To the Editor,

Lately, there has been a lot of comments posted online and discussed in this nation’s Congress about whether most people who receive government disability assistance are able to “work,” or are faking and committing fraud. I’d like to share some of my views on the subject.

I’d like to remind something to a lot of the people who post comments about disabled people who can work. The Social Security Act says that one is eligible for disability benefits if he/she is unable to earn more than $850 a month in gross income. Some disabled people work and, because of the condition that makes them disabled, are only able to earn far less than $850. Many disabled people work in what are called “sheltered workshops,” where they may earn less than $50 a month. They do this, at least in part, because they want have a work ethic, perhaps more of a work ethic than some “normal” people who goof off any chance they get.

Please do not criticize people with disabilities until you do the research. I’ve tried to work my way off of the benefits system. After my condition became worse last year, the psychiatrist who prescribes my psychiatric medication told me that, for the time being, I am not able to even volunteer. I believe that obeying professional advice is the correct thing to do. Side effects of the medication may be why I am lightheaded most of the time and not able to work or volunteer.


Edward Branca

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