There are firm believers in our Country that it is wrong for others to have any sort of reliance or help from the government. Whether it is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or any program that helps others through tax dollars, they still believe we are enabling people to be dependent on the government. You will even hear some of the more hysterical and hyperbolic commentators even refer to government assistance as “tyranny.” This is simply ludicrous.
Real tyranny is something like when you hear about Americans who have had to bribe their way out of third world airports for no reason, so we know real government tyranny when we see it. So a program that helps the injured, disabled and elderly when they have no other means or deserve government help is hardly “tyranny.”
Many of the naysayers are also mistaken when they believe we are somehow taking from those who are working hard and giving to those who won’t. If this idea could be summed up in three words, they would be “Why should I?”
“Why should I have to give my hard-earned tax dollars over to someone who won’t work? I work 50 hours a week when I have to. Why can’t they?”
This is a fundamental misunderstanding of what Social Security Disability Insurance is. It is not for people who won’t work; it is for people who CAN’T work. And the use of Social Security Disability Insurance doesn’t “take away” from anybody. Most of us contribute to the Social Security Disability Insurance fund when we work and pay into the system, which happens when Social Security is taken out of your paycheck. So when people become disabled and are no longer able to work, taking part in the SSDI program is not charity. Those who qualify for SSDI benefits have paid into it at least five out of the last ten years. Assuming that someone collecting SSDI is “taking away” from you is like assuming that someone who has a policy with the same insurance company is “taking away” from your health care if he breaks his leg.
And with regards to the “why can’t they work” question, the answer is that they medically cannot. People who apply for and collect SSDI benefits have been seriously injured in car accidents, have been hurt on the job, or they are suffering with an illness that makes work impossible. Would it be more about “freedom and liberty” if these folks had no recourse at all? Should we just let them be thrown out in the street? Of course we shouldn’t. This is why the Social Security Disability Insurance program exists.
There is also an inference that SSDI is something that you can just sign up for at the local CVS. Nothing can be further from the truth. Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance is an intense process that involves a legal hearing, thorough medical documentation, and testimony from medical or vocational experts. A disability applicant typically has a two year wait, a hearing, and several medical evaluations before they are able to qualify. So the idea that SSDI enrollment is a simple thing to go through is at best laughable.
Greenberg & Bederman does not buy into the urban myths about SSDI benefits, nor do we buy into the idea that everybody who needs it is somehow “lazy” or a “moocher.” Disabilities affect people of all races, religions, socioeconomic backgrounds, and genders. We help our clients get the benefits they need and deserve regardless of who they are. If you are disabled and can’t work, we are on your side.