Monday, 23 July 2012

The Truth About Disability

When I was a kid….if some guy from the local area was on disability….then the guy typically was an invalid in a wheelchair or he was missing a leg or something. It was a harsh situation, and disability probably paid for grocery money, gas for the truck, and maybe an extra $200 a month for various expenses. It wasn’t worth bragging about.

Sometime between the early 1970s and now……disability kinda grew. A guy can get $25k easily now off disability, and thus cover most regular expenses that you’d think of. Some guys….who get connected with government jobs….can walk away with $35k to $40k.

I knew a guy who did twenty years in the Air Force and got his pension deal of $1700 a month…..then turned around to claim 100 percent disability, and collect another $1900 a month from that disability stash of money. I know another guy who spoke up after Air Force retirement about a bad shoulder from a sports injury he had from 1982, and he collects around $425 in partial disability a month now from that shoulder that is only seventy-five percent functional (yeah, I know….most of us over fifty have that issue but we don’t brag about it much).

In small towns throughout the south now, with a thousand residents….you can estimate that at least twenty folks are collecting some form of disability. The curious thing in most cases….is that they still mow their grass….put up drywall… car engines in their garage….change out septic tanks….and operate a chainsaw occasionally. Neighbors and relatives are typically amazed that the guy or gal collects disability while looking fairly good in terms of their physical ability.

As the trend grows…..I’m expecting some kids to get smart in the final year of high school….claiming a massive injury on the football field, and ask for social security to grant them a disability deal for the rest of their life. I’m also expecting more folks to have car accidents on a perfectly clear day…..then insist the brakes just gave out, and ask for one hundred percent disability. And I’m expecting some guys working for the government to claim they fell off the toilet and need 100 percent disability for something that was “wonked-up”.

At some point, the idiots in Congress will demand an audit….where every single guy gets called in and forced into another physical. Some guys on full disability…..will suddenly find that things are found to be better, and they only get thirty-percent disability now, which is not enough to live off. Some guys will be reported by their relatives or neighbors for lifting lumber off the truck, and get kicked completely off disability.

There will be this terrible….woeful trend….where guys show up at your house and all upset over their disability drying up. They spent five years…..maybe even eight years…..on some disability status, and just can’t see how they can go back to real work. You will sit and do your best to encourage them to ‘be strong’, and then comment that this might all be in God’s great plan of life…..then pulling out a Bible and wanting to quote scripture. Your associate will likely ease themselves out of your carport or front porch, and move on down the road to the next person to talk up their terrible problem.

The bottom line here….is that disability was supposed to be for guys who were laid up and never able to get around much. Somehow, we’ve convinced ourselves that just about anyone can qualify for disability these days, and the bucket of money for that….just won’t last.

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