Blogcatalog's Bloggers Unite For Human Rights: Sick and disabled Americans waiting on SS Disability benefits, going bankrupt or dying in the process

Bloggers Unite

Some of the more recent history of human rights -

From Wikipedia on Human Rights:

The history of human rights covers thousands of years and draws upon religious, cultural, philosophical and legal developments throughout recorded history.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
United States Declaration of Independence
~Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, as authorized by the Continental Congress, July 2, 1776 with minor revisions and released publicly on July 4, 1776.

...recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world

—Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948

The term inalienable rights refers to a theoretical set of individual human rights that by their nature cannot be taken away, violated, or transferred from one person to another. They are considered more fundamental than alienable rights, such as rights in a specific piece of property.

Inalienable (Individual) Rights are: natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They are the most fundamental set of human rights, natural means not-granted nor conditional. They are applicable only to humans, as the basic necessity of their survival.

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen approved by the National Assembly of France, August 26, 1789.

It's my proposition that the future of human rights includes the right to good medical care and a decent standard of living even for those who are not able to work to support themselves. Seems to me this falls under both the pursuit of life, and the pursuit of happiness.

It's unbelievable to me that in the United States of America, undisputedly one of the greatest nations in the world, people who are not able to work are routinely forced to live for two years and longer while our government decides to give them the disability benefits they paid for with money taken out of every paycheck for Social Security Disability Insurance through that line-item known as FICA. People are facing homelessness, bankruptcy and even death trying to get the benefits they paid for fair and square. Unfortunately, Yours Truly is part of this group.

Facts are:

  • 2 out of 3 applicants are rejected
  • average wait time 520 days for a hearing
  • 750,000 cases are back logged in the system - up 150% since 2000

From A BOOK REVIEW by Cort Johnson: "We’re Not in Kansas Anymore: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Politics of Disease” by Rik Carlson:

"... you talk about how you’ve seen people with CFS ‘just disappear’. It often starts with a string of fruitless, sometimes humiliating physician’s visits. The next step is usually the loss of job, career and financial security, along the way relationships often break under the strain, there’s the fall through society's frayed safety net and finally a disappearance. For those who are not fortunate to have family or some other support they can fall back on, this disease, as difficult as it is already, can get incredibly grim."

Why is it that we can spend billions rebuilding other countries, but we can't do more to help Americans with disabilities?

Bloggers Unite


Message from the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Michael J. Astrue

Disabled and Waiting - CBS News Investigation: Backlog In Disability Benefits System Leaves Thousands Of Vulnerable Americans Stranded

Disability Digest Blog!, "Understaffed Overworked Social Security Asked To Take on Another Dumb Ass Task..."

Social Security Disability Resource Site

Social Security Disability Reform Petition by the SS Disability Coalition - online support site, home to one horror story after another

Insurers Faulted as Overloading Social Security
(this is definitely not helping)

Backlog of Claims Leaves Social Security Recipients Waiting

Remarkable Improvement: From Sick to Disabled

HEALTH CARE: Dying for help

Recent Denial Rates for Disability Applications, provided by Disability Blogger

California - In California, 55.5 percent are denied.
Texas - In Texas, 61.5 percent are denied.
Pennsylvania - In pennsylvania 55.1 percent are denied.
Wisconsin - 62.6 percent denied.
Washington - 58.9 percent denied.
Virginia - 61.6 percent denied.
Massachusetts - 54.7 percent denied.
Maryland - 66 percent denied.
Michigan- 64.1 percent denied.
Minnesota - 57.6 percent denied.
Mississippi - 72.8 percent denied.
Missouri - 66.8 percent denied.
Nevada - 50.4 percent denied.
New Jersey - 50 percent denied.
New Mexico - 59.6 percent denied.
New York - 61.9 percent denied.
North Carolina - 67.2 percent denied.
Ohio - 71.1 percent denied.
Oklahoma - 66.1 percent denied.
Oregon - 66.3 percent denied.
Arizona - 53.4 percent denied.
Arkansas - 63.2 percent denied.
Colorado - 73.7 percent denied.
Florida - In Florida, 64.9 percent are denied.
Georgia - 71.8 percent denied.
Illinois - 61.2 percent denied.
Indiana - 67.8 percent denied.
Kansas - 67.3 percent denied.
Kentucky - 67.7 percent denied.
Louisiana - 68.8 percent denied.
Tennessee - 74.3 percent denied.
Alabama - 70.6 percent denied.
Connecticut - 62.2 percent denied.
Utah - 69.8 percent denied.


  1. Hi Sherrill, I see you found and posted on your blog the stats I have gathered and listed at the bottom of my blog (
    My Disability Blog

    They're pretty awful statistics in general. And they're not getting better as far I can tell. If you'd like to list my site as a resource, please do. I'm a former disability examiner for social security.

  2. The denial rates are shocking! I never would have expected Colorado to be the worst!

    Just an FYI...Barack Obama just set up his official profile with Disaboom where he has posted his viewpoints on issues concerning disability. Visitors can also log in to ask their questions. Disaboom is actively encouraging all candidates to participate in this open dialog so we'll see where that goes.

  3. Hi Disability Blogger,

    Yes, I will get your site listed as the resource right away. Sorry I didn't do that right in the first place! I could blame the fact that I was up till the wee hours last night getting the blog post up and running, but I won't. I really copied the stats days ago and didn't put the ref in then; last night I didn't even remember where I got them. Guess I just figured stats don't need to be ref'd. But if you put them together yourself you certainly deserve the credit, and my many thanks! I spent a bit of time absorbing the fact that Georgia (where I live) has one of the highest denial percentages, and that even the lowest (NJ) is 50%!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Kleenex,

    I was surprised at Colorado's percentages also. I would have thought they would be one of the lowest. But after reading some about the reasons for the backlogs, I think sometimes they don't have much to do with how good or bad the state's social services are.

    Thanks for the tip on Obama's profile on Disaboom. I'll be sure to check it out.



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