We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
There was a time when anybody would be ashamed to take charity, and would knock themselves out to avoid it or to get out from it. The way some people talk nowadays, you're a chump if you don't take what you can. There is never gratitude towards the taxpaying neighbor. No Thank You notes for the charity.
People should never give up on engagement with life. Can you find dignity?
Dependence seems to be a design point of the system. Once you're in the fedgov disability system, you have no certain guidelines for getting out. SSID remains essentially an undefined area, subject entirely to bureaucratic whim and/or unpublished policies and procedures. One does not exercise risky behavior by trying to escape that system when your very life depends on not messing with your only lifeline. I speak of course of people who initially entered the program legitimately. Scammers are quite another matter.
Say, for instance, you try to work and make it six months before you no longer can work. Do you still qualify for disability? Is there another delay prior to eligibility like there was the first time you entered the program? There's no contract, and as has always been true in America, no Congress can bind another. Which is to say, whatever guarantees you think you have are only illusory. Taking any risk may well be too much risk.
There are probably some scammers out there, but the article you linked to mentions nothing about disability except people's resentment at the idea that people who cannot work full time (ie: so as to get health insurance) because of their disabilities receive some financial support.
News Junkie, I hope that you NEVER have to eat your words the way you will when one of your children is diagnosed w a disability. And you discover the cruelty, prejudice and plain ignorance you must battle to protect them from. The disability is the least of their problems. The prejudice and mean spiritedness of people who accuse them of faking it or being dependent by choice is far worse.
One reason why many middle aged people go on disability is not to scam the system but because their exhausted parents have died and there is nobody to help them any more. Nobody would choose to be born with a disability, and you usually have to live in a slum and very badly on a disability check if you don't have parents to live with.
Furthermore, most parents of kids with disabilities have to scale back their careers because of the huge demands at home of caring for the kid. So they can't always make millions to set aside in a fund for the kid after they die.
My own spouse was laid off from a lucrative job in his profession because his employers' insurance company threatened to double their premiums if they kept him on staff (our kiid's diagnosis unnerved the insurer, tho they never had to pay a single claim). Illegal, immoral but most people with healthy kids never experience such things so we are told our kids are moochers and a burden.
Most people with a disability want nothing more than to work and escape the contempt and condescension of those people without disabled relatives who complain about them. Hitler and the American eugenics pioneers were in perfect harmony with much that I read here about how people on disability are a burden and taking advantage of healthy others. It just ain't so.
My disabled kid shovels snow for free for the elderly in our neighborhood, holds a regular part time job as a civilian employee of the National guard, volunteers to help whenever he can at our church. He has issues, but he is faithful, honest and true. Hardly a moocher. But employers would rather hire a smooth talking, hard drinking, manipulative neuro typical kid. Because they look better.
We suffer more from moral blindness and unintended cruelty in our country than we do from an abuse of disability status.
Go to a support group for parents of newly diagnosed special Ed kids and see if your stony heart is softened. The parents there don't want your money so much as they want you to give their kid a chance. Employ one, coach them. Or just go to church and reflect upon Jesus' parable of the Sheep and the Goats: Matthew 25: 31-46. Those who are fortunate and healthy are called to be generous and merciful, not prejudiced and cruel. Believe me, the disabled would rather be treated like human beings and given work than mooch from you.