Read about Round 1 here, which occurred just after I landed my job out of college.
In ten days, I may be forced to accept society’s definition of “disabled”, a term I’ve been fighting to redefine for my entire life. I have a hearing with the Department of Welfare to reinstate my eligibility for Medicaid, which pays for my attendant services, that has been terminated because the Social Security Administration terminated my status as an SSI special recipient on the grounds that I didn’t fill out a form five years ago that was sent to the wrong address. SSI special recipient status is the designation I require to maintain Medicaid eligibility and earn an income. Social Security refuses to allow me to reapply for the designation because one of the requirements is that I receive SSI cash benefits the month prior to reinstatement, which I’m ineligible for as long as I’m working. I say all that with the hope that you’ll understand my situation, but also to simply show it’s REALLY complicated being a person with a disability who wants to work. I’m grateful to be an American and for the freedoms and liberties that come with it, but being a person with a disability with aspirations of being successful economically is super restrictive. Every quarter I have to leave work early so a lady can come to my house to do a home visit, just so I can tell her I’m doing fine. I can’t make more than $x amount. I can’t have more than $x in my bank account at the end of each month. Every year I have to prove to the state and federal government that I’m still disabled and provide them with bank statements, pay stubs, etc. I gracefully jump through these hoops because I’m grateful for the opportunities I do have, but at a time like this, I wish the system would work with me instead of against me. The worst part is I’d automatically qualify for all the services I currently receive PLUS a disability check if I quit my job tomorrow. What happened to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for all???