't rot in the streets.

I'm a huge welfare state fan, progressive democrat, and I can't even begin to agree with your assertion.

Anonymous said...

I get the notion a lot of about SSI recipients. I don't get the term "unearned." I don't really see how SSDI recipients earn their benefits.

They pay in the program and meet the requirements. SSI recipients have not (presumably enough) paid into the program BUT they must meet the same requirements.

So it is welfare no matter how you get around it for EXTREMELY poor and disabled. SSI really reflects how some U.S. citizens theoretically want to take care of their disabled even if poor.

This article is really a reflection on the whole program and how giving people money in some way dissuades a person from fighting through a disability to find a job. Probably there is a point there.

But if a person MEETS the requirements then they meet the requirements. Even if they are poor.

Anonymous said...

"I don't really see how SSDI recipients earn their benefits." Do liberals not have any brains or intellect left? Working people pay into Social Security for SSDI benefits whether they get them or not. Those that have paid in and become disabled receive the SSDI beneftis they have paid for and thus have earned them. SSDI is not a welfare program, it is a paid for insurance program and the beneficiaries are entitled to SSDI because they have earned them. On the other hand, SSI beneficiaries are living on the taxes paid in by others and are not entitled to anything as it is welfare and they have not earned it.

Anonymous said...

Funny how these mouthpiece news outlets and the readers that eat their dogfood don't dare attack the low income veterans drawing pensions for non service connected disabilities, or just because they are poor to the tune of $3.6 billion dollars per year.


"Of the two benefits, Compensation provides 10 times more total income to all veterans and covers 6 times more beneficiaries than Pension. In 2007, Compensation paid out to 3,116,728 beneficiaries a total of $34,750,690,000 and Pension paid out to 523,824 beneficiaries a total of $3,671,997,000."


Anonymous said...

The day they raise SSI benefits to be more in balance with Social Security is the day I just give up on this country.

Anonymous said...

Many of the folks on SSI have chronic mental health issues that begin in childhood. Their impairments are often at listing level, or their "social functioning" or "concentration, persistence or pace" is so "marked" or "severe," and makes employment impossible under SSR 96-8p, which is why they don't qualify for DIB benefits. They've never been able to hold down a job

Anonymous said...

@ 3:27pm, No I never said anything about earned vs unearned, if you are talking to Me, as that was not what I was talking about, not even close.

@4:18pm SSI is not paid into, SSI is Supplemental Security Income, SSI is not Social Security. Though there are some advocating for SSI to become Social Security B and fixed at about $11,700.00 a year, I doubt that would happen of course.

@4:54pm Some Liberals know what SSI is, but then I have direct experience with it and yes I'm disabled, so I should know.

@2:11am I sure don't have anything that began in childhood, outside of being 5'11" when I was 12yrs old, beyond that, nothing.

Emil said...

Can we then start referring to 'unearned oil subsidies?'

Anonymous said...

Many of those on SSI in my area are former long-term workers who live in where jobs have been outsourced to the point that there have been no jobs open for several years. They've tried odd jobs. Then they get a disease or suffer an accident and it's been over 5 years since they last paid FICA.

Anonymous said...


only in your area. In the neck of the woods my ODAR office services, the overwhelming majority of adult SSI applicants do not have this sterling, long-term history of SGA only five or more years before they became disabled. It should mean something that seeing a CERTERN for an SSI applicant with more lifetime earnings above, say, $50,000 or a string of consecutive years of SGA is a rarity that raises my attention (I look at each applicant's earnings record, so it isn't selection bias).


Sure there are. But this argument doesn't carry much water when you are applying for the first time in your 30s or 40s. SS benefits have been around since pretty much everyone alive in this country were born--and, not being crass, the disability programs are much more widely known about (not necessarily substantively) in the community of the downtrodden and socioeconomically disadvantaged (i.e., if you haven't been applying, I don't believe you've had it your whole life).