Laid-off workers and aging baby boomers are flooding Social Security’s disability program with benefit claims, pushing the financially strapped system toward the brink of insolvency.
Applications are up nearly 50 percent over a decade ago as people with disabilities lose their jobs and can’t find new ones in an economy that has shed nearly 7 million jobs.
The stampede for benefits is adding to a growing backlog of applicants — many wait two years or more before their cases are resolved — and worsening the financial problems of a program that’s been running in the red for years.
New congressional estimates say the trust fund that supports Social Security disability will run out of money by 2017, leaving the program unable to pay full benefits, unless Congress acts. About two decades later, Social Security’s much larger retirement fund is projected to run dry as well.
Of course, there’s a character issue at work here to go with the bad economy…
The trustees who oversee Social Security are urging Congress to shore up the disability system by reallocating money from the retirement program, just as lawmakers did in 1994. That, however, would provide only short-term relief at the expense of weakening the retirement program.
Claims for disability benefits typically increase in a bad economy because many disabled people get laid off and can’t find a new job. This year, about 3.3 million people are expected to apply for federal disability benefits. That’s 700,000 more than in 2008 and 1 million more than a decade ago.
“It’s primarily economic desperation,” Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue said in an interview. “People on the margins who get bad news in terms of a layoff and have no other place to go and they take a shot at disability.”
Nobody wants to admit it, but the fact is that if you don’t want to work you can come up with some sort of depravity that makes you unemployable and you can get on the disability rolls. Our readers probably remember the flap about that loser out in California who draws Social Security Disability so that he can play at being an adult baby all day on our dime.
Well, here’s somebody else who’s sucking blood out of the system. Think this is a good use of your tax dollars?
Susanne Eman eats 20,000 calories day.
That’s because she is trying to become the heaviest woman of all-time.
Currently Eman weighs 728 pounds. She is hoping to get up to 1,610, according to The Sun.
“The bigger I get, the better I feel. I feel confident and sexy,” said Eman, 32. “Why not see how fat I can get? I want to break the stigma that being fat is a bad thing.” The Casa Grande resident can spend up to eight hours getting food during her monthly trip to the grocery store.
A typical dinner could consist of 12 tacos and eight scoops of ice cream with brownies for desert.
With all that weight she still works in exercising to her daily routine.
“I go for a waddle and do stretches and exercises every day. My muscles need to hold my weight, so I have to stay strong.At the age of 32 Eman is going after Carol Yager, of Flint, Mich., who was believed to have reached 1,156 pounds. She died in 1994 at the age of 34.
Eman is a single mother with two sons.
And if you can stomach this, here’s a little more.
Yes, this fat sow is on disability. She’s too heavy to work, you know.
Some 13.6 million people get disability benefits, which aren’t a lot of money (they max out at about $1500 a month). Of course, if you’ve got kids in the house you’re eligible for welfare to go with it. Add housing assistance and a few other dollops of slop from the federal trough, and it’s anything but inconceivable for someone like Susanne Eman to live high on the hog with as much as $50,000 a year of your tax dollars coming in.
And there are real folks who suffer from real disabilities beyond just being losers. Those folks are having trouble getting onto the program thanks to moochers like Susanne Eman and Stanley Thornton, the adult baby guy.
And you can find an entire cottage industry of lawyers who can coach people on how to get on the rolls.
Like we said above, there are honest-to-goodness disabled people out there who should be receiving help. But the waste and fraud in the program is breaking it, and the fact that the economy has gone south is only making it worse.