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NPR: The Rise of Disability

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Alma, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Good reporting and graphics on how disability claims has replaced welfare in America. Confused why there's first person. But the story shows the value in poking around in trends and merging anecdote with data to create a picture. The picture here is that disability claims are a mess.

  2. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Drudge has been highlighting this for a couple of years now.
  3. A complicated mix of issues, from workers who don't want to adapt, companies that don't want to accommodate, and shady lawyers.
  4. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    The much beloved "Firemen Eddy" has an FDNY disability.
  5. Disability lawyers are some of the worst!
  6. scottwcoleman

    scottwcoleman New Member

    Our paper has been working on something related to this, and essentially, in order for the poor to get help through the county mental health agency, they started forcing people to apply for disability. If they are denied, then the county pays for their care. But, the county mental health agency prefers all their patients go on disability so they can push the burden for the cost of care to the state. This definitely happens in mental health cases (depression, autism, bipolar, etc.).

    Early research is that most other care organizations supporting the poor also push people to apply for disability as a way of receiving money for their services (or at least more than they would from the poor directly or from donated funds). This happened to one family at a major area hospital. When the family said they didn't have insurance and weren't sure how they would pay the $10K bill for ambulance ride, overnight stay and testing for their child, the hospital offered to set them up with someone who could "help make sure your bills get paid" and help make sure their child gets proper care. They were passed off to a rep in the hospital who took some information and then connected them with a call center rep (in a room full of call center operators) who were taking information and helping families without insurance apply for disability for their kids.

    Bottom line is that the healthcare system is still broken, and there are plenty of abuses out there. But, it's hard for me at this point to make a judgment until I see more information. But, it's clear that disability has become the de-facto source of funding for the poor, forced upon them by the hospitals and county health agencies who are looking for someone to pay the bills for indigent care.
  7. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    I don't doubt that he and other Republicans have. I do think this a more interesting, comprehensive package about it, which is why it's in the Journalism topics, and not in the "let's hurl curse words and insults at each other" board.
  8. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    I understand your motivations, but maybe if organizations like NPR had opened their eyes a little bit, we wouldn't have had to wait so long for such an interesting & comprehensive package.
  9. It's an interesting situation that maybe we should have seem coming once we moved welfare from a "lifestyle" to a temporary sustenance between jobs.

    In reality, there are a good percentage of people who are unemployable or very hard to employ. These aren't the people that you and I deal with everyday in our workplaces. These are people at the margins of society who would find it difficult to attain even the lowest level of service-industry employment (where most of the jobs are now) and even if they did manage to get such a job would have a hard time staying employed.

    So what do you do with those people? Once the welfare kitty closed, disability became the next easiest solution and a lot of people were steered in that direction.

    Is that an oversimplification? Probably. But I fear there may be a need for some sort of "permanent welfare" much as it might run contrary to our values of work and fairness. Sometimes the easiest solution is to remove certain people from the work force, give them a small stipend and then move on.
  10. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    One thing I would have liked to have seen touched on the story is how many people get rejected for disability in the first place, then win their appeal.

    According to this, roughly 2/3 get rejected the first time around, then 2/3 of those who appeal get eventually win their cases. But they have to wait over a year for their appeal.


    I also found this paragraph to be somewhat laughable:

    In the previous graph, he points out that they wouldn't be losing much of anything if they took disability instead of working minimum wage. This writer is assuming that a minimum wage worker is actually going to receive a raise from his employer. Odds are, that's not going to happen. There's a reason why the job only pays minimum wage to begin with. And why should they care about getting "meaning" from work? It's a job. Workers aren't supposed to care about "meaning", right?
  11. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    The New York Post has done some great work in area of disability fraud. Recently some good stories on Long Island RR conductors
  12. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    It's not merely "fraud," but a complex web of issues that create this disability class. I thought the NPR piece did a good job of highlighting that.

    If folks want to post the great work done by the Post and Drudge, by all means. I'd be curious to see how those outlets tackled it.
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