#disability #DisabilityPayments #SocialSecurityDisability
Between 1996 and 2015, the number of working-age adults receiving disability payments climbed from 7.7 million to 13 million.
The federal government this year will spend an estimated $192 billion on disability payments, more than the combined total for food stamps, welfare, housing subsidies and unemployment assistance.
The above statistics were quoted in a Washington Post article on the rise in people on disability in rural areas, because of a lack of jobs.
The article, written by Terrence McCoy, with photos by Bonnie Jo Mount, was published April 9, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Post analyzed Social Security Administration statistics and told the stories of several working-age adults in rural America with various aches, pains etc., who are not working and have slim prospects of finding work where they live.
Are they disabled, or just desperate? the article asks.
It’s been said that almost anyone older than 40 can find some ailment that could qualify them for disability.
Desmond Spencer from Alabama, who wouldn’t turn 40 for a few months, according to when the Post article was written, struggled with the thought of being disabled.
As he fielded calls from debt collectors, he felt various parts of his body hurting, as he took family members to a pain clinic.
“There’s a stigma about (going on disability),” the article quotes Spencer. “Disabled. Disability. Drawing a check. But if you’re putting food on the table, does it matter?” the article quotes Spencer.
We can debate whether the government should be paying this much out in disability. We can also debate the qualifications to draw disability payments. We can also debate the amount of fraud that may be in the Social Security disability program.
But when one has no job at a relatively young age, and the job prospects are slim, it’s easy to see how otherwise hard-working people can become desperate, discouraged or defeated, as the article puts it.
But in all the misery, there is good news.
For those who prefer not to be on the dole, there are many ways out there to earn an income – perhaps even a better income than one earned while he was working. To hear about one of the best such vehicles, message me.
To sum it up, many jobs that have been lost are not coming back. Many people who have lost good jobs are forced to take jobs that pay less – even considerably less – than the job they lost.
In some rural areas of the country, jobs in general are scarce and many working-age adults must either move or be stuck without a job.
Some who have become unemployed must also take care of family members with health challenges.
The solution: think long and hard about how you want to live your life. If you are depressed, get treated for it. If not, try to look for ways to be as productive as you can. Disability payments are not the best solution, if you are able to do most things for yourself. By the way, some who could legitimately claim disability do not, and would rather not. They prefer independence.
Look for other ways to survive, even thrive. Do it for yourself, and your family. You’ll feel much better if you look for a different way.


The country group Alabama’s song, “Cheap Seats,” is an anthem to average.
It talks about middle-sized towns, minor league baseball and a local band that is, “not that bad, and not that good.” But, the average guys love to dance after watching their minor-league game so the average band is just fine.
How great the “average” life is.
Many people look for politicians who are “average” people, but usually can’t find them.
You see, “average” people can’t afford to give up their average jobs that support their average lifestyles, on the chance that enough “average” people will vote them in.
So, as a substitute, the “average” folks look for politicians who can RELATE to “average” people.
This begs two questions: how do we define “average,” and why is it desirable to be “average?”
The definition of “average” is fluid. In our smarter, technologically advancing world, it changes by the second. We often desire to be average because it’s safe, comfortable and we’ve been told by our elders that “average” is good. It grounds us. It gives us security. It tells us not to take chances or risks. And, by the way, all the people we want as our friends are all “average.”
“Average” people raise good children. Hopefully, those children will become good, yet “average,” adults. Average people mind their own business and, if they are lucky, maintain a good, average life in old age.
With the fluid definition of “average,” might there come a day when we won’t want to be “average” anymore?
When might the day come that we become better than average, even “great,” without becoming different people?
We all want what the above-average people have, but the essence of our “averageness” makes us not want to jump out of our comfort zone to go for it. Those who do are no longer considered “average,” and may even be resented by most “average” people.
But, in most cases, as we elevate out of “averageness,” we become different people in the process. This begs a final question: is that a bad thing?
Perhaps we don’t want to elevate because our friends will resent us. Perhaps we don’t want to elevate because doing so will require us to do “uncomfortable” things. Perhaps we don’t want to elevate out of fear of disappointing those we love.
Make no mistake: those who elevate from average will become different people. That difference may be resented by some friends. But, in the elevation process, one may make many new friends. The discomfort one may have felt in the elevation process will not only subside, but also eventually become very comfortable. Confidence in achievement greatly mitigates discomfort.
If you want to elevate, but see yourself currently as “average,” there are many vehicles available to help you rise above “averageness.” For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You’ll see lots of “average” people who have indeed elevated.
It was said of the late Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee, that he was like the Tennessee River: right down the middle in his political viewpoint. Sometimes, being right down the middle can accomplish more than being an “average” person.