I don’t usually get into the middle of many political arguments, but reading this article made me angry – which can be difficult to do. I agree with Mr. Paul that the Social Security Administration needs to do a better job of removing disability recipients who are no longer disabled from the disability rolls. The Social Security Administration needs Congress to give them the money to do this – which has not been done.
However, I question how Mr. Paul knows that “fraud is a widespread problem.” Does he meet with these people on a daily basis like I do? Are some recipients “gaming the system”? I’m sure there are some. I’ve even met a few. Those are the people I don’t represent.
I strongly disagree with his inference that you can get disability benefits for mere back pain and anxiety. Unless you can prove there is a reason for the back pain (herniated disc, severe arthritis, etc.), you won’t get disability for a mere hurt back. Likewise, it can be difficult to get disability benefits due to having anxiety.
It’s unsupported and divisive statements like Rand Paul’s that cause delays in truly disabled people receiving benefits.
If you need an attorney who knows the requirements for being approved for Social Security Disability benefits please give me a call or contact me through this website.
Paul: Some game system to get undeserved disability payments
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Republican Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday that some people “game the system” to receive disability payments they don’t deserve and later criticized the federal government for not doing an adequate job policing a system he says needs reform.
During a meeting with Republican state lawmakers, Paul said fraud is a widespread problem in disability programs that help people who are injured at work. He joked that “half the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts.”
“Join the club,” Paul said. “Everybody over 40 has a back pain.”
The Kentucky Republican added: “We all know people who are horrifically disabled and can’t work, but if you have able-bodied people taking the money, there’s not going to be anything left for people who are truly disabled.”
The Democratic National Committee seized on the comments, calling them offensive. Alex Lawson, the executive director of the advocacy group Social Security Works, said the U.S. has among the strictest standards for assessing disability claims in the work and accused Paul of trying to creating a “false crisis.”
“One in 5 men and nearly 1 in 6 women die within five years of being approved for benefits,” Lawson said in a statement. “Sen. Paul should be ashamed of himself for attacking Americans living with disabilities, many of whom are veterans.”
In an interview with The Associated Press, Paul dismissed the criticism.
“They’re arguing for fraud,” he said. “I’m arguing for eliminating fraud.”
Paul’s initial comments followed a question from a state lawmaker about how states could wrest control of government from Washington. The senator said states are better prepared to administer a number of federal programs, including Medicaid, and then turned to disability programs.
It wasn’t clear what disability program Paul was referring to. About 11 million people in the U.S. receive disability benefits via Social Security, including 9 million disabled workers and nearly 2 million children of disabled workers. Monthly benefits for disabled workers average $1,146.
Paul’s trip to New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary, came as he continues to take steps toward a White House campaign. While he often takes unscripted questions from his audiences, Paul said the intense scrutiny on his comments won’t change how he interacts with voters.
“I didn’t think what I said was controversial, that we should eliminate fraud from a disability program,” he said. “Overall that’s a judgment voters make. Do they want someone who is frank and genuine, or someone who is guarded?”
Associated Press writer Stephen Ohlemacher in Washington contributed to this report.