Tsk, tsk grey lady

October 24th, 2012 · No Comments · Blog, Featured Home Page Post

Last Sunday’s New York Times published an article criticizing disability benefits available through Social Security. Too bad it was largely inaccurate. Health & Disability Advocates’ health policy expert, Joe Entwisle, authored this gentle letter, which we publish here as an Open Letter to the New York Times:

Today’s Op-Ed, “The Disability Trap,” perpetuates a pervasive myth that contributes to the grossly low employment of persons with disabilities.

How do I know? I am a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiary, and have been since a high school wrestling injury left me paralyzed from the shoulders down. While it changed the way I get things done, it did not alter my plans for the future. I completed my bachelor’s and master’s degrees when I was 23 years old, and have been employed at least full time ever since, utilizing work incentives built into SSI.

SSI is much more flexible than this article implies. When an individual works, the SSI check is reduced using a formula that assures the individual always ends up with more income by working. There is flexibility to adjust the check if earned income falls or a job is lost and crucial Medicaid eligibility can stay in place even if the check is reduced to $0.

My suggestion to Mr. Criella, is to please contact me. You can work, and you deserve access to better information.

Joe Entwisle
Senior Policy Analyst



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