Living on the public dole

Everyday, someone goes into a state or federal agency asking for assistance to pay their living expenses.  It could be someone wanting food stamps or assistance with their utilities or it could be someone asking the federal government for money because they can’t work or are ready to retire.  Well, there are too many social programs like that to deal with all in one article, so this time, I’m covering Social Security. 

Social Security is not just retirement, but has a couple of different functions.  This article will cover retirement and disability.  They actually play two completely different roles in providing people with income.  First, and most used, is retirement.  Just about every American gets Social Security retirement at a certain age.  That age depends on the year you were born as your retirement age is set on that.  Example, my father’s retirement age is 62 because of the year he was born, but since I was born in 1974 my retirement age is 67.  People pay into the social security system as they work to build up a small annuity to help them pay for retirement.  Note the phrase “help them pay.”  Social Security was never meant to the be sole, or even a substantial part of, funding for retirement.  It was meant to be a supplement to the lower-income Americans. 

However it was intended in the beginning, more and more people rely on Social Security to pay most of their living expenses and such.  The sad reality is that there is not enough money in the retirement system to maintain these figures over the long haul.  The other sad reality is that while Social Security is available for retirement, you see more and more people saying their retirement will consist primarily of that income, creating higher numbers of Americans living below the poverty line and depending on the government to take care of them.

Obviously, starting young is better to save for retirement, but it’s never too late… unless you’re retired now, I guess.  The point is, start putting money back.  If you’re in my generation or younger, you may not have Social Security to rely on for any part of your retirement.  There are so many people on it now sucking it dry, that it simply cannot keep up.  There are not enough people working to offset the number of people on it now.

The other main component of Social Security is disability.  There are a few different parts of disability, but we’re going to just focus on the 2 main ones, Title 2 and Title 16.

Title 2 disability is insurance.  As an American worker, you’ve likely paid into it and are able to receive payment if you become disabled and unable to work.  The claimant has to go through a process showing they are unable to work and that they have paid into the system for a set amount of quarters, generally 40 quarters (equals 10 years).  The reason its done in quarters and not years is because the time doesn’t have to all together.

Title 16 is used when the person says they cannot work, but do not have the credits for Title 2.  You see a lot of career criminals trying to get on Title 16 after they get out of prison.  Title 16 is the welfare component.  You see people who never made enough money to pay into the system and people who refused to work for whatever reason getting on Title 16. 

Keep in mind, there are some people on Title 16 that also qualified for Title 2, but their inability to work brought them into a low enough income bracket to qualify.  Generally, the people who qualify for Title 16 only are the criminals, druggies, and lazy people.  Not to paint Title 16 recipients with a broad brush, there are some that have mental retardation and just could never work.  There are other people who were too young to work, or too young to build credits for Title 2, like children.

The main focus here is that peope shouldn’t rely on Social Security for either their retirement or disability unless they truly need it.  Too many people go to the disability side and try to work the system so they don’t have to work.  Point is, people, if you can work, but simply don’t want to, tough get a job.  Social Security is not unemployment, you are not disabled just because you can’t get hired.  Social Security retirement IS NOT and WAS NEVER meant as a substantial part of your retirement; don’t rely on that.  You’ll be sorry when you can’t do things because your broke waiting for your government cheese.

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2 Comments to “Living on the public dole”

  1. What is truly discouraging is to see good people working who really COULD qualify for disability very easily, while others all but FALSELY obtain Disability even though they really COULD work. I just don’t know what the answer is, other than wishing that some folks would grow backbones.

    • I’ll tell you this, I work for SSA and my job is to put those disability cases together. There are those of us in government who want smaller government and work hard to stop the financial hemoraging you see every day. I deal closely with the judges and I’ve personally brought down several who tried but could work.

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