Rand Paul: Most people on disability don’t deserve it

Really, no one deserves anything if you’re not related to Rand Paul!

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is claiming that there is widespread fraud in the country’s disability system because most people who get benefits merely suffer from anxiety or sore backs.

At a meeting with legislative leaders in Manchester, NH on Wednesday, caught on tape by American Bridge, Paul told the room:

The thing is that all of these programs, there’s always somebody who’s deserving, everybody in this room knows somebody who’s gaming the system. I tell people that if you look like me and you hop out of your truck, you shouldn’t be getting a disability check. Over half the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts. Join the club. Who doesn’t get up a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts? Everyone over 40 has a back pain.

The disability insurance program, which is part of Social Security, has come under scrutiny after two media reports last year that focused on rising enrollment and implied that it was at least partly due to fraud. But the reality is different: fraud in disability programs is estimated to amount to less than 1 percent and is extremely rare, as the agency’s watchdog has found. Its inaccurate payments rate is also less than 1 percent, compared to about 8 percent for Medicaid and Medicare.

The benefits are also very hard to come by. Fewer than four in ten applications are approved even after all stages of appeal. Medical evidence from multiple medical professionals is required in most cases to determine eligibility, which means showing that an applicant suffers from a “severe, medically determinable physical or mental impairment that is expected to last 12 months or result in death.” The severity of the disabilities of those who get benefits is underscored by the fact that one in five men and nearly one in six women die within five years of being approved.

Once on the rolls, payments are far from cushy: they average $1,130 a month, just over the federal poverty line for a single person, and usually replace less than half of someone’s previous earnings. Very few beneficiaries are able to work and supplement that income: less than 17 percent worked at some point during the year in 2007, but less than 3 percent of those people made more than $10,000 annually.

3 thoughts on “Rand Paul: Most people on disability don’t deserve it

  1. Rand Paul shot off his entire right foot last week and made himself completely irrelevant as a politician.
    He introduced a bill in the Senate that would immediately halt all US aid to the Palestinians if they joined the International Criminal Court.
    Paul has become the Clown-in-Chief of the Republican Party.

  2. “If you throw them in the pond and they don’t drown, they’re not disabled. Oh yeah, they might be a witch, that too.”

  3. Not everyone who gets SSDI is disabled in their adulthood: children with disabilities who grow up into adult with disabilities can also receive SSDI, depending on their disabling condition and compensating abilities. I wish this was more widely known, and really don’t understand why the national disability advocacy organizations aren’t making a bigger stink right now. (Well, to be fair, I do know why they are being so quiet, they are deathly afraid of making any enemies, ever.)

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