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Undeserving people are collecting disability benefits

Regarding Yvonne Wenger's article on Social Security Disability, she is correct regarding how long it can take for truly needy people to be approved for disability benefits ("After a disability, long waits for federal benefits," Oct. 28).

My cousin, who is in her 60s, has had diabetes since childhood. During the last 15 years she has had chronic blood vessel leakage in her eyes and suffered diabetic comas and chronic kidney failures.

All that time she continued to work as a special needs teacher assistant. Over the last two years, she has tried to get disability approval but until this year she was denied every time even though she was on a kidney transplant list and could not drive due to her poor eyesight.

The part of the disability compensation problem Ms. Wenger failed to address was the ease with which many undeserving people are approved for disability benefits. Most people know friends or acquaintances who receive disability payments even though they have no disabilities that prevent them from functioning in the workforce.

All it takes is a dishonest disability lawyer with a doctor in his pocket. For a fee, the lawyer will send the client to "his" doctor, who then validates the client's "disability." The entire process can take a few months rather than years. These supposedly disabled people do intense yard work, build decks, work on cars, ride motorcycles and dance at social gatherings.

This is the real story that needs to be told. Pick 100 recipients at random and watch their activities. You may be surprised. Fixing this problem would greatly help Social Security's future solvency.

R.S., Colonial Beach, Va.

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