Re "Disability rolls skyrocket" (Page A1, July 21): The article does not tell the full story of the federal disability benefits program. One of the article's central claims -- that some people who are not disabled are getting benefits -- is contradicted by the facts. As an advocate for people with disabilities, I know first-hand how strict the criteria are.
Most people who apply are denied, and only about 40 percent are ever awarded benefits. Many beneficiaries are terminally ill; about 1 in 5 male and 1 in 6 female beneficiaries die within five years of receiving benefits. Literally every day, I see people with significant disabilities who have been denied benefits.
Social Security disability insurance is a vital piece of our nation's safety net that helps many of our local neighbors on a daily basis. Instead of tearing down this vital program with myths and rumors, let's focus instead on strengthening it for current and future generations.
-- David Allen, Sacraemento