Saturday, March 10, 2007

[Fwd: Social Security Disability Coalition Announcement - My Response to SS Disability Article in]
Announcement from Managers of Social Security Disability Coalition

Hi Everyone,

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to write me and the Examiner in response this article. Again please contact all the media in your area so they get a clear picture of what is happening in this country instead of the false impression that this article portrays. I contacted the Examiner this morning and here is what I just sent to them. I hope they have the decency to print the truth. If you wish to contact me on this please do not use our website to do it as I cannot respond back to you if you e-mail me through there. Always e-mail me directly at:

Again there will be no discussions of this on our messageboard so please do not try to submits any posts in regards to it there. Thanks as always for your support - be well!

Social "Insecurity" Disability - Warning To All Americans – This Could Be You!

My name is Linda Fullerton and I’m President/Co-Founder of the Social Security Disability Coalition. I’m writing in response to the article published 3/5/07, by Melanie Scarborough entitled “Social Security Provides Tax-paid Golden Disability For Job Slackers.” It’s obvious to me that Ms Scarborough is totally out of touch with reality here, and failed to do the proper research on the subject that she chose. Sadly, I must also say that the majority of the people in this country think like Ms Scarborough, because the media for the most part only chooses to print pieces like hers, and fails to tell the American people what is really going on, since it would be too scandalous to do otherwise. I only hope that Ms Scarborough and those who think like her, never have an accident or become ill themselves, and have to apply for this help, because I assure you, they will be writing a different story! I think the time has come for the American people to get educated on this topic since it affects almost every citizen of this nation, and yet they know almost nothing about it, as evidenced by Ms Scarborough’s article.

You may be wondering how I know about these things. I was very unaware of this problem myself, like most people, until it suddenly happened to me. Many years ago I almost died, and continue to battle several incurable diseases, which have caused me to be permanently disabled and unable to work. Due to the government fraud, negligence, incompetence and backlogs I encountered, I lost all my life savings and pension money, and will never be able to recover from the financial, physical and emotional devastation that was caused by the process of filing for my own SSDI benefits in addition to battling my illnesses. My personal horror story can be found here:

A Bump On The Head

Social Security Disability Insurance/SSDI is a disability insurance plan administered by the Federal Government. If you should become sick/injured and can no longer work, it provides a financial resource to help you survive until you reach retirement age, at which point SSDI benefits automatically turns into regular Social Security retirement benefits. This is a Federal insurance policy, not a hand out like Ms Scarborough would like you to believe. It is not a reward, golden parachute or jackpot by any means and I would bet that Ms Scarborough would be hard pressed to survive on it. It’s supposed to be a safety net for millions of disabled Americans. Unlike her article states, it is not easy to get these benefits at all and I firmly believe (while nobody from the SSA or Congress will ever admit this), the SSDI program is purposely structured to be very complicated, confusing, nebulous, and with as many obstacles as possible from beginning to end, with the deck stacked against the claimant from the very start. This is in order to discourage you, hoping you “give up or die” trying to get benefits you’ve paid for all your working life! That’s how the government systematically robs your money and uses it for other purposes.

This program originally set up to help the disabled, in fact, is causing devastating, irreversible harm to both their health and financial wellbeing. The SSA instead, has been systematically destroying disabled Americans for decades, and Congress as a whole has failed miserably to do anything about it. This major ongoing problem within the State and Federal government is so scandalous, it should be on the front page of every newspaper, and on every TV/Radio news channel in the country. This is a very well kept secret in this country, that our government doesn’t want you to know about, yet they are taking money out of your paychecks every week for it. Unfortunately what you don’t know in this case, could be very detrimental to your health and financial wellbeing.

While the majority of Americans were shocked at the reaction of the Federal government in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, I wasn’t surprised at all. I have seen the horrifying results of their incompetence on a grand scale for the past few years. Nowhere is this more evident, yet rarely mentioned, than in the way the Federal government/Social Security Administration treats the disabled population of this country. Americans saw in a major way since hurricane Katrina struck, how the poor and disabled were left to die in the streets when they needed help the most. I shudder to think of how many more lives will be further ruined or lost, when the mentally and physically disabled victims of Katrina, other natural disasters, 9/11 victims who survived that day but are now disabled and facing a similar fate, Veterans and the millions of other disabled Americans, encounter their next experience with the Federal government as they apply for their SSDI/SSI benefits. There are cases of Veterans rated 100% disabled by the VA who get denied their SSSDI benefits and end up living in poverty or even homeless on the streets. Horrible treatment for those who protect and serve our country.

In fact disabled Americans who apply for SSDI benefits, at a time when they need help the most, are often treated like criminals. The general feeling, which Ms Scarborough has mistakenly helped to further generate, is that they’re frauds trying to scam the system. In fact the percentage of claims that in the end, aren’t legitimate is very miniscule. Nobody in their right mind would want to go through this process, and then live in poverty on top of their illnesses, if they could in fact work. In our country you’re required to have auto insurance in order to drive a car, you pay for health insurance, life insurance etc. If you filed a claim against any of these policies, after making your payments, and the company tried to deny you coverage when you had a legitimate claim, you would be doing whatever it took , even suing, to make them honor your policy. Yet the government is denying Americans their legitimate SSDI claims everyday, and everyone should be outraged!

Disability benefits determinations should be based solely on the physical or mental disability of the applicant. Neither age, education, or type of work experience should ever be used when evaluating whether or not a person is disabled, as long as they meet the medical and non-medical requirements for receiving benefits (work credits, citizenship etc.) If a person cannot work due to the severity of their medical conditions – they CAN’T work no matter what their age, or how many jobs or educational degrees they had, yet these are factors used to deny a claimant their right to collect disability benefits.

Ms Scarborough is very judgmental when it comes discussing the impairments that qualify a person for disability benefits. She fails to mention anywhere in her article, that she has any sort of medical degree, making her an expert in that field. She, nor anyone else has the right, or knowledge to judge another person’s health problems. Only those who actually suffer from these ailments, and their physicians, can possibly know what it is like to deal with these conditions. She chooses to insult the disabled citizens of this country further by claiming that they are frauds, when she states “more than 1.3 million claims — indicate how many people are trying to take advantage of the system.” I actually submitted written testimony to the Congressional hearing on disability backlogs that Ms Scarborough refers to. Her comment that “genuine disabilities are relatively rare,” holds absolutely no merit, and again shows that she has failed to do her homework as a journalist.

Yes I’m also well aware as I write this, that there’s some who’ve abused the system and that’s a shame, because it casts a bad light on those who really need this help. It is an extremely small percentage, and there are ways to “filter” them out, without causing harm to legitimate claimants. Social Security, SSDI, SSI and Medicare are great programs when they function properly, and have helped millions of Americans who may never have survived without them. It’s time that the government fixes the problems, so that those who really need this help can access it as soon as possible, instead of being treated as frauds, and criminals on trial, when they need to file a claim for benefits. Nobody in their right mind would want to live under the conditions that the majority of SSDI/SSI claimants and recipients are forced to endure. The majority would much rather have their health back and the jobs that once had before their lives were changed by illness or accidents. I am sure that any corporation in this country who ran their business this poorly, would be out of business in it’s first year!

If you have any doubt what I am saying here, you can read the horror stories of thousands of disabled Americans from all over this country on my organization’s website and on our petition to the US Government at:

Social Security Disability Coalition – offering FREE information and support with a focus on SSD reform:

Social Security Disability Reform Petition – read the horror stories from all over the nation:

I think our sites prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, what is really going on, rather than anything that Ms Scarborough has to say. SSDI claimants were once hard working, tax paying citizens with hopes and “American dreams” but due to an unfortunate accident or illness, have become disabled to a point where they can no longer work. Because of that, they’re often considered "disposable" people by general and government standards. In addition their cries and screams are often ignored, many preferring that they just shut up or die. Does that mean they’re not valuable to our country, or give the government/society the right to ignore or even abuse them? A country is only as strong as it’s most vulnerable citizens, yet this program preys on the weak, decimating the disabled population even further. I ask that you please urgently contact all your elected officials and the media on this issue, as millions of American’s lives depend on it. We are your mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, friends and acquaintances and remember that disease and tragedy do not discriminate on the basis of age, race or sex. Wake up America! If you think this couldn’t happen to you – you could be DEAD wrong!

NOTE: This article is dedicated to Dane Edwards, who applied for Social Security Disability benefits in October 2006, because of terminal lung and brain cancer. When he’d call to check on the status of his claim he was told that he must wait like everyone else, and that he should stop calling to inquire about the status. He obviously didn’t have the luxury of time. Dane will no longer be calling and he never received his benefits. He was 53 years old when he died on February 13, 2007 - his SSDI disability claim still waiting for approval. Unfortunately I must report that stories like his are becoming more and more common.

Linda Fullerton

President/Co-Founder - Social Security Disability Coalition

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