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National disability organizations speak out against news report

Many people in New Jersey rely on the news in order to form opinions or make decisions. This fact alone makes it vital for news organizations to report the truth and give viewers reliable information they can trust. Sadly though, this is not always the case and sometimes the news reports heavily on just one side. 

Recently, CBS News aired a 60 Minutes report that garnered attention from those organizations around the country that advocate on behalf of those with disabilities. These national disability organizations are disappointed in the program, claiming it relied on information that is not necessarily true. This questionable evidence ended up portraying Social Security disability programs as ones that are wasteful and filled with fraud.

In response, the Social Security Task Force at the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities spoke out against the 60 Minutes report. This task force is comprised of more than 100 organizations and wrote that the 60 Minutes broadcast was sensational and misleading. In turn, this type of programming is not only doing a disservice to viewers, but also to those with disabilities.

It is important to note here that for many of those living with disabilities, these Social Security programs are vital.

Additionally, even the Government Accountability Office has repeatedly found fraud to account for just one percent of payments. However, in writing about the program, the task force brought up just how unfair it is for media reports to mislead viewers by making this one percent look like the norm.

For those in New Jersey living with disabling conditions -- or loved ones with disabilities -- know these federal programs are in place to help those in need. There are a lot of myths and stereotypes about these programs, but the truth is for some these programs are necessary and there should be no shame in needing assistance.

Source: Media Matters, "60 Minutes Report Denounced For Disability Misinformation," Hannah Groch-Begley, Oct. 7, 2013

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