Ready for a touchy subject? I have been in practice for over two decades and I have seen a lot of patients. My estimate is around 100,000. Over that time I have seen many patients who are disabled and truly need help. That being said, I have seen many more patients who have gamed the system to get on Social Security/Disability in order to get paid. They are either frauds or truly believe that what ails them prevents them from working. I remember seeing a young woman in her twenties on disability for asthma. She was on NO medication and better yet, she smoked two packs a day. I asked her who helped her get on the program (thinking that I would find some local doc who I would shame) but she replied, “My lawyer”. She is just one of many who I have seen that are defrauding the system. Heck, they are defrauding me. I have seen such other reasons as “anger problems”, “dyslexia”, “illiteracy”, “can’t work with people” and on and on. In this light, a great article just came out in Investor’s Business Daily. Please take a read. Below are some highlights to make your day as you rest up this weekend from your hard week of work:
- In 1960, some 455,000 workers were receiving disability payments. In 2011, the number was 8,600,000.
- In 1960, only one-fifth of disability benefits went to those with “mood disorders” and “musculoskeletal” problems. In 2011, nearly half of those on disability voiced such complaints.
- “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.”
- Between 1996 and 2011, the private sector generated 8.8 million new jobs, and 4.1 million people entered the disability rolls.
- Between January 2010 and December 2011, there were 1,730,000 new jobs and 790,000 new people collecting disability.
- In 2011, 15% of disability recipients were in their 30s or early 40s.
- Concludes Eberstadt, “Collecting disability is an increasingly important profession in America these days.”
- The government transfers some $130 billion obtained from taxpayers or borrowed from purchasers of Treasury bonds to disability beneficiaries every year.
Amazing, huh? For shits and giggles, please comment by giving some of your craziest examples of friends, acquaintances, patients or people you know who have faked disability.