I have received SSI benefits since 2016. As a person with Cerebral Palsy, I am grateful for SSI benefits. My monthly check allows me to pay rent while I look for work. I’d love to work. Hopefully, I’ll be able to work in the future.
I receive $871 a month. Paying all of my bills would be impossible without my roommate. He buys all household essentials such as shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper, and soap. Even with his help, it is still a challenge to live off SSI.
I would make more if I worked at McDonald’s. Unfortunately, I can’t even get a job at a fast food restaurant. McDonald’s was the first place I applied for a job in 2019. Employers don’t want to hire someone with a disability. I’ve heard plenty of excuses as to why they don’t hire me. When my younger sister got a part-time job at McDonald’s, I was jealous.
My Medicaid coverage is tied to my SSI benefits as well. Medicaid pays for PCA services, so I can’t lose coverage. I couldn’t afford to pay for my annual medical expenses out of pocket. My PCA services alone cost over $50,000 a year. My wheelchair was over $20,000. With expenses like this, it’s easy to see why Medicaid is a lifetime for people like me.
Nobody should be expected to live off disability benefits. Benefits need to provide a livable income for the people who need them. People on disability aren’t taking luxury vacations or buying lavish gifts. We are often struggling to survive.