My Two Cents: Social Security Legislation

How old are you?

The Critics of the Social Security Disability System do not know what it means to be truly poor. It has never occurred to them that one day they too could be hit by a bus, get stabbed at McDonalds by a crazy person or fall down the stairs. They do not understand that in the blink of an eye one's whole life can be gone. One day, a person is out there, working, being a good solid citizen; the next day, he's flat on his back with pinched nerves, or out-of-control diabetes, or cancer, or a heart attack. Twelve months after that, the person has tried everything he can to go back to work. Six months after that, the person has sold everything that can be sold and is looking at losing his home and hoping that "the System" will give them $1100 per month from taxes they have already paid. ($1100 is the national average benefit these days.)

Critics just don't realize that all of those people would rather be working. They need the self-satisfaction that comes from supporting one's self and one's family. More than that, they need a whole lot more than $1100 p/mo to pay their bills.

No one wants to be disabled. They don't sit in Jr. High School, ponder their future and decide: Ok, after I've worked for 20 years making a nice living, then I'm going to chuck it in and live on $1,100 per month. Think about all of the 50+ year old miners, steel workers, auto-workers etc. with heavy dangerous jobs. They get hurt and there's no way they can do that kind of work. There is no way they can compete with younger workers. These are proud people who have defined themselves by their ability to provide for themselves, their families and communities.

They want to work. But they can't. And, they hate it that they can't. They hate having to tell their friends and family that they are "disabled." They certainly don't want to admit it outloud and ask for "a hand out." (Social Security isnh't a "hand out." It's not "charity." It's benefits from disability insurance (just like Aflack or MetLife) you've paid for.

So, to all the Critics out there - particularly those in Congress - who think that all Social Security claimants are slackers who are trying to scam the system because they are too lazy to work - I say: Try it. Spend 48 hours with any of my clients (assuming my clients would have them). Then, and only then, tell me this program isn't necessary.

I personally hate politics. I pay attention but I don't get involved. Seriously, why bother? However, this time it's too important to just watch. If you are like me, and you have strong feelings about Social Security Disability, let your Congressman/Senator know.

Even if you think the program is a bad idea (and, by the way, why are you reading this?). Let them know. It is the only way that people who need the program now, or realize they are inches away from disaster at all times, can make sure they don't vote it out of existence. I know, you're disabled. I know you don't feel well. You hardly have the energy to read about Social Security on the internet. But, if you don't speak out, the people who decide whether this program stands or falls will be the people who do not believe it could ever happen to them. Go to find the email address of your Congressman.

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