Is it possible for a major news organization to produce a story about the Social Security disability program without interviewing a single disabled person or disability advocate?
Not only did 60 Minutes not interview even a single disabled person or disability advocate, they didn't interview anyof the past eight Social Security commissioners or even the SSA's chief actuary, Steve Goss.
Of course, that might have been because any of these people could have corrected some of the incorrect or misinformed information Sen. Tom Coburn gave out.
Things like getting the actual number of individuals on disability correct - there are 8.8 million disabled individuals on disability, not 12 million. (60 Minutes added in the children of disabled Americans who get assistance.)
Steve Goss, the SSA's actuary could have also explained that because the demographic of the United States is aging, Baby Boomers coming into retirement age, the prevalence of disability goes up.
The Social Security commissioners could have also corrected the misinformation about SSDI being easy to get, as could anyone who's ever been through the process. Two-thirds of all applicants are initially denied, though 10% or so of all applicants win benefits on appeal. All in all, 41% of all applicants end up with checks and that process can take years. Welfare workers who have worked with individuals applying for SSDI have a code for individuals who die of their disabilities before receiving benefits - Disability Approval through Death. Sound easy to you?
It's truly a shame that 60 minutes saw fit to do such a poor job of research on this important issue. Perhaps individuals who have been through the process should contact 60 Minutes and share their experiences. Maybe when they see how inaccurate and skewed they were, they will reassess the issue.