Posted on Oct 29, 2013

If you’re a regular viewer of the CBS news program 60 Minutes you probably saw anchor Steve Kroft’s “Disability, USA” report on October 6, 2013. The segment purported to take a closer look at the Social Security Administration’s disability benefits system.

In an article posted on October 7, the Los Angeles Times recognized that instead of the report being a nuanced examination of how our nation provides for its most vulnerable citizens, it presented as a sensationalistic attack filled with misinformation.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the biggest inaccuracies of the report, countered by the realities:

  • Nearly 12 million Americans are on disability. The number at the end of 2012 was 10.9 million, comprising 8.8 million individuals who cannot work and 2 million family members.
  • People treat SSD as an alternative unemployment program because they’re too lazy to look for work. In reality, it’s difficult enough for a person with disabilities to find a job in a healthy economy; when the economy is struggling, there are often no options available.
  • It’s easy to get SSD. It really isn’t. Any Papillion disability lawyer will tell you that the program denies approximately 67% of applicants in the first round, and ultimately only approves around 41%.

What makes the 60 Minutes report that much more frustrating is a series that ran on National Public Radio this spring, which also presented a great deal of misinformation. Several experts in the field, including former SSA commissioners and vetted analysts debunked the NPR report. Unfortunately, none of them appeared in “Disability, USA.”

Don’t get hurt by the negative spin. If you need to understand more about disability benefits in Papillion, talk to the team at Cuddigan Law today. Call 402-933-5405 or email [email protected] for a no-cost evaluation today. Also request our free booklet, Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska