Caught Between Welfare and Disability
The lack of financial help which exists when you are too sick to work but haven't yet gotten the official US government designation of being disabled.
From a tweet thread originally posted on September 20, 2020
Some day I am going to write an entire essay about how if the US government doesn't agree that you are disabled there is literally NO HELP AT ALL for you. Not even "Oh just apply for welfare." YOU CAN'T. (small rant thread)
Well you can, to be fair, but you get rejected. And the reasons for the rejection are because the government doesn't agree you're disabled. So all the money you spend on healthcare is, to them, the same as spending it on hookers and blow and thus you are "rich."
And "rich" by the way is, in my case, a limit of $250. Not per month income, which is what I asked when told. But TOTAL. In my pocket, in all the world, $250. So if someone has a whopping $300 to their name, they are also rejected because apparently that extra $50 is wealth.
Now to be clear: I am VERY blessed. I have a small savings. I can still pay my mortgage. But I also have ZERO income. Nada. None. Obviously I'd like to be able to continue to pay my mortgage and buy food, and basic math says no income means in time I won't be able to do that.
There's a whole thing I could say here about unemployment but short version is that any time you hear about unemployment figures compared to disability figures, know that they have set the former up as a trap for the latter.
There is NO help until/IF (more likely IF) the government agrees you are disabled. This is a process that, even in best case scenario, takes over a year EVEN IF THEY AGREE. More commonly you are rejected multiple times. First application? ALWAYS rejected. Sight unseen.
That's so much a part of the process that the advocate helping me with my application (another privilege) TOLD ME IN ADVANCE it would happen. Second rejection was also expected. I'm up to attempt three which is a hearing late October.
But during all this time there is NO INCOME coming my way. However... I could file for unemployment. It wouldn't be much but even one dollar is better than no dollars. And if I'm classified as unemployed well that opens some doors. Not as many as I need but again better than none.
BUUUUUUUT.... to be unemployed you have to swear you CAN work. Disability status? You are unable to work. So it's a trap. Take unemployment money for a temporary ability to stay in your home and eat and lose your hope of ever getting disability help.
Thank God I have that savings and I previously had private disability insurance (since ran out, hence no income) so I'm not stuck in this choice. I can wait a little longer. But far too many, including those rich $300aires, can't.
I want to work! I'd love to work! I hate being stuck in this limbo of begging for people to agree I'm too broken a human to do tasks for long periods of time and never knowing how I'll pay for food or healthcare in a few months or next year.
But I can't, so I ask my government for the help my decades of taxes paid for. And instead I get stuck in this hell created by, it is far too obvious, wonks who patted themselves on the back for making sure they weeded out the slackers trying to game the system.