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Old 03-27-2013, 07:30 PM   #41
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I think now it is more a matter of whether other people let such things affect them. One would think the laws would protect folks against discrimination on the basis of disability, but the reality is that the process of hiring people is such that it is often easy to discriminate on that basis but hide that discrimination behind a subjective judgement on some other criterion.

I am concerned about how things will work out for my friend. She recently was blinded, due to an injury received from Superstorm Sandy (long story). Her job can be done by a blind person, but of course you can imagine there is a difference between a blind person, who has been blind all their life, and has received all manner of training and assistance regarding interacting in a sighted world, and someone who was suddenly and unexpectedly blinded late in her working years. Will the employer provide her the time and resources necessary to return to productivity in her role in our company? Or will they, at some point, say that teaching someone the basics of working blind is beyond the scope of reasonable accommodation under ADA, and direct her onto disability?
My dad had a defense plant job during the war (obviously, "not fit for military service" - but he could always beat me at shooting trap and other targets. Nor did I ever consider going one-on-one with him during a disagreement, heh, heh.) When "the boys" came home, my dad had 3 strikes against him. He was now over 40, he wasn't a "vet" and he was "disabled". There were NO gummint checks available to him either. All he could do was whine/beg/live under a bridge, etc. or start his own business - He started a business. His business is there to this day with the 3rd generation.

It's amazing what folks CAN do when they have no other choices available to them. I'm not against helping the less fortunate, but I do think we need more tailoring of "welfare" to the individual, rather than just passing out checks and causing ever more dependency as the graphs (and current levels of unemployment) show. I do not consider myself "hard-hearted" at all. I WANT everyone to have a job, food, a place to live, etc. etc. But there is an amazing level of personal drive and ambition created when one is a bit "hungry", "broke", "homeless", etc. - if there is no gummint check readily available to bail one out. At some point, we do need to step in and "help". But I think the pendulum has swung too far when the lawyers have created a cottage industry of getting folks their "rightful" benefits. Just my opinion, so YMMV.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:46 PM   #42
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No question that back pain can be disabling (I've experienced it myself). But so is cancer, so why the difference on that chart?

-ERD50
Of course, not all cancer results in long-term disability. Lots of people who have cancer are off work for some period of time and then are able to return to work. I think, however, that most of the people who would be long-term and permanently disabled from cancer are people who, well, end up being removed from the disability rolls due to death. Not many people die from back pain.

I also think that a factor in disability depends upon the nature of your job. I would guess that a lot of the people who are disabled due to back pain are people who performed manual labor and the inability to lift things for example would disable that person from that person's regular occupations and those for which the person is trained. That is, someone who works construction and can't lift 50 pounds may be disabled from that occupation which, say, a lawyer that can't lift 50 pounds isn't disabled from that occupation. However, you can't just tell the disabled construction worker to go be a lawyer....
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:45 AM   #43
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It's amazing what folks CAN do when they have no other choices available to them.
Random chance isn't that amazing to me, but I do worry quite a bit about the idea that we should, to any significant extent, leave such things up to luck, especially given that the actual odds of success are much less rosy that your story would tend to make one think.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:10 AM   #44
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I recently assisted a relative with an SSDI application. I thought I'd post a few details about it because it shows a positive aspect to the program, from both the policy and practical perspective.

In researching the qualifications criteria and the application process, I learned SSA maintains a list of "slam dunk" conditions that receive expedited consideration and approval. With one of these conditions, your application goes to the front of the line. While the list is long, you'll see it mostly consists of rare and fatal conditions whose name would only be recognized by medical personnel. None of them are candidates to be faked or exaggerated.

In my relative's case, the disabling condition is listed. I had copies of medical records and the organizational ability to prepare a complete application with supporting materials. After completing an online application, the follow-up consisted of a routine second round of paperwork by mail and one follow-up phone question, to determine the exact date the applicant had last worked rather than the month and year I had provided in the application.

The first check was direct deposited in less than 45 days. No lawyers, no special exams, no waiting in line for a face-to-face appointment.

This is a very different result from the average or the mean application time. I am grateful SSA has this program, both personally and as a citizen. Every one of us benefits when legitimate applications are handled quickly and accurately.

Compassionate Allowances Complete List of Conditions

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Social Security has an obligation to provide benefits quickly to applicants whose medical conditions are so serious that their conditions obviously meet disability standards.

Compassionate Allowances (CAL) are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information. Compassionate Allowances allow Social Security to target the most obviously disabled individuals for allowances based on objective medical information that we can obtain quickly. Compassionate Allowances is not a separate program from the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:13 AM   #45
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I believe a percentage of the people with back and muscle pains are simply folks addicted to oxycontin and other narcotics. The amount of painkillers prescribed today is staggering. It's difficult if not impossible to sort out the fakers from the ones in real pain.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:14 PM   #46
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I can't help but wonder if Veteran's Administration disability stats are missing from those economic figures as well.

There are hundreds of thousands of vets who draw some form of (tax free) disability from the VA and about 600,000 or so claims still pending. Many of these claims are for Vietnam vets who have been disabled due to their contact with Dioxin (Agent Orange) as far back as the 60's.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:22 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Htown Harry View Post
I recently assisted a relative with an SSDI application. I thought I'd post a few details about it because it shows a positive aspect to the program, from both the policy and practical perspective.

In researching the qualifications criteria and the application process, I learned SSA maintains a list of "slam dunk" conditions that receive expedited consideration and approval. With one of these conditions, your application goes to the front of the line. While the list is long, you'll see it mostly consists of rare and fatal conditions whose name would only be recognized by medical personnel. None of them are candidates to be faked or exaggerated.

In my relative's case, the disabling condition is listed. I had copies of medical records and the organizational ability to prepare a complete application with supporting materials. After completing an online application, the follow-up consisted of a routine second round of paperwork by mail and one follow-up phone question, to determine the exact date the applicant had last worked rather than the month and year I had provided in the application.

The first check was direct deposited in less than 45 days. No lawyers, no special exams, no waiting in line for a face-to-face appointment.

This is a very different result from the average or the mean application time. I am grateful SSA has this program, both personally and as a citizen. Every one of us benefits when legitimate applications are handled quickly and accurately.

Compassionate Allowances Complete List of Conditions
Harry, I am sorry about your relative's illness, but glad you could help him with this application. Like you say, no doubt about these conditions being disabling.

Ha
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:51 PM   #48
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Thanks all for a lively discussion.

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