Monday, September 24, 2012

Becoming a Burden

How do I measure if a person has become a burden on society? Anyone who receives more in government subsidies than what they put into the system (plus interest) can be defined as a burden on our ever fragile federal budget and deficit. In my opinion, people who can survive without social security and Medicare should do so. Over 50% of Americans rely on some government handout to survive. I wondered – do I actually qualify for a government handout today even if I do not need the benefit? After all, under the Obama administration a half million more people have joined the social security disability ranks than found a job. Obama is formulating a nation of deadbeats who are becoming a burden on society – and he calls this “forward” progress. In a few previous posts I wrote about a neurological condition which wreaks havoc on my life – Benign Fasciculation Syndrome (BFS). Below is an outline of what requirements I would need to meet to qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits:

· Have you worked long enough and recently enough? The Social Security Administration specifies the number of work credits you must have in order to be eligible for disability benefits? In 2012, one work credit is equal to 1,130 dollars of income. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. I meet this requirement.

· You aren't working or if you are working, are earning under a certain amount? The Social Security Administration can advise you as to what that amount is because it changes regularly. In 2012, the limit was set to $1010 dollars per month. I meet this requirement.

· Your illness or condition is severe enough to interfere with certain work-related activities? Yes, it prevents me from doing a full day work on computers due to loss of sensory, cramping, weakness, and twitching in the hands. Benign Fasciculation Syndrome (BFS) is considered extreme if an individual suffers from 4 to 8 fasciculations per minute in a muscle. I have several muscles which have over 50 fasciculations per minute.

· Your condition appears on the list of disabling conditions maintained by the Social Security Administration? Yes, motor dysfunction. As described in 111.06, motor dysfunction may be due to any neurological disorder. It may be due to static or progressive conditions involving any area of the nervous system and producing any type of neurological impairment. This may include weakness, spasticity, lack of coordination, ataxia, tremor, athetosis, or sensory loss.

· You can't adjust to doing work different from the work you did previously? What job can you do when you have lost most of the feeling in your hands and feet and your body muscles twitch and cramp 24/7. What people fail to realize is that it that most people inflicted with BFS suffer from sleep deprivation – Hence, sufferers are always tired and weak. And to make matters worse, work stress only exasperates symptoms and makes it that much more difficult to complete tasks.

· Your disability lasts or is expected to last at least one year or result in death? My BFS symptoms have lasted in its current extreme condition for over 4 years and I was officially diagnosed with a neurological disorder 2.5 years ago and it is not going to go away. In fact, it has been getting progressively worse and therefore, more debilitating.

I do not know if the government would accept my application for Social Security Disability, but I have a legitimate argument since my condition meets their guidelines – in my opinion. Obviously, I will not apply because I do not believe in becoming a burden on other taxpayers. Besides, I force myself to do things even if they are harder or more uncomfortable to perform – type on the computer, rock climb, hike, bike, etc. As soon as I stop fighting is the minute this disorder completely controls my life. Just because it is uncomfortable for me to do things does not mean I should give up and become a burden on not only American taxpayers, but my wife.


  1. The question of Social Security is a difficult one for me. On the most basic level I don’t believe the program is Constitutional. But I understand the reasons for it and I don’t think it’s going away.

    A lot of my fellow bloggers don’t understand this but I don’t like the notion of means-testing for Social Security. That’s not because I’m so eager to collect, but it has to do with honesty within the gov’t. SS was sold as an insurance program. You contribute so much and if you live to a certain age you receive a defined monthly payment. When we means-test that it becomes, to a large extent, a wealth transfer program in which more successful Americans are funding the retirements of less successful Americans. I see nothing wrong with ASKING wealthier Americans to forego their payments from SS. But to simply decide to take it smacks of Marxism to me.

    Like my deceased brother-in-law, Paul, I admire your determination to be self-supporting, Patrick. There aren’t a lot of people who would do the same.

  2. Yes, my brother makes the same argument. He says you will turn an insurance program into a welfare program. But you have it right, people can elect not to accept their SS.