The Controversy over Disability

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Disability, USA

UNDEFINED NAN, NAN, NAN:NAN AM|Steve Kroft reports on the alarming state of the federal disability program, which has exploded in size in the last six years and could become the first federal benefits program to run out of money.

60 Minutes, “Disability USA”

…And NOSSCR’s response:

NOSSCR’s Rebecca Vallas Interviewed on CounterSpin About 60 Minutes Report

October 11, 2013

NOSSCR Deputy Director of Government Affairs Rebecca Vallas was interviewed on CounterSpin, speaking about what the recent 60 Minutes report on Social Security’s disability programs got wrong. CounterSpin is distributed widely on NPR and Pacifica affiliates around the country.

“The 60 Minutes piece was incredibly misleading, inaccurate and one-sided, and missing so many essential facts about the disability programs and the people they help…

“60 Minutes demonstrated a real ignorance of well-known facts and how the programs work, even asking ‘where did all these people with disabilities come from?’ If 60 Minutes had taken the time to speak with Social Security’s actuaries, they would have found that this question has been answered time and again — and that the growth in Disability Insurance is primarily the result of demographics…

“It is incredibly difficult to qualify for disability benefits. According to the OECD, we, the US, have the most restrictive and least generous disability benefit system of all member countries, apart from Korea. Fewer than 4 in 10 applicants are approved for benefits, even after all stages of appeal. Many people with significant disabilities and serious illnesses are denied. 1 in 5 male and 1 in 6 female beneficiaries die within 5 years of being approved, and beneficiaries are more than 3 times more likely to die than others their age. And those statistics don’t capture the countless individuals who die waiting to be approved…”

You can listen to the full interview here, starting at the 9:45 minute mark.

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For more information, facts, and figures on the Social Security disability programs, read a Just the Facts sheet, or a NOSSCR fact sheet on SSDI and SSI.Additional articles and fact-checks denouncing the 60 Minutes report:

60 Minutes Denounced for Misinformation on Disability

What Did 60 Minutes Get Wrong About Disability?

60 Minutes’ Shameful Attack on the Disabled

Center on Economic Policy Research: 60 Minutes Joins the Disability Bashing Bandwagon and Two More Things on 60 Minutes

Another Media Hit on the Social Security Disability Programs – Get the Facts

60 Minutes Gets Disability Insurance All Wrong

Outrage Grows Over 60 Minutes’ Hatchet Job on Disability

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