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CBS’s ‘Disability, USA’ Causes Controversy

Posted on Nov 08, 2013

A recent story appeared on the CBS newsmagazine show 60 Minutes, called “Disability, USA.” Since then, many people have come out against the show to demonstrate that the Social Security disability benefits received by millions of Americans are not fraudulent, or easy to receive.

In a recent response by Rebecca Vallas, Deputy Director of Government Affairs at the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR), nine facts were provided that prove that Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) is not the boondoggle many news outlets report that it is. As members of the NOSSCR, our Massachusetts Social Security disability lawyers are happy these facts were made public.

One of the important facts on this list is that most of the applicants are denied benefits. This demonstrates just how strict the system is regarding who is approved to receive Social Security disability. Vallas also points out that fraud in the Social Security disability system is estimated at less than 1 percent. This is an extremely low rate of fraud.

Another important note is that the growth of disability insurance recipients was expected due to the demographics of the U.S. population. Vallas points out too that the recession had very little to do with the growth in recipients, and that few beneficiaries are able to work.

Finally, it is important to look at the facts that pertain to how much each recipient receives. Social Security disability benefits are modest, with the average payment being $1,130 per month. This is just over the poverty line. Social Security keeps millions of Americans over the poverty threshold, which helps the American economy—but nobody’s getting rich on these payments.

The conclusion of the report by Vallas states that to ensure long-term solvency, it is critical that no Social Security disability benefits are cut. As lawyers at a Social Security disability law firm in Massachusetts, we are happy that these facts have come out after inaccurate reports have left many people confused.

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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law