Monday, April 7, 2014

Waiting, death and Social Security disability

Waiting to receive Social Security disability benefits too often ends in the claimant's death prior to receiving benefits.  Sadly this may be how the system was designed under the brutal calculus imposed by ruthless bean counters intent to save money yet kill people.  Either you give up or you die.  This weeds out many cases.  Some may say this is a cynical view, and maybe it is.  I doubt it though because I've seen too many people die while waiting for Social Security disability benefits, and what kills them?  It isn't (although I have no way of definitively proving it) physical health issues.  I believe it is suicide.  Hope dies, and then they take their lives.

What kind of absurd system allows people to be so beaten down and maligned that they take their own lives?  Sadly Social Security disability and VA disability are two deeply flawed systems.  The problem isn't these too organizations.  It is Congress and its members, many of whom defund these organizations under Grover Norquist's misguided and cruel "starve the beast" mentality.  Of course they are feeding a different beast. 

As Cassius said to Brutus in Julius Caesar, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings."  Of course Congress has control, unlike Brutus, who was driven by arcane notions or Roman honor (arguably Brutus had free will too, but that's another issue). They are not tools implacably manipulated by the fates.  They could stop this, but they don't.  And this is a true "American tragedy."

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