“What I tell people is, if you look like me and you hop out of your truck, you shouldn’t be getting a disability check.”
Offering his expertise as a politician and former eye doctor, Senator Rand Paul has recently taken the lead in proposing a new two-pronged standard for determining Social Security Disability eligibility. In a recent discussion with other disability experts, all of whom know people on disability who don’t deserve to be, Paul proposed the following new standard for determining entitlement to benefits:
1. The “Look Like Me” test.
First, applicants will be examined to determine whether they resemble Rand Paul in physical appearance. It is believed that Sen. Paul will offer to the Social Security Administration photographs of himself, from his family photo album, in a selection of ages so that age-adjusted comparisons of applicants can be made. It is not clear whether the comparison will be adjusted for race and sex, or whether he is proposing that only middle-aged white males be denied under the new standard, because all others would not be deemed to look like Rand Paul.
If it is determined that you do in fact look like Rand Paul, you may be disqualified if in addition you hop out of your truck. That is the second prong.
2. The “Hop out of Your Truck” test.
Disability applicants will be screened to eliminate from eligibility all those persons who in addition to looking like Rand Paul:
A. Have a truck (“Your truck”). Applicants will be screened for truck ownership. To prevent fraud, applicants will be asked to bring any trucks they may drive to the screening interview with certificate of title to prove they don’t own them. State DMV records will also be accessed to identify those applicants who do not presently have a truck but are found to have had a truck within the previous fifteen years – persons so identified will be prosecuted for disability fraud. Standards are, however, being developed for minimum truck-size requirements so that less than full-size eight-cylinder trucks will not be considered to be real trucks for purposes of denying disability eligibility.
B. Hop out of said truck (defined as putting both feet out of the cab, thrusting forward with both hands and landing on the pavement). Systematic 24-hour video surveillance will be established on the applicant by SSA’s investigative unit for a period of one year following application. Any applicant observed within this surveillance period to hop out of his truck, will be prosecuted for disability fraud. Family and neighbors will also be examined under oath to determine if any of them have observed the applicant within the three year period prior to application hopping out of his truck. There is no number of hops allowed under this new rule. One hop and you’re out.
Finally, the applicant will be required to state under oath that he does not now nor has he ever hopped out of his truck. If his statement proves to be false, he will be prosecuted for disability fraud.
While this new disability exclusion would seem to be particularly hard on middle-aged white men who hop out of trucks, it is in fact completely consistent with the long held libertarian view that people who look like Rand Paul don’t need welfare.