"Please don't take S.S. from seniors and the REAL mentally or physically disabled if you are able to work."
I'd read the sign as soon as I had situated myself onto the bus. The sign was attached to a walker which had an oxygen tank strapped to it and a woman behind it who stared out of the window, pale and muttering.
I had tried to take a discreet picture but unfortunately, the camera noise on my phone made me conspicuous and the image was blurry, illegible. I know that the woman heard the click. Her mutters grew louder. I felt like a douche. That attempt was in bad taste, anyway.
My stop was coming up, so I decided to talk to her if I could. I was worried she'd be angry but she wasn't. She let me take this picture and said that for the blog, we could call her Susan.
"I was watching 60-Minutes," she said, "and it was an episode about medical fraud." Essentially, there were able-bodied people getting money from programs such as social security. This was infuriating to Susan because she is legitimately unable to work and not really able to support herself without some sort of assistance.
I had to leave the bus and I was sorry to go because I wanted to talk with Susan more. I hear a lot of people claiming that most (and sometimes they say all) people who accept government assistance don't need it. The truth of the matter is that while some ruin it for everyone else, there are definitely some who are more than in need.
So here's the rub. We have social responsibilities, don't we? Should you ever suspect someone committing this kind of fraud, there is a hotline and a website by which to report it: http://oig.ssa.gov/report.