Octuplets Mom Got $168G In Disability

The mother of newborn octuplets and six other children collected almost $168,000 in state disability payments for an on-the-job back injury that she and a doctor said was worsened by pregnancy, according to state documents released Thursday.

Nadya Suleman, 33, became pregnant with all 14 of her children after a 1999 injury during a riot at a state mental hospital where she worked, state Division of Workers' Compensation documents show.

She stopped working, but had the six older children during that time, notes Early Show correspondent Hattie Kauffman.

"There has to be some question," says CBS News Legal Analyst Trent Copeland, "about whether or not a woman who's disabled and collecting over $150,000 worth of disability payments is really authorized to receive those payments if she's too disabled to work, but not too disabled to have at least a half-dozen children."

There were also mental health issues, Kauffman reports. Suleman was labeled as being at some risk for suicide, and diagnosed with a "depressive disorder."

The octuplets' birth last week and subsequent disclosure that Suleman is a single mother who already had six children - all by in-vitro fertilization - prompted a torrent of criticism and ethical questions about why she would want so many children, why a doctor would implant that many embryos and how she would care for her family.

Suleman was released from the hospital Thursday, but didn't return to her Whittier, Calif. home.

Instead, says Kauffman, she immediately sat down for her first media interview, telling NBC News she tried for seven years to have a baby and, after the first IVF was successful, she "kept going in."

NBC News says it didn't pay for the interview, but her spokesman, Mike Furtney, made it clear to Kauffman that Suleman hopes to make money from her story. "What we'd like to see her wind up with is the means to raise her 14 children in the way that she wants to do that," Furtney said.

Furtney also told Kauffman that Suleman would like to return to school some day and receive a degree in counseling.

Meanwhile, the eight infants continue to make progress in the hospital, Kauffman adds.

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