Sunday, June 04, 2006

Just When You Think It Can't Get Worse!

originally uploaded by davidbdr.
First let me explain my situation. My spine has been degenerating badly over the last few years. I can't stand or sit for very long without becoming really miserable. I fought Social Security for a couple of years to get disability. Finally, last year I got it. I get a whopping $778 a month but at least I have much needed medical coverage. In 2005, I has surgery three times. I now have a nerve stimulator stuck up my spine. When the pain becomes too great, I turn it on and electrically block the pain. I can't say that it works all that well.

I was finally able to get a better apartment in september 2005. We were living in HUD housing previously. The apartments were really nice but the people around us were mostly the dregs of the Earth.

In November of 2005, Social Security cut our payments back because a married couple can only have a combined income of like $800 a month or so. Once we pay the rent and utilities, there is usually only change left. If my son weren't working, we'd all have starved to death. Of course, we haven't been able to give the electric company as much as they want so we are always getting shut off notices. I called to make arrangements last week and the best they could come up with was nearly $200 a month. Now, if I'm barely able to send $100, where do they think I'm going to get a sum like that? I love the way they determine income by gross and not take home. That is so stupid.

Now it gets worse. My son's employer has hired a bunch of new people so everyone is getting shitty hours. He has 20 hours for all of next week. Wonderful. My wife's June SSI check has gone missing for some reason so we are short that at the moment. I get a small payment for doing a weekly editorial cartoon. It's only $100 but that pays for the Internet and cable. Guess what? That didn't show up either. Add to all this that my car insurance policy renewal is this month and I'm going to need brakes all the way around is in the wings.

I'm getting pretty sick of only eating grilled Velveeta cheese sandwiches! To anyone who thinks living on Social Security is a free ride--fuck you! I invite anyone to try this and see how well they cope. We are just living too well. I hear about people with $45,000 in credit card debt and I just shake my head. I'm looking at the possibility of returning to work. My problems are, 1) I will lose medical coverage and 2) I can't figure out what I could do with the condition I'm in. Just walking around a store to pick up our staples (Velveeta, peanut butter, bread, milk and eggs) has me hunched over in pain by the time I'm finished.

Life is sucking really bad.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. My wife still has $300 on a fine she has to pay off by the end of July. Just peachy.

1 comment:

klbrowser said...

Found your blog through My Disability Blog. While I don't have any practical solutions for you, I just wanted to agree about what a crock of you-know-what it is to try to live on Social Security benefits. I get so tired of hearing about how "most" people who receive benefits aren't really disabled and are just trying to milk the system, as if one could become wealthy this way.

I just got approved a few weeks ago for SSDI. I am fortunate enough to have a husband who works full time. So I must be rich, right? Not exactly. My husband was facing a layoff and the only work he could find pays two-thirds what the previous job did, and no benefits. We have COBRA, but it costs MORE than my ENTIRE monthly disability payment!We are in the process of selling our house.

While I am fortunate to not be in a dire needs situation, I am also aware that your predicament is WAY TOO COMMON. Why are none of our elected officials shouting from the rooftops about this? I think it's because they and the federal government would prefer that the disabled remain invisible.

I hope that at the very least the finances you are owed come through for you. Just wanted you to know that someone you've never met does care about what happens to you and others in your situation. Peace be with you.