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Old 10-31-2007, 11:46 AM   #61
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The more I read these kinds of thread the more I buy into theories of evolutionary psychology. Protect the tribe against outside threats at any cost. Throw out anyone who might be a freeloader, the risks of keeping him are too high. We needed to be selfish to survive.

China's disabled children are sold into slavery as beggars | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited
Not sure about this evolutionary psychology, but I recall for one of my Ethics/Philosophy classes, way back in the day, that "psychological egoism" was not a highly regarded ethical system. Well, I'm done with this debate.
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:00 PM   #62
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I have a friend who retired about 19 months ago only because she was sick of going to work everyday and because her husband had been retired for 5 years and did nothing at home while she worked and she said she did it all. When she retired she still had lots of debt and her husband when he retired had 80,000. in credit card debt. He paid his off with a withdrawal from his lump sum. Now that she is retired they don't have much money and I believe they are having a lot of trouble keeping their bills paid. He took Social Security at 62 about the time she retired. She is 56. They never saved a dime in their lives, didn't even own a savings account! They each got a couple hundred thousand dollars in a lump sum when they retired.

She tells me today that she has applied for SSD. She says even though she retired she still qualifies! She has had the disease "Fibromyalgia" for about 20 years and says she qualifies even though she is retired. Her company is paying for lawyers to assist her. The companies stake in this is that if she qualifies, they get rid of her in two years to the Medicare system and will only have to pay for her scripts.

She is about as disabled as I am! (NOT!) She walks 5 miles a day and shops incessantly. She sells products from her home for years and delivers them every two weeks. Yes, she has mentioned her fibro over the years but I haven't seen it disable her for more than maybe 4 months. She sees a Dr. no more than once a year unless she gets a cold or needs her meds refilled.

All of a sudden she found out she could do this to milk the system even though the disease is not the reason she retired. When I told her that I did not approve and it was milking the system, she said "I deserve it because I have hurt all my life." Good Lord!

No wonder Social Security is going broke if people like her are able to milk the system like this. What do you intellectuals think? Am I being too harsh on her? BTW, she is being led by friends who did the same thing!
Back to the original query of this thread----yes, that is milking SS. Taking advantage for selfish reasons of the safety net put out there for *real* deserving cases. Thereby putting the viability of the safety net in danger, so as to take away from the truly disabled.
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:22 PM   #63
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If she isn't truly disabled, odds are she will be denied. Even if she is truly disabled, there is a good chance she will be denied on the first go around.
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:53 PM   #64
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If she qualifies under the current rules (without faking/lying/exaggerating!), then no, I don't consider it milking the system. Why not take what you're eligible for? If the definition of 'disabled' is wrong, then that's a problem with the system, not the person (IMO).

OTOH, if she is lying/faking/exaggerating her status, then it's past milking the system - it's outright fraud.
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:22 PM   #65
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She is about as disabled as I am! (NOT!) She walks 5 miles a day and shops incessantly. She sells products from her home for years and delivers them every two weeks. Yes, she has mentioned her fibro over the years but I haven't seen it disable her for more than maybe 4 months. She sees a Dr. no more than once a year unless she gets a cold or needs her meds refilled.

All of a sudden she found out she could do this to milk the system even though the disease is not the reason she retired. When I told her that I did not approve and it was milking the system, she said "I deserve it because I have hurt all my life." Good Lord!
Ya know, I really don't think any of us are in a position to determine whether the "claimant" is faking her pain or the purported disabling aspect of her condition -- so we can't say she's "abusing" the system or doing something not within the spirit of the system. I have plantar fasciatis -- it's very painful to me on occasion, but I can run 4-5 miles/ 4-5 days a week for months and months, then something happens and I have extreme difficulty walking a bit for 2-4 weeks -- the pain to me can be debilitating. So, I'm a bit sympathetic to the claimant -- she in fact might "have hurt all her life." And knowing how the system actually operates, the safety net doesn't really expand a lot, there isn't really a zero sum game feature to it -- in the sense that for every person who gets in, another gets left out -- and the safety net is "underinclusive" -- it keeps more deserving people out than un-derserving people in -- this really isn't an abuse to me at all.

We do know that this post appears to upset a few people, some evidently on philosophical grounds and some evidently because it appears to be almost like cheating. I'm done with debating the former grounds, but I'm puzzled by the notion that what the claimant is doing is tantamount to cheating, in the eyes of others. I just don't see that. If I had to explain my reason for not seeing any "cheating" I see it like the runner in a baseball game who gets called safe when he's really out.

I suspect that the claimant might not get to first base with the Social Security people, but if for some reason she gets around the bases and the umpire calls her safe at home plate and she was really out -- the claimant hasn't cheated the game or the other side. It's just a bad call by the umpire, right? And if I were the other side, I'd be resentful that the call didn't go my way, but eventually I'd get over it and wouldn't blame the runner.
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Old 10-31-2007, 06:48 PM   #66
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I'm done with debating the former grounds, but I'm puzzled by the notion that what the claimant is doing is tantamount to cheating, in the eyes of others. I just don't see that. If I had to explain my reason for not seeing any "cheating" I see it like the runner in a baseball game who gets called safe when he's really out.
So it's just "gaming the system" and that's ok?

It's cheating.
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Old 10-31-2007, 07:04 PM   #67
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RetireeRobert,

My view is that if the claimant believes that they are qualified under the rules of the system, then it's not gaming the system - it's claiming something you're legitimately eligible for.

OTOH, if the claimant belives they're not qualified, but want to try because 'what the heck, they might make a bad call', then it's fraud.

Interesting thought - turn the situation around - what if the claimant could have taken the disability years before but did not because "I don't want to milk the system/I like my j*b/I like the social interaction/I want to earn my way/whatever"
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Old 10-31-2007, 07:31 PM   #68
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The chance of receiving benefits from just Fibromyalgia is slim. She can improve her chances by submitting some other medical diagnosis performed by an orthopedist or a rheumatologist.
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Old 10-31-2007, 07:33 PM   #69
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Masterblaster, why is this tyranny? Our country clearly values some sort of safety net. If not, we wouldn't have one. What is the ugliness in what I am saying?
It's that gal in the mustard colored suit right under you name.

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Old 10-31-2007, 07:50 PM   #70
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So it's just "gaming the system" and that's ok?

It's cheating.
RetireeRobert,

Help me out a bit. When you say "gaming the system," I want to know what you mean. I know exactly what cheating means, so we don't have to grapple with that definition.
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Old 11-07-2007, 02:20 AM   #71
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My back hurts very much at times, but it does not prevent me from making a honest
living nor doing other things such as golf, walking, running, swimming, motorbiking, jetski and traveling on vacations.
Now after reading some of the post here my headaches so I have multiple problems that are painful. Where is the line I want an early withdrawl from the system too!
Is there any real anidote to the boy that cried wolf too often.
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:32 AM   #72
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Stick a fork in this thread. It is done!
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Old 11-07-2007, 10:54 AM   #73
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I read this thread with interest and thanks to all for a lively but civilized discussion. Thanks,especially, to Martha, for expressing so eloquently my own point of view without getting disgusted or giving up. I think it's really important that we learn what the other side of the issue thinks but it's hard when you feel so strongly about it. You have my admiration, Martha!
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