People who hate the Social Security Disability (SSD) program and disabled workers who seek benefits can change their attitudes very quickly - when they become disabled themselves. As has been reported often in this blog, opponents of SSD have been quite skillful at demonizing SSD, a federal program that pays benefits to people who can no longer work after paying into the system, often for decades. According to the naysayers, disabled workers who try to obtain benefits are undeserving and are trying to cheat the system.
One of the reasons for this is that they don't need the benefits themselves and don't know anyone who does. That makes it much easier to believe that claimants' illnesses and injuries are faked, that their claims are fraudulent and that all they need is more willpower to keep working. Unfortunately, people who believe these things also believe that attorneys and advocates who help the disabled obtain benefits are participating in fraud themselves or have been taken in by the fraudsters. They believe that judges who rule on claims and appeals are incompetent. With no hands-on knowledge, it's easy to accept this kind of misinformation.
However, people who are forced by unanticipated disability to file SSD claims often shift their attitudes 180 degrees. They then see how hard it is to obtain benefits, how frustrating the process is, and how people waiting for their claims to be resolved can be bankrupted because they have no sources of income - because they cannot work. Some even consider suicide. This is a very different story from the tale that is told in many media outlets.
Advocates who help people with SSD claims are often demonized along with their clients. At Binder & Binder®, we read the papers and watch television. We know what critics say about us - often with little real information. However, we carry on. For more than 40 years, we have been helping the disabled get the benefits they need and that they paid for. We believe it is work worth doing.
If you believe you need SSD benefits because injury or illness makes it impossible to do your job, call us from anywhere in the U.S. We are America's most successful Social Security Disability advocates, and we are not frightened by negative stories. In fact, media lies and half-truths make us determined to fight even harder for clients who really need our help.
Source: Disability Dunk Tank, "Civil obedience ... and other lawful rebellions," n.d.