In efforts to paint some of those applying for disability benefits as undeserving, we tend to question both the severity and the legitimacy of the qualifying health condition. We tell ourselves they don’t deserve assistance because the condition just isn’t that bad, and regardless, they are to blame for their health problems anyway.
Disability is a remarkably complex concept that involves the person’s health, labor market conditions, adaptive technologies, discrimination and social welfare policy. What it means to be disabled has varied over time, along with changes in the nature of work and our understanding of health.
As we reexamine the role of disability programs in our social safety net, it is crucial to appreciate the multifaceted pathways that shape what it means to be disabled before crying fraud.
Read more in this intriguing article in the Los Angeles Times, measuring people’s attitude toward disability if they believe benefits are involved. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-obrien-social-security-disability-insurance-20150122-story.html