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Rockntractor
11-18-2011, 12:10 PM
By Christopher Orlet on 11.17.11 @ 6:08AM

SSI has replaced AFDC as the New Welfare.
Ever since I moved to the inner city one thing has puzzled me more than any other, and that is how my low-income neighbors get by. Assuming they aren't doing anything illegal, how do they afford their homes, their meals, their gadgets, their cars?

Few seem to work, even part time, for they are home in the morning when I leave for work, home if I stop by for lunch, and home when I return in the evening. They can't work the graveyard shift, for they keep me up half the night with their raucous music. I am left to conclude that they seldom, if ever work. Therefore, their funds must come from elsewhere. And none of them strike me as a trust fund baby.

The best I can figure is they make do with a patchwork of welfare programs. Besides, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which expires after five years, there is housing assistance, WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and Medicaid. There are food stamps, which also can be sold in parking lots for cash, and various lesser programs, such as heating assistance.

Beyond government subsidies, there is no shortage of help available from church and nonprofit groups. My mother volunteers at a pregnancy crisis center where the poor are given free diapers, clothing, and baby formula. Every day she has to turn away scammers who try to exceed their monthly allotment. Our parish sponsors a food pantry and local religious organizations provide free furniture. Meantime, nearly all of my neighbors have cable, big screen plasma TVs, and cell phones (I have none of these). From the smells that waft over our fence, many somehow afford illegal drugs.

But even with government subsidies, housing isn't completely covered. By my reckoning my neighbors must still come up with a few hundred dollars a month for rent and miscellaneous expenses.

THEN A SOCIAL WORKER friend clued me in. Many of the poor also collect federal disability benefits in the form of Supplemental Security Insurance, or "crazy money" as it is known on the streets, since one must "act crazy" to receive it. Oftentimes several people in the same household -- adults and children -- collect checks. This surprised me, since I had never for a moment guessed that my neighbors were disabled.

SSI was enacted in 1974 to supplement the Social Security benefits of disabled low-income seniors, and, as an afterthought, to help pay for the care of severely disabled children from poor families. As with any federal program, SSI has ballooned to Hindenbergian proportions, and now covers virtually any low-income person with any long-term ailment. Not surprisingly, easy-to-fake learning, behavioral, and mental disorders are the most common complaints, especially among children, making up 55 percent of all cases.

Poor adults, who in pre-welfare reform days were offered incentives to be idle and proliferant, are again incentivized to be idle and proliferant. And what an incentive it's been. Last year the Social Security Administration paid almost $50 billion in SSI benefits. More than $9 billion was paid to 1.2 million disabled children.

What's more, recipients are not required to get treatment for their or their children's maladies -- although this may be a good thing, since it is doubtless harmful for kids to take powerful psychotropic drugs for counterfeit or exaggerated symptoms.

My friend visits one such family in which four members collect SSI checks, one adult and three children. One child suffers from asthma, which would probably clear up if the mother -- who is unemployed -- bothered to clean her house. However, she has a monetary incentive not to clean or to seek treatment for her child, for if the asthma cleared up, and this was found out (an unlikely event since SSA workers routinely fail to conduct follow up visits), that could mean one less check. Also, like the now defunct Aid to Families with Dependent Children, SSI encourages dependency and is cyclical in nature. More than half who go on SSI as a child, requalify as adults. And the cycle continues.

Economically speaking, it makes perfect sense for the poor to rely on SSI. Compared to the old welfare, SSI is a plump cash cow. Here in Missouri, one of the least generous states, TANF recipients receive a measly $136 per person per month, while each SSI recipient takes home about $674. A family of four could amass $32,352 annually, not counting other benefits. Besides, since most of my neighbors dropped out of high school, there is not much they could do to earn a living other than work in fast food for minimum wage. And why put yourself through that when you can watch television all day and collect more in aid? Why bother trying to raise yourself up?

In 1988, there were 4.46 million SSI recipients. Today, there are 8 million. It is impossible to know how many of these are fakers gaming the system, but SSI recipients know no color or geographic boundary. Federal data shows that roughly half are white, half black. Nor does the phenomenon apply to all of the poor. My social worker friend visits several severely mentally handicapped persons who work menial jobs rather than accept government largess. They take pride in going to work every day and in setting a good example for their children. My neighbors would think them crazy.


http://spectator.org/archives/2011/11/17/the-new-welfare-swindle

Arroyo_Doble
11-18-2011, 12:26 PM
There is also the issue of concentration. Apartment complexes a block or so from my house are almost exclusively Section-8 and judging from the number of motorized wheelchairs, I would imagine many of them are also SSI recipients.

There really aren't that many with cars, though. Bling drives in and out of one complex with obvious look-outs but I figure that is the drug trade; dealers living with either mom or whatever female on assistance they could convince to support them.

And the article is correct that it isn't just inner city blacks. I know someone who taught special ed in a rural community west of Ft Worth and she was always trying to point the kids toward work, even menial (most prefered independence, BTW), while the parents were interested only in getting the "Crazy Check."

While a surface article with little depth of reporting and any real attempt to explain what is going on, it does seem to me to have a vaneer of accuracy.

Starbuck
11-18-2011, 01:21 PM
Yup.

I know of a mother-son team on crazy money, and I had a nurse explain to me how to 'retire' if I wanted. She wanted. And she did. She told the HR representative at the hospital where she worked (she was tired of it) that she felt like buying an AK-47 and just shooting people. Instant 'retirement'.

AmPat
11-18-2011, 01:26 PM
There is also the issue of concentration. Apartment complexes a block or so from my house are almost exclusively Section-8 and judging from the number of motorized wheelchairs, I would imagine many of them are also SSI recipients.


While a surface article with little depth of reporting and any real attempt to explain what is going on, it does seem to me to have a vaneer of accuracy.

I noticed many people who opt for those electric wheel chairs are on the rotund side. :eek:

Arroyo_Doble
11-18-2011, 01:49 PM
I noticed many people who opt for those electric wheel chairs are on the rotund side. :eek:

I have had some interesting encounters but one of my favorites was an able bodied lady borrowing one of those motorized chairs not 20 feet from me and the able bodied man let her have it. It looked odd at the time but I realized it must help her in her panhandling since she came up to me and tried to get a few bucks even though I just watched her exchange.

Ballsy.

noonwitch
11-18-2011, 03:18 PM
If someone gets SSI and has kids, they can still get welfare for the kids in addition to the SSI check. Even without kids, SSI recipients also receive medicaid and EBT food benefits. Because they are given the status of a disabled person, they also are exempt from participating in any mandatory welfare to work programs.


Here's the other scam social workers can tell you about-men who take advantage of developmentally disabled or mentally ill women for their SSI and welfare money. If someone is too disabled to handle their money, they have a representative payee appointed to recieve the checks. When I was a prevention worker, me and a couple other workers found a guy who was the payee for 5 or 6 women, all of whom had mental illnesses ranging from substance abuse issues to full-blown schizophrenia. This was still in the days of ADC-he had impregnated all of these women at least one time for each of them, and was also receiving those benefits. But the women were living in filth and they had no food in their homes for their kids.

Tipsycatlover
11-18-2011, 03:47 PM
I have known a TON of parents who carefully coach their kids into acting crazy to get the crazy checks, It's a point to ponder, after a lifetime of this, what kind of adult is created? A perfectly normal person might be so trained into being crazy, that they can't possibly behave any other way.

noonwitch
11-18-2011, 05:04 PM
I have known a TON of parents who carefully coach their kids into acting crazy to get the crazy checks, It's a point to ponder, after a lifetime of this, what kind of adult is created? A perfectly normal person might be so trained into being crazy, that they can't possibly behave any other way.

The Social Security Administration is not supposed to be giving SSI for ADHD anymore, but it is still happening. Plus, parents now have access to the DSM via the internet, and so anyone can look up the diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder (which is what they are going with, for the most part) and coach their kids on it. No other country in the world recognizes childhood onset of bipolar disorder except this country.

AmPat
11-18-2011, 05:34 PM
I have had some interesting encounters but one of my favorites was an able bodied lady borrowing one of those motorized chairs not 20 feet from me and the able bodied man let her have it. It looked odd at the time but I realized it must help her in her panhandling since she came up to me and tried to get a few bucks even though I just watched her exchange.

Ballsy.You're too nice. This was a great opportunity to publicly embarrass her.

Arroyo_Doble
11-18-2011, 05:49 PM
You're too nice. This was a great opportunity to publicly embarrass her.

When a transvestite carrying a bag of Doritos with crumbs still on her (his?) lips rings your doorbell and asks for money for food, you realize that simply is not possible.

Starbuck
11-18-2011, 06:18 PM
When a transvestite carrying a bag of Doritos with crumbs still on her (his?) lips rings your doorbell and asks for money for food, you realize that simply is not possible.

If you can't embarrass them, go for stupification. At least you'll have fun watching.

Once, I was asked for money to get 'back home to Cincinnati' by a couple in Oklahoma in the west bound rest area of I-40. They could not explain to me why they were in the west bound rest area asking for money to go East.

But it was fun to watch.:)

Arroyo_Doble
11-18-2011, 06:20 PM
If you can't embarrass them, go for stupification. At least you'll have fun watching.

Once, I was asked for money to get 'back home to Cincinnati' by a couple in Oklahoma in the west bound rest area of I-40. They could not explain to me why they were in the west bound rest area asking for money to go East.

But it was fun to watch.:)

Ha!

Unfortunately, the next guy heard how badly they were trying to get to Albuquerque. :D

AmPat
11-19-2011, 11:16 AM
When a transvestite carrying a bag of Doritos with crumbs still on her (his?) lips rings your doorbell and asks for money for food, you realize that simply is not possible.

THAT------------------Is funny stuff!:D

RobJohnson
11-19-2011, 11:16 AM
I noticed many people who opt for those electric wheel chairs are on the rotund side. :eek:

I have often seen brand new scooters for sale as used....it's an easy way to pocket a couple thousand when the taxpayers paid for it in the first place.

Many of the so-called special needs children I deal with get sack fulls of "babysitter in a bottle" (ie: medication) and this includes the mother. The children usually have several different last names... And they are always allergic to the "generics" as the brand name drugs have a higher street value.

These families seem to know more about drug identification then most pharmacists.

Elspeth
11-19-2011, 09:48 PM
Here's the other scam social workers can tell you about-men who take advantage of developmentally disabled or mentally ill women for their SSI and welfare money. If someone is too disabled to handle their money, they have a representative payee appointed to recieve the checks. When I was a prevention worker, me and a couple other workers found a guy who was the payee for 5 or 6 women, all of whom had mental illnesses ranging from substance abuse issues to full-blown schizophrenia. This was still in the days of ADC-he had impregnated all of these women at least one time for each of them, and was also receiving those benefits. But the women were living in filth and they had no food in their homes for their kids.

Who appoints these "representative payees"?

BTW, the saddest story I ever knew personally was of a 63-year old woman, legally blind, diabetic with half her right foot missing, STILL working because she could not get welfare. This was back in the 90s. She went down to the welfare office and was turned down because she was white. I kid you not. The local office was run by a certain group of immigrants (legal, technically refugees) who easily put through forms for people from their community who were being paid under the table in the neighborhood. But this 63-year old lady couldn't get a fucking dime. She died before she could collect social security.

Rockntractor
11-19-2011, 10:00 PM
Who appoints these "representative payees"?

BTW, the saddest story I ever knew personally was of a 63-year old woman, legally blind, diabetic with half her right foot missing, STILL working because she could not get welfare. This was back in the 90s. She went down to the welfare office and was turned down because she was white. I kid you not. The local office was run by a certain group of immigrants (legal, technically refugees) who easily put through forms for people from their community who were being paid under the table in the neighborhood. But this 63-year old lady couldn't get a fucking dime. She died before she could collect social security.

The elderly are being swept under the rug and healthy able bodied people are stealing what the rest of us pay in taxes.

AmPat
11-20-2011, 10:55 AM
Who appoints these "representative payees"?

BTW, the saddest story I ever knew personally was of a 63-year old woman, legally blind, diabetic with half her right foot missing, STILL working because she could not get welfare. This was back in the 90s. She went down to the welfare office and was turned down because she was white. I kid you not. The local office was run by a certain group of immigrants (legal, technically refugees) who easily put through forms for people from their community who were being paid under the table in the neighborhood. But this 63-year old lady couldn't get a fucking dime. She died before she could collect social security.

My brother had a similar experience. His factory closed and he tried to get assistance to feed his family of five. He was turned down. At the office, he noticed a room full of fat, minority women who had no discernible skills other than eating and producing welfare offspring.:mad: