There was an uncharacteristically incorrect story recently on National Public Radio. The subject was Social Security disability claims, and the conclusion was that money was being paid to undeserving claimants. Anyone who represents Social Security disability claimants can tell you this is an absolute joke. Ten times as many valid claims are rejected than invalid claims granted.
The National Organization for Social Security Claimants Representatives has issued this short rebuttal to the story (in addition to longer versions).
In a letter dated April 4, 2013, eight former Commissioners of the Social Security Administration have expressed their concerns about the very misleading and inaccurate series that was broadcast last week on NPR. That letter appears on our website: www.nosscr.org. The former Commissioners have presented the facts that should have been reported. We and others in the disability community are continuing to work hard on correcting the misinformation and errors that the series contained.
The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, of which NOSSCR is a member, has published a response, “Unfit for NPR – Let’s Get the Facts Straight on Disability” which is posted on CCD’s webpage. Over 100 groups have signed on to this joint statement.
The former SSA Commissioners’ open letter to NPR was featured on MSNBC Friday April 5, 2013, on All In with Chris Hayes. Immediate past Commissioner Michael Astrue was featured in the segment and did a wonderful job of articulating the concerns with NPR’s series and pushing back against many of the misconceptions about the programs’ growth. Rebecca Vallas, Esq. of Community Legal Services joined him in the segment, with Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute.
You can watch the video online: it is in two segments, one titled “Deconstructing the Jobs Numbers” and the other “Disability is Not the New Welfare.”
Nancy G. Shor