So, apparently npr is doing a series on the subject of disability income, life on disability. Hannah Jaffe W. is in Hale County Alabama (i heard much but not all of the broadcast)
The growth of the program is very very fast. Every 15 years there is a double in the # of people collecting disability. Currently there are 250,000 Americans applying for it every month. It's a more appealing life then 35 hours a week working the minimum wage. Because you get the health benefits.
It was noted that all of hale county's yard sales were held on the first or on the third of the month. 1/4 of people in H. County are on disability. That being said, people know that since that's when everyone gets their check they go ahead and put their stuff out.
It's common for people to ask recipients what their disability is. i know people ask me what my disabilities are almost every day. i don't mind. one of the ways i like to educate people is to tell them, that, there are many disabled people whose disabilities are largely invisible. that doesn't make those disabilities any less real.
Hannah comes to the conclusion that Dan Mitchell really is disabled. But npr does wonder what constitutes disabled? Many in this town are on disability for back pain. NPR wonders who decides if your condition is bad enough? In this town it's Dr. Timberlake. He prefers to serves a rural population. In this town, there are no college grads.
Ethel says that there are no jobs in Hale County where you can sit down with the exception of SSA worker.
"poorly educated and rotten place" is a disability. (i would certainly have to agree with that. even being carless is a disability. Ethel's husband is on disability for nerve damage in his hands. (i noticed nerve damage in 05, and it has worsened substantially. My limbs fall asleep constantly, it is very painful. I always feel pins and needles and the sensation that my hands/feet are made of barbed wire and someone is cutting the wire with scissors)
When the mill shut down in Hale County, everyone went on disability! (one factor in my applying for disability was that no matter how hard i tried my employers were never satisfied. I explained that to my lawyer, that if in every field i get let go or complained about i am going to need a regular income from disability)
If you are on disablity you are invisible to the rest of society. Disability is like de facto welfare and recipients are very unlikely to ever get out of poverty or better their lives. So the only way out of the trap npr concludes is to die, or turn 65. (It's certainly no wonder so many commit suicide i say)
Glass wonders, what should the government do to help the disabled?
Lawyers are trying to help and Binder and Binder are the most popular. ssa pays the lawyers. B and B represented 30k people in one year!
One's lifetime average is 250k (for me it is alot less)
end part one more to come in my next blog, about this story