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Old 04-23-2005, 08:53 AM
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Yes, social security is a dilemma. But would Beenaway's solution solve the problem. (Not trying to pick on you Beenaway - many agree with you, so I'm just using your well articulated solution to ask some questions and make a general rebuttal. Nothing personal intended.)

The answer really is simple.
1.) Eliminate SSDI robbing from SSI. [QUOTE]

Total social security benefit payments (for 2004) were 497 billion. Of that amount approximately 78 billion went to disabled recipients. Even if you assumed all disable people are fakers and you eliminated disability totally, you now have a $419 billion social security problem rather than a $497 billion problem. Still a pretty big gorilla.

[QUOTE]2.) Eliminate dependents getting a check if their parents are disabled[QUOTE]

Dependents receive benefits if they are under the age of 18 - the theory being an underage child who is required by state law to be in school rather than working should not suffer the consequences of their parent(s) being disabled and unable to provide for food, clothing, and shelter. Possibly you are correct that the children should pay the price, be taken out of school, and go to work to provide for their own welfare. But wouldn't we just end up with more uneducated and unemployed people that way?

[QUOTE] 3.) Correct Workmans Comp. This is involved, but starts with Medical Malpractice reform. If a W/C Doc sends someone back to work, and they re-injure themselves, the Doc faces malpractice.[QUOTE]

If this rule were in place, what doctor in his/her right mind would EVER certify that a worker was able to go back to work. Seems to me this would have the exact opposite effect of what you want to accomplish.

[QUOTE] "If I were King"... I would have a Medical Review Board assess each claim. Any "borderline" claims would be sent back to work with limited restrictions.[QUOTE]

I'm not sure this as far from what is already in place. Currently disability claims must be supported by a medical doctor. For the first six months the doctor must certify that the worker is unable to perform the duties of his/her profession. This certification is then reviewed by medical personnel at SS and a determination made regarding disability. At the end of six months a doctor must certify that the worker is unable to perform ANY duties, in other words, unable to do any work whatsoever. This certification also must be reviewed by SS medical personnel using standards stipulated in what SS calls "The Blue Book" which was written by teams of medical professionals with expertise in each area of disability. Any claim which does not fully meet these specific standards (i.e. borderline) is required to return to work. Any appeal of such a ruling is reviewed by a medical review board.

[QUOTE] Anyone receiving Full Disability, would have to show up at a meeting place for the same 8 hours as regular workers. In todays technological world, the blind can "see" with talking computers. The deaf can communicate with TDD. There is virtually SOMETHING for everyone.[QUOTE]

And who is going to provide the care for all these people gathered together in some room somewhere? The mentally ill, the insane, the armless, the legless, those on dialysis, those who soil themselves with regularity. And how do we get them all assembled in this little room every day? Do we provide handicapped equipped vehicles that go to each door? Do we provide supervision to and from the gathering site? Do we require their relatives or friends to take off work to drive them to and from the center. Do we take them to their daily or weekly medical appointments, rehab centers, or treatment facilities? I can't imagine providing care for one totally disabled person much less a hundred of them in the same room. Oh, and BTW, deafness is not considered a disability by SS.

[QUOTE]The place would be a sort of "Job Shop" where employers could use this for executing menial tasks. [QUOTE]

A similar concept was tried some years ago by a number of prison systems with disastrous results. The biggest objection came from the business community who claimed unfair competitive practices were putting them out of business. The assumption here is that there is a massive amount of menial work which needs to be done and that business will be just delighted to somehow pick up that work, put it in a van, haul it over to the "disability center", pay the center to do it, go back and pick it up later, haul it back to the place of business, and hire staff to go over the work to make sure it was done correctly. For most businesses, this would be a logistical nightmare. And would you turn your business's paperwork over to social security? Social Security can't even keep its own paperwork straight much less yours.

[QUOTE] The reason is twofold. One, being that the person (fakers, in general) could not "hang around" home, and goof off. Or work a second job under the table. They would have to show up, just like a job, or not get a check.[QUOTE]

Unfortunately, all of this "showing up just like a job" requires supervision - not to mention space rental, utilities, insurance, equipment (to do all those menial tasks requires computers, typewriters, copy machines, desks, chairs etc., etc, etc.). But these are not able bodied workers, at least many of them are not. So supervision, special equipment, and overhead costs are going to skyrocket. Theoretically, you could end up with a solution which costs more than the problem.

[QUOTE] The other, is it would train them for other work. [QUOTE]

But you just said all this "job shop" will do is the menial work that employers don't want to do in house. So won't you end up with a bunch of people trained to do the very work that no employer wants to hire somebody to do? And if you have all these "job shops" doing this menial work, why would an employer hire someone graduating from the job shop trained to do the work you are already farming out to the job shop. Now if you are talking about adding on a additional "real" skill training, on top of the menial labor stuff, we already have that system in place. It's called Vocational Rehabilitation. And disabled individuals (if they are ambulatory and capable) are required to be tested by VR for their potential skills and then placed in training programs where applicable.

[QUOTE] We need to find a better solution to put people back to work. [QUOTE]

Couldn't agree with you more.

Sorry to get a little cranky about this thread but I have a sister-in-law who is totally disabled due to mental defect. She requires nearly constant medical attention and lives in a special facility equipped to meet her needs. So I take a bit of offense when people claim that all disabled people are fakers or cheats. I agree that social security and disability are going to be a major problem in the future. But I am of the opinion that, for the most part, disability and aging are REAL problems and require well crafted, well thought out solutions which will remedy the problem not simply sweep it under the carpet or toss our elderly and affirmed out into the street.

Always learning...and sharing what I've learned.
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