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Thread: Disability Disaster in the making: Law Proposal by politicians

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    Distinguished Community Member Sunshine's Avatar
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    Default Disability Disaster in the making: Law Proposal by politicians


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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    I was one of those who were "terminated" back in the era discussed in the article. For 5 years I had no income but welfare except for a period when Social Security was ordered to pay provisional benefits. At precisely the point when I'd have become eligible for Medicare--after 2 years on SS disability, Social Security had a review and I was terminated. I applied for jobs (which I didn't get) as an assistant building manager, secretary, medical transcriber, and of course my usual work, translating. I took a job cleaning a neighbor's apartment (that lasted only a few hours because I gave out).

    Yes, I can still translate, even now. If a job that I can do comes my way, I do it. The extra income is always welcome. Why then couldn't I make a living at it?

    I did make a living at it but that was before MS came along. Then things started getting so bad for me financially that I took a close look at how I was doing that work. It turned out that I was working 70-hour weeks and actually earning about $3/hour. This was back in the late 1970s but even then that wasn't a living wage. I had slowed down--having vision and mobility problems--to the point where I just couldn't crank out my translations fast enough to be self-supporting.

    All of the falls I was having slowed me down as well. Yes, I'm educated. Yes, I've had a lot of experience and training. I'm considered ultra-qualified for certain kinds of work. But I can do that work only in a very limited way.

    Maybe Social Security just didn't understand that though they understood it well enough when I applied. I was approved without a murmur of objection. Then suddenly they started raising all kinds of issues. In those 5 years I spent entirely too much time talking to lawyers and to doctors Social Security sent me to. I had to travel to Seattle twice to appear at hearings.

    It was comforting to find out, at some time during those years, that there were many people with far worse situations who had been cut off. And at least the 5 years taught me the fine art of getting along on minimal resources. I moved to a smaller apartment to save money. I applied for subsidized rental housing and waited about a year but was finally able to move to it. So I moved twice in those years when I might not have had to move at all if it hadn't been for that termination.

    Take a person's livelihood away and you've taken just about everything. As for medical care, I made do with community clinics that operated on a sliding scale.

    On the plus side, I found some occasional translation jobs that brought in some extra income now and then. One year I even made $1,000! But usually my total earnings amounted to about $600. The welfare allotment was really very minimal. I went every month to the surplus food distributions, and for many years my dinners several days a week consisted of that surplus cheese on a slice of homemade bread with a tomato slice or two, and the cheese was melted under a toaster oven.

    I became a fan of the toaster oven during the year when I lived in the smaller apartment because it lacked a working oven, and my California relatives very kindly chipped in and gave me a toaster oven, bless their hearts.

    Disabled people were really targeted during those years. I shudder at the thought that this targeting is about to be repeated.
    Last edited by agate; 01-16-2020 at 10:42 AM.
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

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    Distinguished Community Member Lazarus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agate View Post
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    I was one of those who were "terminated" back in the era discussed in the article. For 5 years I had no income but welfare except for a period when Social Security was ordered to pay provisional benefits. At precisely the point when I'd have become eligible for Medicare--after 2 years on SS disability, Social Security had a review and I was terminated. I applied for jobs (which I didn't get) as an assistant building manager, secretary, medical transcriber, and of course my usual work, translating. I took a job cleaning a neighbor's apartment (that lasted only a few hours because I gave out).

    Yes, I can still translate, even now. If a job that I can do comes my way, I do it. The extra income is always welcome. Why then couldn't I make a living at it?

    I did make a living at it but that was before MS came along. Then things started getting so bad for me financially that I took a close look at how I was doing that work. It turned out that I was working 70-hour weeks and actually earning about $3/hour. This was back in the late 1970s but even then that wasn't a living wage. I had slowed down--having vision and mobility problems--to the point where I just couldn't crank out my translations fast enough to be self-supporting.

    All of the falls I was having slowed me down as well. Yes, I'm educated. Yes, I've had a lot of experience and training. I'm considered ultra-qualified for certain kinds of work. But I can do that work only in a very limited way.

    Maybe Social Security just didn't understand that though they understood it well enough when I applied. I was approved without a murmur of objection. Then suddenly they started raising all kinds of issues. In those 5 years I spent entirely too much time talking to lawyers and to doctors Social Security sent me to. I had to travel to Seattle twice to appear at hearings.

    It was comforting to find out, at some time during those years, that there were many people with far worse situations who had been cut off. And at least the 5 years taught me the fine art of getting along on minimal resources. I moved to a smaller apartment to save money. I applied for subsidized rental housing and waited about a year but was finally able to move to it. So I moved twice in those years when I might not have had to move at all if it hadn't been for that termination.

    Take a person's livelihood away and you've taken just about everything. As for medical care, I made do with community clinics that operated on a sliding scale.

    On the plus side, I found some occasional translation jobs that brought in some extra income now and then. One year I even made $1,000! But usually my total earnings amounted to about $600. The welfare allotment was really very minimal. I went every month to the surplus food distributions, and for many years my dinners several days a week consisted of that surplus cheese on a slice of homemade bread with a tomato slice or two, and the cheese was melted under a toaster oven.

    I became a fan of the toaster oven during the year when I lived in the smaller apartment because it lacked a working oven, and my California relatives very kindly chipped in and gave me a toaster oven, bless their hearts.

    Disabled people were really targeted during those years. I shudder at the thought that this targeting is about to be repeated.
    Ouch! You really have had a time of it....I am keeping my fingers crossed for us all!
    Linda~~~~

    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says:"Oh Crap, She's up!"

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    What a story, both the article and Agate's own story. That is so rough Agate I guess you almost feel like you are living "high" now. It's not that we were all that well off, but I am grateful that my husband and I did not have to go through that. I do recall that period of time and remember reading about it back then. It was not pretty.

    I am afraid it would be just like this current administration to do just what is in that article.
    Virginia

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  9. #5
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Virginia, I am indeed living very well compared to those 5 years.
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

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