Despite the fact that the Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) program is an insurance policy purchased by every working American with 6.2% deduction of each paycheck, Congress and the mainstream media have been attacking it as an “entitlement program.” Pieces on 60 Minutes and NPR have declared SSDI “a secret welfare system…ravaged by waste and fraud.” At Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano, we take particular offense to these reports, not only because they are based on anecdotal evidence rather than fact, but also because they are extremely damaging to our clients and to the integrity of the system.
Right now, program recipients and their families are being painted as entitled and undeserving while simply trying to collect on the modest benefit they paid to receive. We need to remind policymakers and the media who makes up the significant majority of the beneficiaries: hard-working Americans who have lost their ability to work as a result of significant physical and mental disabilities. We need to put the attention back on the Administration’s increasing delays, its dire staffing shortage, and its lack of long-term planning to ensure it is structurally prepared to operate the program with integrity to serve us all down the line.
Just as we all pay our taxes in good faith in support of this vital program, our lawmakers must act in good faith to properly support and advocate for our nation’s primary safety net for the severely disabled. In 2014, Pond Lehocky will be redoubling our efforts to remind our public officials of their responsibility to America’s disabled workers. We ask that you stand with us. By sharing this information with others and contacting your elected representatives, you can make sure your voice is part of strengthening SSDI’s future. You can obtain the contact information for your U.S. Representative and Senator by clicking this link for the Senate or this link for the House of Representatives.
Let’s put America’s attention back on reforming the weaknesses within the Social Security Administration rather than stigmatizing SSDI recipients and their families. We hope you will join us.
Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano