In response to Margenau's excellent piece on disability from 3/31, I am a physician with 40 years of experience in mutiple practice settings including working for last decade as a Social security disability medical reviewer. I wholeheartedly agree with Tom when he states that the overwhelming majority of people who get Social security disability have serious underlying medical impairments expected to last more than 12 months which often result in limited life expectancy. Such persons cannot be judged by the public regardless of how they appear to the casual observer. The presence of substance abuse, obesity, young age, and minority status are NOT reasons to exclude individuals from having been deemed qualified to collect disability benefits. It remains an extremely rigorous process to get through the disability application and the average monthly benefit for those collecting disability is a paltry $800 per month. It's not as if people are getting rich collecting disability benefits in USA. We should stop casting stones towards the most vulnerable in our society.
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.