If you get too sick to work, don’t count on your disability payments for help

February 21, 2018
The News & Observer

People too ill to work are now waiting more than two years for the federal government to cut their first disability check.

Disability checks are meager – averaging about $1,060 a month – but are often the primary source of income for people with mental illness, cancer and other chronic conditions that can reduce once-productive, energetic employees to poverty and dependency.

The U.S. is now seeing unprecedented demand for disability payments as Baby Boomers confront old age and...

In defense of Social Security Disability Insurance

February 7, 2018

"Over half the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said in 2015. “Join the club. Who doesn’t get up a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts?”

It’s a common line from conservative politicians: that the Social Security Disability Insurance program is just welfare for people too lazy to work.

Many of those politicians haven’t spent much time at all actually talking to the people they’re denouncing — people like Randy...

The two biggest budget programs were missing from Trump's address

February 2, 2018

Two big items were missing from President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday night: Medicare and Social Security.

While these entitlement programs were absent from the President's speech, together they take up almost all of the government's mandatory spending.

"The harm of neglecting them is they're underfunded," said Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute's Tax Policy Center. "There is a cliff we're going to face in a few decades, at which...

How Voters With Disabilities Are Blocked From the Ballot Box

February 1, 2018

For decades, Kathy Hoell has struggled to vote. Poll workers have told the 62-year-old Nebraskan, who uses a powered wheelchair and has a brain injury that causes her to speak in a strained and raspy voice, that she isn’t smart enough to cast a ballot. They have led her to stairs she couldn’t climb and prevented her from using an accessible voting machine because they hadn’t powered it on.

“Basically,” Hoell said, “I’m a second-class citizen.”

The barriers Hoell has faced are...