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Old 09-07-2010, 07:04 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
Is that because social workers are supposed to enable this sort of thing?

It is only possible to think that this action is unusual if you have not had much contact with this group of people. Who knows how common or uncommon it is, but it is not rare.

Ha


In case you missed what was offensive about the post, here are two examples. One is the implication that welfare recipients should feel shame. Another is the poster's reference to welfare recipients often grifting onto another program, usually grifting on to SSI. As per Merriam-Webster:


Definition of GRIFT

transitive verb
: to obtain (money) illicitly (as in a confidence game)

intransitive verb
: to acquire money or property illicitly

grift noun
grift·er noun


If his girlfriend feels that way I am glad she is not my niece's or my brother's social worker.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:17 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Martha View Post
In case you missed what was offensive about the post, here are two examples. One is the implication that welfare recipients should feel shame. Another is the poster's reference to welfare recipients often grifting onto another program, usually grifting on to SSI. As per Merriam-Webster:


Definition of GRIFT

transitive verb
: to obtain (money) illicitly (as in a confidence game)

intransitive verb
: to acquire money or property illicitly

grift noun
grift·er noun

Martha, I so appreciate you help with definitions.

As a practical matter, the welfare state around the world is in retreat and will continue to be for a long time, because the world has run short of resources

Only benefits for the poor and the middle class will be cut, not welfare for the rich, since the rich will continue to get their very generous welfare since they can toke the politicians (of all parties) handsomely.

Ha
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:58 PM   #43
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My sister is a social worker who deals primarily with mentally ill substance abusers who have run afoul of the justice system (in most cases due to their efforts to self mediate, I suspect). She has been doing this for a number of years and frankly I am amzed that she is not more numb/hardened/indifferent to the plight of the individuals she deals with. But I would not be shocked if there were a lot of people out there working in these jobs who did become pretty cynical after a while. Hard not to simply as a protective mechanism.
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:41 AM   #44
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Wow! Didn't think I would offend or insult anyone anyone on this board with my post. It was perhaps a trenchantly worded post, I admit. And perhaps politically incorrect. But the truth is the truth. Lots of people game the Welfare / Disability system, with its many programs, for financial gain and to avoid working. Those of us who do not come into personal contact with this reality may choose to pretend it is not there.
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:50 AM   #45
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Hello John - please could you kindly explain why your girlfriend - who is a social worker per your own post - feels that way towards "welfare folks" ? Thank you.
It's not a feeling, obgyn65, it's an observation on her part, that her clients, when taken off Welfare, simply apply for another sort of benefit, so that they can continue in their current lifestyles.
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:03 PM   #46
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Wow! Didn't think I would offend or insult anyone anyone on this board with my post. It was perhaps a trenchantly worded post, I admit.

Actually, I was confused as to what people were getting insulted about on the post. I looked at it as not insulting, necessarily, but one of those ugly truths that nobody wants to talk about.

But then I've known (and am related to) a few people who have used the system to their advantage, so maybe that's why I've become desensitized to it. I realize not everybody who's on welfare is a scam artist, but there are enough people to milk the system that it perpetuates the stereotype. The majority of people who are on welfare probably truly ARE needy. Just as the majority of politicians probably truly ARE honest. Wait, bad analogy. ;-)
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:00 PM   #47
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Actually, I was confused as to what people were getting insulted about on the post. I looked at it as not insulting, necessarily, but one of those ugly truths that nobody wants to talk about.
+1

Some welfare recipients are in desparate need, through no fault of their own.

Others deliberately game the system, and should indeed be ashamed of themselves.

The percentage falling into each category is pretty much impossible to gauge with any reliable accuracy ... and likely varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:34 PM   #48
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Martha, I so appreciate you help with definitions.

As a practical matter, the welfare state around the world is in retreat and will continue to be for a long time, because the world has run short of resources

Only benefits for the poor and the middle class will be cut, not welfare for the rich, since the rich will continue to get their very generous welfare since they can toke the politicians (of all parties) handsomely.

Ha
Sorry, I came off as insulting to you as I know you know what grift means.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:56 PM   #49
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Sorry, I came off as insulting to you as I know you know what grift means.
Everything is cool Martha, I am not insulted.

Ha
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:45 PM   #50
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I've known many, first hand, who have scammed the system for years. No anecdotes here.

However, unless we as a society are ready to implement mandatory sterilization and/or removal of children from their parents, it will mostly be children who will suffer when we crack down on the scammers...
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:04 PM   #51
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You also get Medicare when you're on Social Security Disability. I overheard someone the other day talking about going to "get [their] Disability payments turned back on."
There is a two year waiting period after you are on SSD before Medicare is available. The exception to this rule is if you have been awarded SSD for renal failure, your waiting period is two months. There is no health benefits (currently) for the 24 month waiting period.

What you may have heard is that SSD benefits are "turned off" if you do work and make beyond a certain amount of money. This is common for a lot of folks on SSD but do not spend their life "sitting on the couch" all day.

My own disabled son, drawing SSD does work in a sheltered workshop. His pay is often based upon piece-rate and due to his disability operates at a high prloduction level than most of the folks. We have to constantly monitor his pay (on which he pays income, SS, and all other taxes BTW) to ensure he does not exceed around $240/week - gross.

While he does get Medicare, he also pays the part B (SSD deduction, just like normal SS) along with preimums for a medigap policy.

Being poor or low income due to conditions beyond your control is something that I believe most on this board would not consider a "lifestyle" that they would want. Even though my son does not live with us (shares an apartment with another disabled person), he has the same expenses as most folks, including paying for his food, car, insurance, etc. Life is not a "freebe".

For that person that was getting their "benefits turned back on" were probably making more than the SSD limits and did not get any benefits while they were gainfully employed. There is no "double dipping" in the program (I know).

One last thing. Don't confuse SSD with SSI. SSD is "earned" as part of your SS contributions over the years. SSI (and any welfare benefits) are granted to those who did not work (for various reasons). Those on SSI get Medicaid, not Medicare.

There are comments of both "systems" on this thread; just to show the difference.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:39 PM   #52
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However, unless we as a society are ready to implement mandatory sterilization and/or removal of children from their parents, it will mostly be children who will suffer when we crack down on the scammers...
It is odd that training, examinations and/or documented experience is required for such relatively mundane activities as driving a car, owning a firearm, selling insurance, etc. etc. ... but absolutely no qualifications are imposed before one procreates and raises a child.

The above is even more strange when one considers the extensive background checks that are required of prospective adoptive parents, foster parents, daycare providers, and cub scout leaders.

Why does society presume that a 'natural' parent is prima facie a good caregiver?
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:33 PM   #53
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It is odd that training, examinations and/or documented experience is required for such relatively mundane activities as driving a car, owning a firearm, selling insurance, etc. etc. ... but absolutely no qualifications are imposed before one procreates and raises a child.

The above is even more strange when one considers the extensive background checks that are required of prospective adoptive parents, foster parents, daycare providers, and cub scout leaders.

Why does society presume that a 'natural' parent is prima facie a good caregiver?
The right to procreate is protected in the Constitution at one of the highest levels of all rights. Regardless of whether it is correct, any changes to this would be a steep uphill battle. The other things you mentioned are lesser protected rights (firearms) or privileges that can be removed by the government without much limitation.

The Constitution certainly makes the presumption that a natural parent is better. As a parent to young children, I admit to a certain primal (and likely unreasonable) fear that if this right is diluted at all the government might be able to take my children away from me in unjustified circumstances.
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:35 PM   #54
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As a parent to young children, I admit to a certain primal (and likely unreasonable) fear that if this right is diluted at all the government might be able to take my children away from me in unjustified circumstances.
A completely reasonable fear, IMO. Whatever the government does, it overdoes and does stupidly.

Ha
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:52 PM   #55
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I agree that many people shouldn't have kids. Including middle class and rich people, who have an easier time than the poor in hiding their dysfunctions. Unless you are Brittany Spears. But we won't go there even if sometimes we should. We are not going to go about doing licensing and home inspections for everyone. Some slopes are too slippery.

On the disability issue . . . .

I used to work on disability appeals back when I was in law school. A friend of mine is a disability appeal lawyer. People who are entitled to benefits get turned down all the time. He works full time on disability appeals in a city of 80,000 and it isn't like he is the only one doing that work. He is paid only if he wins so he only takes on the cases he is pretty comfortable that he can win. Currently there a one to two year wait to get a hearing, depending on your part of the country. IIRC about 70% of applications for disability (SSD and SSI) get turned down. But if you appeal you have more than a 50% chance of success. Your success rate is even higher if you have an attorney help, who can make sure all required records get into evidence. The appeal success rate is too high and means too many are being turned down and suffering as a result. Many who should appeal don't because they lack the competence to see it through and don't have support like family to help them see it through.

One problem is that people are either completely disabled under social security definitions, which are really tough, or not legally disabled and entitled to no disability assistance. Because of these disability standards we have a group of people that have mental and physical health issues, learning issues and other issues who cannot get assistance, but have to figure out how to get along. And they are not necessarily good at figuring things out. They have trouble finding jobs and trouble keeping jobs. Maybe they could work part time. Maybe they can work sometimes but not other times, depending on their mental health.

If they have kids they might get cash assistance temporarily under TANIF, but those benefits are limited and do have significant strings. You can't just sit on your ass and not look for work. What exactly are the conditions depends on the state. No good statistics have been kept on the results of TANIF/welfare reform. Success is defined by having people leave the rolls. But there isn't good follow up with people who were kicked off to see how they are doing. Most evidence suggests that they live in poverty, often worse off then they were before. And that is for the people they can find. I recall reading once about an attempt to follow up with a group who no longer was eligible for assistance. A good percentage could not be found.

What does gaming the system mean? How well do you know the person who you think is gaming? And why are people only sympathetic to those who are in a bad position through no fault of their own?

I know someone on public assistance who thought that she and her son should move in with her father as she has serious mental health issues and was having trouble caring for her kid on her own. It was a stupid decision. Her father is a drunk and is mentally ill. Anyway, she gave notice at public housing to move. She lined up friends to help her move. Her friends are not much more competent than she is. Most didn't show up and not everything got moved but she had to turn over her keys and get out, leaving all sorts of stuff.

It didn't work out with dad, no surprise. But she is screwed with public housing because she didn't leave the place clean and empty.

This was all her fault in a technical sense. But this is the way she is. She isn't competent enough to make the right decisions. Her support system did not catch on that she was screwing up.

Life just sucks for some people and to assume gaming the system or to say it is all someone's fault fails to recognize the complexity of the individual human experience.

We worry too much about cheaters and don't worry enough about all the people who live shitty lives.

FWIW.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:12 PM   #56
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Life just sucks for some people and to assume gaming the system or to say it is all someone's fault fails to recognize the complexity of the individual human experience.
Agreed. Most of the "gaming of the system" that I was aware of involved people playing fast and loose with the facts, or faking a divorce, or visiting enough doctors to find who was liberal with their definition of "disabled". Granted, many of the people I was acquainted with didn't have many prospects otherwise...

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We worry too much about cheaters and don't worry enough about all the people who live shitty lives.

FWIW.
I think that anyone who believes people on food stamps, SSI, or "welfare" are living the good life at our expense is deluded...

I'd like to refudiate that...
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:04 PM   #57
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And why are people only sympathetic to those who are in a bad position through no fault of their own?
Perhaps because we are socialized to believe that responsibility is desirable; and reasonability implies imposition / acceptance of negative consequences for one's negative actions.

More to the point, resources are finite.

We all make mistakes, and we all act foolishly from time to time. I am not without a certain sympathy for people who are in a bad position through their own fault. However, my sympathy does not extend to a desire to support them with my money.

E.g., the person who drives drunk and winds up with quadriplegia is a tragic case ... but there are many more deserving causes requiring my support, not least of which is my FIRE effort.

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I know someone on public assistance who thought that she and her son should move in with her father as she has serious mental health issues and was having trouble caring for her kid on her own. It was a stupid decision. Her father is a drunk and is mentally ill. Anyway, she gave notice at public housing to move. She lined up friends to help her move. Her friends are not much more competent than she is. Most didn't show up and not everything got moved but she had to turn over her keys and get out, leaving all sorts of stuff.

It didn't work out with dad, no surprise. But she is screwed with public housing because she didn't leave the place clean and empty.

This was all her fault in a technical sense. But this is the way she is. She isn't competent enough to make the right decisions. Her support system did not catch on that she was screwing up.
This is a complex subject, which I don't want to trivialize. However, the person in your example is apparently (?) mentally competent and as such is free to vote, sign contracts, etc. If (if!) that is correct, then - bankruptcy laws aside - she can't just throw up her hands and say "that's the way I am, deal with it".

Civil society would have great difficulty operating if it accepted the proposition that irresponsibility is a disability, or that anyone with an IQ below the median is a deemed victim.

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Life just sucks for some people and to assume gaming the system or to say it is all someone's fault fails to recognize the complexity of the individual human experience.
Agreed. That is why extensive social resources are applied towards fixing or at least alleviating some of the root causes of poverty, malnutrition, drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, etc.

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We worry too much about cheaters and don't worry enough about all the people who live shitty lives.
One's opinion on this issue is largely informed by one's own experience. In any case I submit that you are generalizing: some jurisdictions are much more generous than others.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:51 PM   #58
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What you may have heard is that SSD benefits are "turned off" if you do work and make beyond a certain amount of money. This is common for a lot of folks on SSD but do not spend their life "sitting on the couch" all day.
Forgive my cynicism, but I live in an area of the country where a substantial portion of the citizens draw disability. I sympathize with people who are using the system for its intended purpose. On the other hand, we have entire families where Mom, Dad, and one or more of their adult children draw disability.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:11 PM   #59
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Perhaps because we are socialized to believe that responsibility is desirable; and reasonability implies imposition / acceptance of negative consequences for one's negative actions.

More to the point, resources are finite.
Sure, but look at the distribution.

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This is a complex subject, which I don't want to trivialize. However, the person in your example is apparently (?) mentally competent and as such is free to vote, sign contracts, etc. If (if!) that is correct, then - bankruptcy laws aside - she can't just throw up her hands and say "that's the way I am, deal with it".
She isn't saying that. I said she is not competent enough. Sure she can vote and most of the time contract. But that doesn't mean that she will make good decisions. There is a wide range of competency out there and there is no bright line. She is far from being sanguine about her situation and nothing I said should give the impression that she is. I said that her housing situation was her fault in a technical sense but there are reasons that she makes bad decisions. I said she is mentally ill. Sometimes she does better than other times but it substantially impairs her life. She takes a huge cocktail of drugs to keep her from having psychotic episodes and to deal with bipolar disorder. She was denied SSI and has appealed. Bankruptcy is meaningless for her. She has nothing to lose and nothing to gain by a bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is for the middle class and rich.

As I said above, under SSI/SSD rules you are either disabled or not. There are people who are may not be legally disabled but have all sorts of challenges. Health issues. Education issues. Transportation issues. Family issues. Etc. We just say they are on their own and responsible for their own destiny.

And it isn't just a problem for people with disabilities. One group that has big issues with settling into society are kids leaving foster care at 18. They are on their own. Four years after leaving foster care only about half of the young people find jobs. Homelessness is a problem. One out of three report mental health problems but the majority have no health insurance. Twenty five percent end up in trouble with the law, half the time due to drug and alcohol problems. http://www.casey.org/Resources/Publi...erYouth_FR.pdf

So, when they are 17 we are responsible for them and fail at it. But at 18, they are responsible for themselves.

Of course we value responsible behavior, but we can also learn from knowing the reasons people may not act responsibly and see if there are things we can do as a society to make things better. And a little empathy for people's situations is a good thing.
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Old 09-11-2010, 01:01 AM   #60
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Sure she can vote and most of the time contract.
I'm a non American here and just asking so don't jump all over me. I have a dumb questions:

It is "she can vote and most of the time contract."
I'm guessing here but, can you be competent enough to vote but not to sign a contract. If so, I thought Canadian law was a donkey (to protect me from mods)
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