It's no secret that some folks out there think that those of us who receive any kind of state or federal assistance must be lazy and/or gaming the system. As someone who has been through the grueling application process (along with a couple of saintly assistants), I can assure you that I am not lazy (I have references!) and it would be *incredibly* difficult to achieve fraudulent benefits. Honestly, doesn't knee-jerk expecting the worst out of people make one unnecessarily tired and irritable?
You'll notice in Table 2 of this snapshot that the average monthly benefit for disabled workers, for instance, is $1145.70/month. That's $13,748.40 per year - just over the 2014 Federal Poverty Guidelines. Some people qualify only at or below the poverty line.
Living in the multiple roommate situation I'm currently in in Olympia, WA, I can make my benefits work. I could never make ends meet in Seattle, which is partly why I had to move. I love Oly, so this ends up working out well for me. I am incredibly grateful to be able to get back from a system I put money into over the course of my working life for just this sort of purpose. I would still much rather be working. (P.S. Hire me.)