By Sharon Wachsler
In an op-ed piece in yestserday's Portland Press Herald, Yarmouth lawyer Daniel Emery debunks many of the popular myths about getting or staying on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The title and subhead of the editorial points to one of the biggest falsehoods about living on disability: "Maine Voices: Disability benefits don’t allow recipients to lead lives of leisure. As elected officials focus on entitlement spending, it’s important to separate perception from reality."
Emery quotes eight former Social Security commissioners who explained in public statements that only severely disabled people who apply for disability are approved and that the applications process is long and rigorous. The Maine lawyer also describes the poverty, struggles, and terrible living conditions of many of his clients in their long, grueling battles to get on Social Security disability.
The next time you hear someone talking about how easy it is to get on disability, what a cushy lifestyle it is, or how most of the people on disability aren't really disabled, why not show them a copy of Emery's editorial.