Image via WikipediaI have a feeling this post is going to do one of two things: get people angry at the system or get people really hacked off at me. It's kind of a double-edged sword. After yesterday's post on the welfare entitlement crowd, I decided to jump into another group of the same crowd: those who claim disability under false pretenses.
I am not so insensitive that I can't understand what people with disabilities endure. I have watched my two autistic kids struggle with coping in what can be a very cruel world. There are those who are truly disabled, and they deserve all the care and support we as Christians and human beings can give. They aren't the problem.
The problem lies in the people who decide that for whatever reason, they don't want to work, but they know they don't qualify for welfare. So, let's work the system: claim disability and collect Social Security Disability benefits. I don't know which group I find more offensive.
I did a little digging last night in preparation for this post. I found a partial list of qualifying disabilities under Social Security. As you read it, don't be surprised if some of the challenges you face in this life qualify. These are some of the things that I don't think should truly qualify as a disability.
- Loss of speech -- Yes, this could be a secondary symptom of a serious disorder of another class, but come on. Sign language...ever hear of that??
- Asthma -- My daughter has dealt with asthma. There are many great medications out there to deal with an attack and also as a preventative.
- Sleep-related Breathing Disorders -- Do you snore or suffer from sleep apnea? Well, then come on down and get a share of other people's money.
- Persistent and chronic skin lesions -- What exactly is the criteria for a lesion, and how does that affect one's ability to work? If anyone has an answer, please let me know.
- Diabetes -- A growing problem in this society, diabetes CAN be managed. My husband is Type 2 and works 60-80 hours a week. If your diabetes is so far gone that they have amputated body parts, disregard this.
- Anxiety -- I suffer from panic attacks and severe anxiety. I can control these with medication, and blogging has become my therapy. So if you're tense and anxious and have no desire to work, there's a check for you.
- This one really gets me....SUBSTANCE ABUSE -- Since when did not taking repsponsibility for your vices become a disability??? Do you smoke? Get a check. Do you drink? Get a check. Do you enjoy crack and other illegal drugs? Get a check. What a boffo idea! Let's give people money because they have a crack problem! They would NEVER think of buying more crack with it, right?
In years past, the advocates for rights of the handicapped have said that they are "handicapable". Wonderful programs are out there to help people learn to live with whatever crappy hand they have been dealt. What happened to using a "disability" to prove you can conquer it and be a productive member of society? My kids are high-functioning (Thanks to God) and have proven that it is possible to make it through challenges we all face. Yes, autism qualifies as a disability.
The people who make me the most mad are those who tell their kids to go to school and act out to be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. Yep...both disabilities. While my son was doing in-home therapy to learn to communicate and reason, welfare reform had been passed. In Pennsylvania, that meant you got two years of benefits in your lifetime. That's it. I asked the therapist what her thoughts were about the people who have come to expect someone else to give them money every month. All of a sudden, they gotta work. Heaven forbid!!! She told me that having their kids act out to collect disability was the new welfare scheme being perpetrated by the non-workers of the time. Doesn't that just make you sick?
I think it's high time that people start attaching shame to what these people are doing. It takes away from those who truly need disability benefits and jades the rest of us.
Is that Tweedledee and Tweedledum I see coming? Think I better go find the Mad Hatter.