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"Anyone can act presidential. "
It's a lot harder to do what I do.
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Monday, February 20, 2012

The Madness of the Unemployed

We talked about this a bit on The Gathering Storm last Friday (check it out here).

My benefits ran out last June. To say things are getting challenging would be a gross understatement.

Still, I refuse to adopt this method.

No matter how crazy you think I am.

New York Post:

Jobless disability claims soar to record $200B as of January

By JANET WHITMAN

Standing too many months on the unemployment line is driving Americans crazy — literally — and it’s costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.

With their unemployment-insurance checks running out, some of the country’s long-term jobless are scrambling to fill the gap by filing claims for mental illness and other disabilities with Social Security — a surge that hobbles taxpayers and making the employment rate look healthier than it should as these people drop out of the job statistics.

“It could be because their health really is getting worse from the stress of being out of work,” says Matthew Rutledge, a research economist at Boston College. “Or it could just be desperation — people trying to make ends meet when other safety nets just aren’t there.”

As of January, the federal government was mailing out disability checks to more than 10.5 million individuals, including 2 million to spouses and children of disabled workers, at a cost of record $200 billion a year, recent research from JPMorgan Chase shows.

The sputtering economy has fueled those ranks. Around 5.3 percent of the population between the ages of 25 and 64 is currently collecting federal disability payments, a jump from 4.5 percent since the economy slid into a recession.

Mental-illness claims, in particular, are surging.

During the recent economic boom, only 33 percent of applicants were claiming mental illness, but that figure has jumped to 43 percent, says Rutledge, citing preliminary results from his latest research.

His research also shows a growing number of men, particularly older, former white-collar workers, instead of the typical blue-collar ones, are applying.

The big concern about the swelling ranks is that once people get on disability, they’re unlikely to give it up and go back to work.

“It’s not like other support programs, such as unemployment insurance, which you lose after a year or two,” says Michael Feroli, chief US economist with JPMorgan.

Social Security’s disability fund, which has been operating short of cash since 2005, is forecast to run out of reserves by 2018.

The jump in successful disability claims also is making the unemployment picture look extra rosy because those folks are falling off the jobless rolls.

“If they’re on disability they’re generally not counted,” says Feroli, who estimates that a quarter of those dropping out of the job market are getting disability. “It’s no trivial number.”

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5 Comments:

Blogger SamenoKami said...

Must work differently in different sections of the country and for diff. people.
My bro. in law has been trying to get on SS disability for 4+yrs and he's certifiable w/hospital records to prove it.
The other side of the coin is, we know people who coughed wrong and got SS disability in 2wks.

Monday, February 20, 2012 7:35:00 pm  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Just last week, I read a book called The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson. In this book, available at many public libraries, Ronson explains just how the manual for mental disorders has morphed from 64 pages to over 400 pages, thereby including all sorts of “disabilities.” Hell, one of them is Interpersonal Disorder (or some such name), which one “has” if one has ever had an argument with one’s spouse. I kid you not!

ADD, ADHD, Borderline Personality Disorder, and many more “disorders” found their way into this manual because psychologists and psychiatrists knew that listing so many disorders would be a boon to those professions.

Now are faced with the unsustainable position that people are getting SSDI checks, in many cases some partial benefits, because some pencil pusher has decided that there are all these disorders. The whole thing is a scam and puts in jeopardy those with real disabilities (my husband, in a hospital bed in the living room with the bedside potty for the past 2.5 years).

Monday, February 20, 2012 8:49:00 pm  
Blogger Epaminondas said...

MR, you have a disease I promise you.

I GUARANTEE YOU that if you articulate how you feel about govt to the right counselor, from the right intervention group, you will be classed as a sociopath and get $

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 1:56:00 pm  
Blogger Christine said...

My brother gets ss. You know why? Because he got drunk, drove like a maniac and got into a wreck. Thankfully it was only "his" neck that got broke. Oh he's fine. I see it everyday. But, because of his stupidity, he get's to stay home and live off the government. LOL No sympathy from this sister. ;)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 9:32:00 pm  
Blogger midnight rider said...

Oh my god where my wife works she sees multiple cases everyday. She works for a company that helps the disabled learn to live independently. But she says some of what she sees as disabled is ridiculous.

And acros the street from us, a woman who hasn't worked in eyars. Gets SS disablility becaus eit stresses her too much to work in an office setting or aaround other people. Husband is a now retired cop who was forced to retire early but can collect his ull pension and was all but guaranteed another similar job with the county, which he took. So now he gets his pension plus his paycheck and will get another pension when he retires from this replacement job.

Meanwhile, I'm over here. . .

Thursday, February 23, 2012 3:31:00 am  

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