Disability as a Lifestyle Choice

Or rather, collecting disability payments as a lifestyle choice:

“It is exceptionally difficult — for all practical purposes, impossible,” writes Eberstadt, “for a medical professional to disprove a patient’s claim that he or she is suffering from sad feelings or back pain.”

In other words, many people are gaming or defrauding the system. This includes not only disability recipients but health care professionals, lawyers and others who run ads promising to get you disability benefits.

Between 1996 and 2011, the private sector generated 8.8 million new jobs, and 4.1 million people entered the disability rolls.

The ratio of disability cases to new jobs has been even worse during the sluggish recovery from the 2007-09 recession. Between January 2010 and December 2011, there were 1,730,000 new jobs and 790,000 new people collecting disability.

Those people gaming the system are virtually certain never to start working for a living again. They are for all intents wards of the state and will remain so.

This cheats the people who genuinely need the support of disability.

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3 Responses to Disability as a Lifestyle Choice

  1. feeblemind says:


    An account of the final hours of the Bounty before she sank off North Carolina.


  2. feeblemind says:

    This is the problem with the taxpayer funded social safety net. Government is unable to draw the line between the truly needy and those who take advantage because they can. What we have is the result.

  3. Acethepug says:

    Feeblemind, it isn’t just that, it’s a change in language and culture. We’ve gone from charity to welfare to entitlements — moving the benefits from something you get at the generosity of others to something people feel they are OWED.

    Not only is there no social stigma (not that I am endorsing that, but it is a fact that, like divorce, it’s considered normal now) for being on welfare, but there is no personal shame in many cases, either. It used to be (during the Great Depression of the 1930’s) that people were too proud to take handouts, for good or ill. Now we see the complete opposite, that people feel they are owed a certain lifestyle, regardless of effort put in. Again, this isn’t everyone on welfare, but it is a sizable number.

    Personal information. I am horribly overweight (without giving specifics, let us say I exceed the number of pounds Homer needed to achieve to get on disability on ‘The Simpsons’). I could possibly qualify for some kind of disability, and I even joked bitterly about it when Obama won re-election. But I WON’T do that. I have a job (thank God), I am good at said job, and happy to have it. I wouldn’t want to take welfare unless I HAD to.

    Unfortunately, the government disagrees. It seems to WANT more and more people on welfare, going so far as to remove the work requirement Clinton was forced into passing back in the 1990’s.

    So while government cannot discern between the needy and the manipulative, in a better world where people took more pride in themselves AND their country (and their role in it), there wouldn’t be so many that give in to the temptation of going o welfare when they do not absolutely HAVE to.

    Thanks for posting!

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