I believe that how a society treats its elderly and disabled reveals its true character. For three decades I have represented disabled individuals in their effort to obtain federal disability benefits. The disability program of the Social Security Administration (SSDI) helps more than 10 million disabled Americans. Although I do not have data on the disability programs of other countries, I suspect that SSDI helps more disabled individuals than any other government program on this planet.
Consequently, I have been surprised by how SSDI has come under attack in recent years. My decades of experience with SSDI has enabled me to see up close the benefits and the flaws of this program. Like every government program, SSDI has some flaws and would benefit from several targeted reforms.
However, the rampant assertions of widespread fraud within SSDI are baffling. There is no data whatsoever to support these allegations. Since this country was founded, incidents of corruption have been uncovered in every era in every program. We live in an imperfect world. There has always been, and there always will be, a small unscrupulous element in society.
If we allow the dishonesty of a few to determine how we govern ourselves, then we sink to the lowest common denominator. Objective sources have estimated the rate of fraud in SSDI to be .4% (4 in 1,000). I believe that we as a society should not let 4 dishonest people keep us from helping 996 Americans in need.