I have read so many stories circulating around the misconceptions people have towards those who are receiving aid from the government because of there health condition. Talking to people in the arthritis community and seeing that they have experienced similar struggles, made me feel less alone. So if you are a family member, friend or loved one of someone who is sick, take a minute to read these 5 Things You Should Know. If you are on the receiving end of benefits, you may find this resonates and provides you with some comfort, inspiration and motivation that you are also not alone and to keep going.
It’s Not Easy. We Fight A Difficult System.
You vs. The Government. Who do you think will win the majority of the time, at least at first? The truth is that those of us who are chronically ill, not only fight a battle everyday many don’t understand but we also fight to receive emotional and most of all, financial support and help such as, disability benefits.
We need to deal with many loopholes within the system. Have you ever been on a rollercoaster ride you hated and couldn’t wait to get off of? Have you ever been to a circus and seen performers tossing each other around mid-air? That’s how the process of receiving disability and other benefits can be. It’s a long winding road, often leading us down the rabbit hole of the unknown.
The first time my parents applied for assistance to help them pay the bills from my condition (I was a minor at the time and couldn’t apply) they were denied. I wasn’t “sick or disabled” enough in the governments eyes. It wouldn’t be until 4-5 years later that I would get approved for benefits out of nowhere, the second time I had applied on my own one year prior. By that time, my family and I were so exhausted with waiting. I wasn’t as shocked and ecstatic as I thought I was going to be, but I did give thanks. I felt a big relief and less stress, so did my loved ones.
Relief and stress didn’t last long. I was told I would be placed in a medical review every three years, to see if I am still eligible to continue getting benefits. I probably visited my local Social Security close to 50 or more times throughout the past several years. I have waited there four hours once, just to make sure a piece of paper was submitted and received. I would be told to go see a disability doctor for a full body physical to prove my disability, which is probably the most uncomfortable thing I have ever done. Then that doctor would make a “decision” -like she knew my everyday life to begin with.
Then I would be cut from my benefits for two years because I supposedly went over the amount to be earned while working at my job at the time. A lawyer helped look at my case and saw that the SSA was actually wrong. I waited almost a year for a hearing with a judge who her shook her head and said, “This girl should be receiving benefits.” Even after this, I was still cut from half of my benefits for 5 months causing a stop to my Medicare insurance during that time, which then stalled and decreased the amount of frequent treatments that I needed. All because the SSA office “overpaid” me.
It’s a trap and a curse to receive government aid in a way. The amount of stress the government gives people who are chronically ill and their families who help support them, is wrong.
No One Wishes To Be Disabled.
I am going to fill you in on a secret: No one wants to be disabled or sick. It’s not something people ask or wish for. I have talked to people who tried delaying being placed on disability because of the stigma society has created. It can be emotionally traumatic because it’s acknowledging the fact that the life you once knew- independent, working full-time and the freedom that comes with that, is being taken away from you in a way.
You’re a part of and in the system now. There is nothing wrong with receiving assistance, so if anyone makes negative comments- remember they are not in your shoes. Many of us will grin and bare it as long as we can, until we can no longer.
The insurance you get that goes along with the benefits, doesn’t even kick in right away until you have been receiving them for a certain amount of time. In general, Medicare and Medicaid is a whole other ball game. Coverage isn’t bad for prescription medications, general doctors and some specialists. Many things though, are not covered at all.
We Are Not Lazy.
Actually those who receive disability benefits are the exact opposite. Some of the hardest working people have been on or receive disability benefits. Many people can still work part-time due to the programs created by the Social Security Administration. Working full-time can be tricky because if you make over the set limit then benefits will stop and more issues will ensue.
The Amount Received Doesn’t Make You Wealthy and Is Not Even Enough to Survive.
Yes, in certain circumstances wealthy people do receive aid if their family member or child is in very bad state; bed-ridden, quadriplegic and so on. The medical expenses to take care of those who are struggling this way is extremley expensive.
Middle-class families also struggle. Just because someone has a house, a business and cars in the driveway doesn’t mean they aren’t financially struggling.
Someone who receives, $500- 1,000 something a month is not well-off, especially if they do not work. Family members can only help so much as they also have their own bills. An appointment with a specialist can be $200- 500 just for one visit. Food can cost $200-400 a month just at one store alone. This is an example that all these expenses above, leave no money left to even live on your own without working part-time or full-time.
We Deserve to Have Fun and Live Life.
A life of paying medical bills, being in medical debt and struggling with a health condition 24/7, 365 days a year, is not fun. It takes a toll on someone physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and obviously, financially.
If someone who receives benefits goes on vacation or buys a pair of shoes, don’t automatically assume they have the money for it. Mabye they just want to live their life, take a break and treat themselves to something. Self-care is a must after all. Mabye a family member or friend treated them. Point is if you are reading this and are receiving benefits, here’s my advice: Don’t justify or explain to people who don’t understand your situation and don’t care to. Sometimes it’s best to stay silent and only confide in those who you know got your back 110%.
It’s easy for people to assume from the outside though. I dare people in society who are quick to judge and assume things about people who do get this type of help, to swap their life for one day to see what it is like for those of us who are receiving disability and other benefits from the government, are sick and unable to work full-time, for the time being. I bet that you will be thankful for what you do have and would want your own life back in a minute.
Love, Joy, Peace, Happiness, Abundance, and above all else, Good Health to all of you.
Life is hard enough without prejudice
I couldn’t agree with you more – it’s even worse in Canada. We don’t get any kind of drug coverage, physiotherapy, massage, chiropractic, psychiatric, or dental coverage AT ALL. If the forms aren’t ‘filled out properly’ by either yourself or your doctor, you could wait up to 6 months before they deny you, and you have to refile, or even go to court, which can take 2 years or longer! It sucks, and I would gladly hand over my pittance of a disability payment for my old job, and no disabilities.