3002: Actual Disability Fraud

When we were discussing s.e. smith’s work last week, I spoke of the damage done by accusations of fakery against disabled people. So I thought it important to acknowledge that, although there may not be an epidemic of disability fraud, such a thing does happen. Here’s the clip in which Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth gives what-for to a guy who’s been abusing disabled veteran preferences to get government contracts. Dunno if I endorse every word she says in it; but it’s powerful stuff; and the grifter deserved to hear it.


One thought on “3002: Actual Disability Fraud

  1. Watching the clip of Tammy Duckworth confront Brauilo Castillo helped me visualize the reality of the ableism that disabled people have to face on a daily basis. Towards the end, Duckworth says to Castillo, “Shame on you, Mr. Castillo. Shame on you. You may not have broken any laws … but you have broken the trust of this great nation”. I thought this statement portrayed exactly how veterans and people with disability felt towards Castillo and his misuse of veterans disability. I couldn’t believe that Castillo received benefits for his ankle injury he had gotten during football at a military prep school and had the audacity to compare it to a combat wound such as amputation, psd, and etc. Duckworth’s speech helped show how the negative stereotype of disabled people came to be and the overwhelming effect it has on actual disabled people. In this case particular, because of people like Castillo who lie of their combat injuries to get preferred treatment in government contracts, the benefits surrounding veterans who are disabled in combat are viewed negatively and seen as taking advantage of the government. Around 4:30, Duckworth did loose her cool for a second because she, who unlike Castillo, lost her legs and feelings in her arms and it was evident in Castillo’s answers that he could not empathize nor relate to her. I personally felt angry at this moment because Castillo could not explain himself and only replied in incoherent mumbles. He felt no remorse and he wouldn’t stop going back to his football injury which was not a good reason to receive veterans disability. It was very hard to view Castillo positively for me because he took away benefits from those who severely need it and who actually deserved it. People like Castillo who lie about their combat injuries not only give real disabled veterans a bad image to society of disabled veterans but it makes society view preferred treatment for disabled veterans as a scam. Overall, I thought the video was educational and informative and it really brought to light the fraud behind disability benefits. The video also highlighted for me how negative perceptions of disability benefits get their start.

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