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posted: 5/9/2013 5:00 AM

Column on 'work beasts' lacks good evidence

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Ms. Harrop, your April 28 crusade for the "work beasts," as is usually the case in these sorts of debates, makes several overly broad and essentially erroneous assertions in its race to the self-righteous high ground. Despite having your "permission," I think I will refrain from making generalized assumptions about who is part of the "47 percent."

Where Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is concerned, one is eligible for benefits if he or she cannot perform any job. The examples you cite seem like SSDI fraud, except that they likely have little or nothing to do with SSDI. From the information presented, it seems that Nathalie Blanchard is or was covered by private disability insurance. Such policies are quite different from SSDI, in that, they often apply to one's ability to perform a specific job. In these cases benefits are payable until the insured is able to find another job paying some minimal percentage of prior earnings.

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The fact that Blanchard, who was on leave for depression, can have a good time in a particular environment does not mean that she can muster the specific skills required to perform her old job. It is not our business if she can or cannot. It is a private contract between an individual and a corporation. This does not make her a 47 percenter. The firefighter may be in a similar position.

Though you take pains to say that your piece is about "government that doesn't tighten rules," your examples may have nothing to do with SSDI. While, your position may not be completely invalid (pun intended), you should cite relevant examples so that you do not come off as a deleterious harpy, falsely inciting the masses.

Shaugn Davenport

Hanover Park

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