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Monday, September 19, 2011

The US Government wants the disabled to die

Yes, it's true. Don't get sick in the USA and expect the government to keep it's promises to provide you sustenance after working your entire life and paying into the system. If you do get sick and need to file for state or federal disability be ready for the fight of your life.

Those of you who know me know I've been ill for a long time. I haven't had an easy life but I've had a full life so far. InshaaAllah it'll go on for a long time to come. Not if our government has it's way though. In 2003 my illness got so bad I was let go from a 3+ year position due to supposed complaints of odors in my work space. It wasn't effecting my job performance! I was still working 40-70 hour weeks! I wasn't approached about this ridiculous issue beforehand and was unaware that there was a problem. I was careful about my grooming and THOUGHT I had it under control. My bowel disorder was a personal issue, but I thought it was not a job impacting issue. I'd received NO warnings, nothing. I'd never been reprimanded for job performance and I wasn't missing work too often.

There was a period where I'd gone from FT to PT but that was due to the economy and their not needing me as much. I went back to FT quite quickly and if I was SO BAD would they have kept me there AS A TEMP for over three years?  I'd been there placed through a temp agency in 2000.

I'd use a sick day here or there and there were a few times I'd had to leave work due to a flare up but everyone gets ill occasionally and needs down time. Especially in a high stress position. In a way I think this was an excuse by the Gen Mgr to get rid of me. He'd never been so callous toward me before that. He was dealing with his own serious health issues and I often picked up the slack always making him look good to the higher ups. Since being let go I've not been able to find work and my health has continued to deteriorate.

What's wrong with me? I have a host of illnesses that can be tracked over 30 years. Starting with migraines and depression as a youth with insomnia and OCD building up over time, leading into gall bladder disease which led to GERD, colitis, uncontrolled diarrhea with spots of painful constipation. I also suffer from PTSD and BiPolar disorder with their wonderful added phobias. I'm morbidly obese and in the past 7 years have developed bulging disks in a spine with Degenerative Disc Disease (collapsing spine) and rheumatoid AND osteoarthritis "in every joint of the body" according to my last pain specialist. The chronic pain is one of the hardest things to deal with. The medications for pain inflame my digestive illnesses or cause me to fall into deeper depressions. The pain also wakes me from any deep sleep when I simply twitch a toe or try to move my head. Right now I'm using pain medications that the lady I live with no longer needs because I have no insurance and can't afford them with no income.

Upon returning from Morocco in March of this year I re-applied for MI state disability, which I'd received since 2005. Last week, after waiting 6 months, I received a denial. I've appealed it and am awaiting my time with the judge.

I also had re-applied for SSI/SSDI in March. I received a denial for both of them in August. I have an attorney in Southfield, MI who took me back on when I returned to the USA and he's appealed these denials already. I received a letter from SSA the other day saying it could be up to 22 months (that's almost TWO YEARS for those of you who don't do math fast) before I'll see the judge.

I'm now in a wheelchair whenever I leave the house and have started using it inside the home too. I cannot walk too well nor too far and it's safer for me to avoid falling if I use the chair. Lifting anything larger than a quart container of liquid is painful but I still do the shopping, laundry and cleaning. I am still able to take care of my basic, and not so basic, needs without aid.

Why am I being denied? I'm only 46 years old. I hold two college degrees from PSU and a certificate in Quality Control Systems. I'm literate and able to do for myself. I'm not drooling on myself nor messing myself sitting in a nasty diaper nor begging on a street corner. I take care with my appearance and my diction is precise. What they don't consider is that even with all of this I cannot sit with my legs down for longer than 2 hours without them swelling up to double their normal size. It gets so bad that the skin cracks and bleeds. They don't realize that I cannot stay far from a bathroom and even when I do go out (which is as often as my phobias allow) I know where every usable bathroom is located and I USE THEM. Even if I'm out for an hour, I'm usually stopping somewhere along the way to take care of nature.

What employer would tolerate a secretary (or any other worker) who had to use the bathroom every hour for 5-10 minutes or even longer if the colitis and diarrhea are flaring up? What employer would tolerate a person who had horrid gastric illness that made being around them unpleasant and embarrassing? What employer would continue paying someone who, in a desk position, has to elevate their legs 15-20 minutes each hour? As a former employer, I wouldn't!

At my last ADJ hearing for SSA I was told that I could retrain to do "light assembly" or some other sedentary position. First of all, my skill set is secretarial. Secondly, I have no training for factory work nor could my body tolerate it for long. Thirdly, secretarial IS NOT sedentary - as they have it listed in their job descriptions. Finally why would an employer choose to hire me over able bodied and younger applicants? I'm not employable and the gov't needs to keep their promises.

I have worked since I was 12 years old starting off with paper routes and babysitting jobs (3 routes at one time along with school and baby sitting jobs at ONCE), I got a "real" job when I was 14 and could get work papers and have not stopped except for brief periods through until 2003. I went to college as a single mother while living in PA from '91-'95. I had brief periods where I didn't work due to health or family issues. Working while going to college was impossible because it was funded by the state. If I'd worked I'd have lost the funding and never achieved the degrees.  While in MI in the early '00s I went to a local college ON TOP of having two teenagers and a new husband AND working a full time and part time job! I achieved my certificate in QA Summa Cum Laude!

I'm not lazy, I don't lie and I am driven to survive. I guess they can't handle honesty. God willing I will win this fight - or I'll go down fighting. They haven't beaten me and they're not going to!  In the meantime I pray I continue to have people like the lady I live with to be patient and help me fight the system. Living with no income is quite an interesting endeavor. If it weren't for her I'd be dead or dying and most likely in the streets.

I now have an EXCELLENT attorney and an advocate from another state who aids people in my position to help me prepare for my appeals.

Basic rule of thumb - DO NOT get sick in America. They're culling the herd and the old, poor and ill are the first to go.