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« Sick | Main | Addendum to the Previous Post »

April 16, 2006



Thank you.
Also, I hope the long post means you're feeling a little better.


Hi Lisa. No more email - just comments. I worked for a workers comp insurance company in CA and my experience was that for every 1 valid claim there were 999 bogus claims. 999 claims of "on the day I was fired for incompetence, I developed headaches, back aches and stress" against the 1 claim of hand cut off in meat packing plant. And I think it is a big problem because it costs a lot of money to administer bogus claims and it takes resources away from people who really need it. All you say about disabled people not having accomodations made for them is true but it is also true that plenty of people are cheats. So, put me in the skeptics column.


re: " It seems like there are a lot of people who aren't really disabled and try to get on disability just so they don't have to work and then go around acting like they are so totally disabled."

The vast majority of individuals who file for disability have legitimate problems. Think about it. Even if you get approved for social security disabiltiy and not ssi, the benefit amount is very small. Almost anybody would rather be working and earning an income versus being on disability.


Once again, I think you are right on.

I don't feel I'm disabled from RA, but I wish there were a middle ground between fulltime work and health insurance and Disability, which I don't want and wouldn't qualify for. Parttime work with health insurance would be great. I've had such a job before, but couldn't find one this time around.


I must be of the .00001% of the REALLY disabled people you don’t know. I really took offense with your blog it seemed so one sided. You could be a very nice person who’s frustrated because of all the fakes out there, heck nobody likes to be fooled or taken advantage of. However, I really don’t think it’s fair for you to be so harsh on people who are truly disabled. I've seen the abusers out there who make it so unbelievably hard for legitimate people with disabilities, but in reading your blog I have to say it’s unfair.

I broke my back, “in the line of duty”, working in law enforcement. Not knowing I fractured my vertebrae, I thought “okay a couple of paid days off of work would be nice” I thought I just pulled a few muscles. It turned into years and after 2 failed back surgeries I’ve come to the conclusion everyone is worried about the money and to hell with the person. I was very good at my job but now I’m a poster child for the scooter chair. Do you even realize the depression that comes from losing your life as you’ve known it for 38 years? All of your goals ripped out from under you, your family unit and structure destroyed? From reading your blog I would say your disability was something you were born into or developed over time. Still it doesn’t grant you and all of the insurance claim representatives out there the gift of knowing all. You may not realize this but you have armed the insurance companies with a text book account of what they think is normal thinking is. You can’t think you are in the same category as a real disabled person. Someone who’s life expectancy has dropped because if the injury, pain and drugs.


Interesting comments. I wonder if some of you actually read the whole post?

RJ, I do not discount any of the hardships your disability has caused you. It must be a terrible thing to have your life and career stripped from you at 38. D lost everything in one instant at 18, right when he was to have gone off to college and had his whole life ahead of him. I recently lost my vision just 2 weeks before my twins were born, even though I was visually impaired before, it was indeed traumatic.
Now, forget what the authorities are bullshitting you around with and making you prove, when you look at yourself, what are the good things that you offer the world, your family, your country? What gifts do you have? In not knowing you, I can already see you can use the computer and write decently. Could you do that for ten minutes a day? An hour? Maybe two? Or is there something else you would like to do to contribute to society?
What if you could do that thing and still get your health insurance and a living wage? Even if it was just for two hours a day and with a special computer or a special chair that helped your back or whatever it is that you need? What if you could do that and get the respect of your peers, even if the work you were doing was not as much as your peers or took you longer or you did it differently? What if your needs were met, both healthwise and in the workplace, and financially...and you were able to add your gifts to society at large?

This is what I mean when I say everyone can work. This is the world I'm talking about...not the current one. Not the one the insurance companies fancy that you can just jump right into the regular current workforce with no assistance or help so they don't have to pay for you.

It is a world where partial participation counts for something, instead of it just being you can sit on your ass and do nothing, or you can work full-time without accommodations.

The ten minutes you might have spent writing this comment would count. You can work in this world. Nearly everyone can.



I was gonna say "yee-ha! Where do I sign up for Lisa's revolution?" But now I'm all confused by RJ.

RJ, I don't think you got what she meant. Anyhow, she isn't harsh or one-sided in my experience. She's not saying that everyone MUST or SHOULD work, but that most people can and if they want to, they should be allowed to.


I have to admit, I could not focus on your entire blog. That's one of the problems I have with this medication, I can't remember anything short term. I skimmed after the first few paragraphs and that was unfair to you. I see that you think people should be allowed to work if they want and that everyone has a place in this world so that they can contribute. My bust. I'm in pain 24/7 and I'm getting bashed by my insurance company and at work I have been told I'm just a number. This was just yesterday when my Union president and I spoke on the phone; he said people in my position need to go on the TV. news and fight. How in the world could I... As I was speaking to him my neighbors had my truck towed because 5" of it crossed the property line. Life has put me down and I'm driving from the back seat.

Regardless, I, we have to survive and maybe I shouldn't of got so much on the offense but I had to explain as much as apologize. If anyone has the desire and ability to work no matter what the disability they definitely should be allowed. If you worked in law enforcement and those injuries occurred they would make you go back to work! And then find some made up reason to fire you, It's all about the "Mighty Dollar". You are a disposable item in this politically charged society.

*Just a note to the confused reader afterI posted my thought before; Try not to let yourself get confused. Say it if you feel it, screw the road bumps!


re:"First of all, I have developed a policy. If someone tells me they have [insert disease, symptom, impairment here] that is affecting their life and ability to work; I just take it as truth on face value."

Fantastic policy, because, in most cases, we can't see a person's disability.

re:"And they also pay a lot of money to SSA and insurance companies to make sure these folks aren't big fakers, liars, and cheats. They make these people prove over and over again that they can't work for shit. Often times even going to the lengths of hiring private investigators and videotaping them without their knowledge.

SSA doesn't do this, however, when you're filing an application for benefits or filing an appeal, the disability examiner (I used to be one) will sometimes conduct an "activities of daily living" call to the claimant's relative, friend, or neighbor. Also, after an individual has been approved for disability, they still have to "prove" over and over again that they're disabled by having their claim reviewed every 1, 3, or 7 years.

Lisa, this post of yours was excellent.

Jennifer Greene

The problem is that our society has taken the position that anyone who is ABLE to work should be FORCED to work. I'd hate to see a world that has quadriplegics lined up in front of scanners pushing a single button all day long. Just how fast would that give them repetitive stress injury to their only working part, I wonder?

A better solution is to give everyone, whether abled or dis, a Guaranteed Livable Income (I like to think of it as Guaranteed Working Capital) representing their rightful share of the nation's wealth as its human resources.

The GLI could be paid out monthly from the same mailing list now used for income taxes; people who do well that year would have it taxed back. It will save money in the long run. There will be less stress on the health-care system, and most of the welfare bureaucracy could be dismantled. Money given to low-income people tends to be recirculated many times within the local community rather than invested in off-shore tax shelters.

People who don't want jobs at a given time can make room for those who do. Nobody would have to demean themselves by pretending they can't work at all, nor would they be forced to neglect their health or their loved ones and/or harm themselves by struggling at jobs that are unsuitable for them.

We have had such a run of really bad jobs that many people are now convinced that nobody would work at all unless forced to. But the employer/employee economic structure is actually a fairly recent one. Most of the people who sit in Congress and pass the laws, or sit in "think tanks" and parrot back what their paymasters want to hear, already have guaranteed incomes. Why shouldn't we?



Wow! I just linked to your site via a comment on Ragged Edge online and loved this post. I struggle to find the words to express these very ideas to classmates and colleagues and you did an amazing job of crystallizing these concepts. My dad (C-7 quad) worked for many years with little to no accomodation in customer service for a major airline, but went on disability after the airline went out of business. He could have worked, he wanted to work, but chose to stay home and raise his three kids through adolescence rather than go back out in a hostile world and try to find work. My little sister, who has developmental disabilities and a few physical impairments, applied for SSI because though she could work part time, it wasn't enough to get health benefits or live independently. She was denied. She loves working, she just needs a little help to get by. It's such a horrible system.

Anyway, I just wanted to say "right on!"


Funny, the blog had an X-judge’s position. I have a neighbor who loves to take pictures of me at any point she can! My doctor says “do as much as you can” and I try, but then I'm surrounded by harassment. It's like they think I'm enjoying this life. I was so full of life before this injury! I was a regular “Johnny helper”.

I say that because I feel I have to paint a picture of myself to you, a stranger who even dares to claim he/she is a judge with the manors you exhibit. So the original Blog was meant for disabled people who are not in “pain” & are not “fakers” & are real, true and trying to make it in this world. Myself as an injured Officer, I feel betrayed.

Just because there is a sentence in the original Blog that is negative or maybe not so negative as much as one sided you have taken the stereotypical view as you deem fit. It doesn’t look to fair to me that your looking at someone trying to live with pain and gave up freedom as their job to defend such a mind as your. Please tell me you’re not really a judge ~ at the very least not practicing ( I think you eluded to the point that you did this as an occupation while in the course of a different job than what you occupy now. My health was not asked for but given with total confidence that society, the same society that handed me this badge would not take the word of a civilian. If that was the case then why wouldn’t you just hand the guns out to the general public? Yes, I took offense and maybe there are a bunch of transparent “fakers” out there but never the less I’m heart broken at the same time. I had such hope! Right now I hope the topic of “faker’s doesn’t mean someone like me and pray to God no one would want, what I feel, every day, evening, or night.

There are different kinds of disabilities and every case has to be individually measured. I hurt all the time and I wish I could work! I wish my memory wasn't so clouded by this medication and I could enjoy yard work like I used to. Something as little as getting outside means so much to me; I even bought a camper so I could lay around at different quiet spots in pain as long as it is “not in my house”. I can't believe you wouldn't believe the ill person, with medical evidence and would rather trust a neighbor?!?! If you only knew my neighbors! And they’re messy and mean too, they really do harass me in ways that are petty I must admit (like throwing half cooked eggs into my yard) as I continue down this road to an inevitable recovery, at some point I know I'll have to face the pain and fight back or just die.... But right now and when you’re sleeping I'm awake because people just don't care. Money talks… Society, at this point, makes me feel they would rather pounce on a person who can't be at their best because of a painful disability it like the rule makers and judges can’t feel their pain or measure it some how, I don’t get that. Like I said before I pray there are not people out there who hurt like me, but I know also that it can’t be true. You can worry about money all you want but I was there protecting you from the psycho's of this world and being around criminal types constantly I can't accept that a decision. It’s like allowing an Officer, someone who put his life on hold 8-16 hours a day 24/7, would not be considered honest in telling the truth. The only things getting me by so I can have a few minutes at a tolerable level are my three (3) narcotics I take and knowing I have such a loving family helps me want to thrive. Regardless what society thinks at this point I am here on this earth as a veteran, X - Medical-Surgical Technologist and a now X-Officer. I used to be enthusiast and now I’m undetermined.



Since we hashed this out via comments and email several weeks ago, I thought we had a respectful understanding of where we were both coming from.

I'm afraid I'm now not understanding any of your latest comment. Did you accidentally post to the wrong blog? I'm sorry if I'm missing something here, but I'm not understanding your references. Good luck to you.

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