I think part of the problem is a popular American narrative that people on disability are often or usually gaming the system. Stories circulate as urban myth and propagate with the efficiency of breeding mice.
How many of us haven’t heard the exaggerations and mistruths repeated over and over? Sort of like the related and equally inaccurate “welfare queen” trope.
Policy makers aren’t immune to the myths, much as we’d wish they were always data driven.
Meanwhile, right here on Medium, the popular and prolific Adam, Diabetic Cyborg is struggling with MS as a young man, facing the reality that he can’t work, and learning to cope with the consequences while fighting to have a perfectly justified disability claim approved.
In order to fight the myths, we need to be telling real stories, like Adam’s story. We need to flood the memescape with the truth about people who are needlessly suffering.
We are the sum of the stories we tell ourselves.