Millions In US Filing For Disability To Get Food, Medicine
By KEN LAYNE
Social Security is in “trouble” because wealthy people aren’t required by the government to actually pay their share into the national program, and also because Congress has been “borrowing” billions of dollars that working people have paid into the program so that they might not have to starve or die of common illnesses once they’re chewed up and spit out by the capitalist system. But there’s another part of Social Security that’s running out of money even faster than the old age pensions, because a record number of discarded workers are now claiming disability payments and Supplemental Security Income — 3.3 million unwanted laborers will file for the last-ditch payments this year alone, and nearly 14 million currently receive the monthly stipends and early Medicare coverage. The money isn’t much, and is based on either your actual paycheck contributions or limited to an average $500 a month for SSI, but it’s “better” than the American alternative, which is pretending to rob a bank so you can get food and medical care in prison.
To get disability or SSI, the applicants must go through a lengthy process of ritualized refusals and humiliation: Two-thirds of applicants are turned down, and many legitimately disabled workers are forced to go through two years of appeals and hire vulture law firms to finally get the paltry benefits. But the focus of the federal government is always on “cracking down” on people who aren’t really horrifically disabled enough to get a government check, because it’s certainly not enough to simply be an unwanted factory worker in her fifties who entertains fancy dreams of not being homeless after her extended unemployment benefits run out after her fourth layoff. Morally, it’s always better to catch the miscreant buying forties with his SSI rather than, say, the biggest corporations in the world not paying a nickel in taxes.
The Associated Press reports from Washington: