Okay, maybe this would have been better received next week, but I write when I can. :)
You wouldn’t believe how many people have opined that I have chosen to give up a good job to live in the lap of luxury that is SSI, that I’m either just lazy or that I don’t want to pay child support. For the record, I gave my ex all the releases so that he could try to collect my SSI back payment—we weren’t sure of the legality (it wasn’t legal, but I did try).
I will continue below the yarn tangle for those of us on disability to catch our breath.
It is easily found on the Official Social Security Website that the yearly income for a single person on SSI is the princely sum of $8,657.26. I did not mistype, I copied and pasted. That works out to $721/month. And you did not read that wrong. According to our US government, the poverty level for a single person under the age of 65 is $12,119 a year, or $1,068/month.
The difference is 48% of my income. It would mean getting the medication that I need and cannot afford. It means eating more than once a day, because for some reason I only qualify for $18 in SNAP—food stamps (something no one has been able to explain beyond metrics). And with that $721 I must pay rent, utilities, and very bad public transport (walking several miles to use it with hip dysplasia). A poverty level income might mean living in privacy, although I’m very lucky with my roommate this time around.
There's also the lovely fact that I don't yet have insurance. By law, I should, since I'm on SSI, but they just keep on losing paperwork. I pay for my use or die meds over the counter. After all, what other option is there? And my service dog needs to be vetted (the last one was over $500 and cost me a bed), and he eats better than I do--because he's my partner.
It would mean seeing my kids more. I pay $120 a month to see them for two hours right now. I’m told this means that I really don’t want to see them, or I’d find a way.
As it is, people tell me to cut back, that I can make it work. Where do I cut back? This is my budget.
Oh, I’m applying for aid to help pay for heat and electric. Anyone who has read the chart can see that they’re beyond me. I have a pretty good chance there, since they set aside some for those on SSI. But it’s not as guarantee.
I’m also volunteering at the local food bank. They’re grateful for the help, though a bit surprised that a client is willing. They take my issues into consideration, and the shame of needing the help is so much less when I’m doing something for it. There’s also the knowledge that I’m not just a college student filling a grade—I really understand where the other clients are coming from, and I can help them in that way.
My ex is working hard to make due on his promise to make sure to severe my relationship with my kids, and that breaks my heart. But I have to go on.
I don’t have a partner to lean on. I don’t have family to live with. It is me, and just like every other person in the US on disability, I need help. For fuck’s sake, they haven’t even processed my Medicaid (through lost paperwork on their end), and it’s been since February.
Do I need help? Yes, of course. Do I expect it? No, although I would be grateful. What I’d really like is for the system to be fixed, for us to get something like Switzerland is contemplating.
I need something to hold on to. I thought I had that, but I lost things precious to me in the loss. It happens.
These are the Daily Kos income demographics for this month:
Set it up as a non-profit. Make the donations tax deductible. Hell, make it partially a lobbying group that puts its money where its mouth is! Lobby for Single Payer and put yourselves out of business while working toward more and better Democrats!
We’re on these programs because we’re unable to get off. Our bodies have betrayed us. Look at the services we get and tell us our nation doesn’t hope we’ll die.
Marcos, I’m asking you directly. Is there merit in this idea?
And to go with our general slactivism, here is a poll from a diary I wrote earlier. Taken with the Quantast findings, it would seem we do have the means to carry this out.
2:52 PM PT: In the poll, I put in a Red State bait answer. Someone took it.
Yes, my people, in a diary about the permenantly disabled, someone actually clicked No, they just need to get a job.
Bravo, bravo, bravissimo!