46 Year Old Multiply Disabled Woman Seeks Government Grant Money To Get By
by Jeanene Phillips
(Traverse City, Michigan, USA)
My name is Jeanene Phillips. I am a 46-year-old single woman with multiple conditions that have caused me to be a Social Security Disability recipient.
I have no children due to a cancer scare when I was younger, and I never married because all my life I was working and supporting my family (my mother and the family of my brother, who died last April of Leukemia).
I have worked all my life and been a workaholic (double shifts/shift coverage/months straight no days off) in the computer industry, until February of 2004.
I lost my home to foreclosure in 2004 and had to use my last unemployment check to file bankruptcy.
My health had declined over a period of 10 years before I filed for my SSD, but had to wait (2 years and 8 months) and was completely destitute.
I was able to stay with my mother until my SSD came in and then had to give the majority over to her to pay her out of debt in return for the help.
I had developed severe cases of sleep apnea, carpal tunnel (both hands with permanent nerve damage), lymphatic edema (lower extremities), vascular edema (lower extremities), high blood pressure, knee derangements (both), chronic lower lumbar pain, osteoarthritis (in all joints and spine) and severe seasonal allergies.
All these disabilities have caused obesity and severe depression, which in turn have further compounded my conditions.
I had been working on 2 Associate degrees in Computer Science (6 classes pending completion) and Computer Graphics (13 classes to completion) but became unable to walk the campuses anymore or even stand for 3 minutes in a stationary position.
I tried but ultimately failed. I walk with a cane for assistance and qualify for handicap plates for my vehicle, which is in need of repairs.
My income from SSD is not covering my needs and is causing me to live on $260 (for food/gas/$40 prescription copays monthly).
I have to pay rent $550 monthly, utilities ($250-$400 month depending on season), out of pocket $300 monthly health insurance (Medicare/Blue Cross and other prescription insurances) monthly, $200 in car payment and car insurance monthly.
After all my payments I am unable to afford a few prescriptions and I have to go to the food pantries in my community to survive every month.
Due to my SSD income, I am only able to receive $16 in food assistance from the state. I do not know how but have been surviving month to month.
I make crafts and try to sell them but can't make enough to help supplement my income because of my hands and not being able to sit with my legs down for long periods of time.
I need help with so many things it's hard to pinpoint anything specifically.
I was finally approved for gastric bypass and had the surgery in June 2009 and to date have lost 180 lbs.
I had carpal tunnel surgery in 2005 with residual damage permanently in my right hand.
I am not able to get surgery on my knees, until my weight is 140 lbs less than my actual weight at the present.
I am doing a bit better but want to go back to school again and need any kind of money to help my situation in income to try to get myself some kind of assistance to get by monthly.
I have a small credit card but have to use it before the month is out, even if I make the payment monthly. So, I never can get ahead to even pay it off.
I do not know how or when I will be able to find my way out of this to a better income without some kind of help to even give me some breathing room.
Any information on programs or money grants or any kind of assistance would be helpful to me. Thank you for your time.
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