Time did a story on July 22nd about Democrats and a plan to boost Supplemental Security Insurance funding to increase payments to poor elderly and disabled individuals. I would really like to see topics like this discussed more on TYT and I would like to know what others think. Right now any disability that impacts an individuals ability to work is a poverty sentence. SSDI is forced poverty due to the insanely low payment levels and restrictions on assets. You cannot own a home, a car, or have savings. If you have a partner, their income is included in calculations of income toward whether or not you may receive SSI or SSDI.
This is particularly personal for me. I am disabled. Working full-time means that I cannot function outside of work. I have no quality of life at all. This is not a fair expectation for anyone. I eventually wind up incredibly sick and have to take sick leave, whether I get paid for it or not. Essentially, I work myself into further disability.
I was classified as qualifying for disability but denied because they disagreed with when I became disabled. Yup, that’s a reason for denial. So is the income from my spouse. The real frustration is that I want to work, but need to be able to work part-time. I also believe that I deserve to be able to build up a savings, own a home, own a car, etc, just like everyone else. I should not have to live in abject poverty simply because I have chronic illness.
I wrote to my members of congress to support positive changes to SSI and got the following response from the office of Jack Bergman (I will not honor that man with the term “Representative” as he does not actually do that job):
" My name is Colin, and I work for Congressman Jack Bergman. After reading your note about improving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Congressman wanted me to reach out to you directly.
Congressman Bergman is committed to improving the federal programs which provide critical benefits for Americans across the country. From Medicare to SSI, these programs serve Michiganders best when they are operating efficiently and are free from waste, fraud, and abuse. The Congressman will keep your thoughts in mind about the SSI program and continue to consider solutions that help families across our state and country.
If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or to the Congressman through his website. Thank you!
Congressman Jack Bergman (MI-10)
566 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515
The GOP’s idea of helping individuals like me is to REDUCE funding to SSI/SSDI. This is their response to someone actually struggling because of disability. Responses like this SHOULD be making the news.