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Social Security Administration

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As Congress grapples with immigration reform, questions are arising about the impact new Americans and legal residents could have on U.S. social programs, among them the health care system.

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Sophia, 44, works up to 40 hours per week at a Mexican restaurant in Gurnee, Ill., making $10 an hour. With every paycheck, she said, $136 goes to payroll taxes, $62 of which goes to Social Security and Medicare. But as an undocumented immigrant, she will never receive those entitlements.

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Evan George at the Los Angeles Daily Journal, a newspaper focused on the legal community, wrote a great investigative series about disability insurance last month. He spoke to Antidote last week about how he got started on the project. The second part of the interview is below. It has been edited for space and clarity.

Q: Did you start small or did you immediately dive into looking up all 500+ cases?

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Evan George graduated with a history degree from Occidental College. His mentor was legendary Los Angeles Times writer Bob Sipchen, who got George interested in journalism. George spent some time at the late, lamented LA Alternative and the Los Angeles Downtown News before joining the legal news team at the Los Angeles Daily Journal two years ago.

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Employees everywhere sleep a little easier knowing that their company covers the bulk of the cost of their disability insurance. If they are hit by a car or fall of their roof or incur some other injury that prevents them from working, they can count at least a modest income from their insurance policy.

At least that's how the insurance company's brochures make it sound.

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Dr. Lee is director of UC Berkeley's Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging, one of 11 centers established by the National Institute on Aging that form part of the national infrastructure for developing the emerging field of the demography of aging. Dr. Lee is the author of numerous articles, papers and publications.

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