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Disability Grant Money Will Help Disabled Army Veteran Not Be Homeless

by Donald
(Melbourne, Florida, USA)

My name is Donald W. Johnson. I live in the Melbourne, Florida area.

I neither drink nor do illegal drugs. I had my own business for over 20 years in Grass Valley CA.


Due to health reasons I find myself destitute and homeless on and off. I have somewhat fixed the homeless part.

I had some money coming and used it to buy a 37-foot boat, so at least I have a roof over my head.

It needs a lot of work but I am out of the weather and it's paid off, but I am past due on the dockage fee.

I am a single white male, born July 7, 1959. Both of my children are over the age of 21 and still living in Grass Valley CA.

I am an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Army. Most of my health problems started from a training accident in the Army.

I applied for disability on December 28, 1977. At the time, veterans did not get any disability and I have been trying to get the VA disability ever since.

Luckily I am erudite and was able to be self-employed most of my life. But this is no longer the case. I am unemployable by any measure at this time and see no way for it to get any better for me in the near future, only worse.

I take 24 medications a day just so I can move, and get out of the bed. I have short-term and long-term memories issues. I have metal in my neck and my left shoulder.

I take Morphine and other medications just so I can move my body every day; it does not stop the pain but make it manageable.

Between neck and lower back pain, I get migraines two to three times a week. The migraines and the neck problem all started when I was in the Army.

It turns out that I have an AVM in the brain and this is why I get the migraines and have mild dementia problems, most likely from a TBI I suffered in the Army.

I applied for my SSI on May 17, 2010. I should have applied sooner but I had hopes of working and so my ego got in the way of applying sooner and I delayed it.

I have been turned down three times already, and was going to the administering judge but my case was turn down again.

Now even my cell phone is off and I use my cell phone for almost everything. It keeps all my appointments and helps me getting from A to B.

I have one of the free ones but its speaker does not work so I cannot hear anything on it.

Also it does not have the other things that I need like a GPS and calendar for appointments. I do not remember my appointments or what I am supposed to be doing otherwise.

I have a couple of days to pay my dockage or I will have to move my boat offshore. That will be hard to do with the engines not running yet, and then I will not even have any power.

Living in pain 24/7 this is not going to be very good for me.

Now what do I do? I am adopted so I have no family to turn to. I have one adopted brother that helps me now and then but he cannot take care of me.

Disability Issues

Back in 1977, I was clipped from behind in a training run in full gear. This caused me whiplash and TBI.

My neck was locked off to the right side and they did electrode therapy on it. Though they did not have MRI back then my neck was worse than the x-ray must have shown.

Right after this I started getting migraines and l was passing out with no recall. All I felt was a pain in my abs area but they never found anything that was causing this.

Around this same time I started losing hearing in my left ear. I have no clue why. It must have been all the shooting and such. My right ear is not that much better now.

Also in this time I was shot twice in the line of duty while I was in law Enforcement. I got hit once across the left top of my head and once in my right thigh.

All the while, I was dealing with the neck pain and lower back pain. This is where my PTSD comes in.

Over the next few years I just dealt with the pain in my neck and back and the migraines would come and go sometime as many as 12 as little as three but never a month without them.

Then in the mid-80s my neck went on tilt then my right arm went numb and I had this very painful area just above the elbow.

I thought I had tennis elbow or something but since it would not go away I went to the doctor to find out what it was causing all this pain.

The next day I was in having surgery on my neck. They put in a metal plate and fixed parts of my neck with bones from my hip. It took me a while but I started to walk and use my right arm again.

I thought all my neck problems were going to be gone. I WAS WRONG. My lower back and neck are still stiff and hard to move.

I started to have lots of migraines again. I had trouble concentrating and I was forgetting to do things by the middle of the 90s.

By the turn of 2006, my short-term memory was all but gone. I seem to have lost more than half of my life. I ended up losing my business.

I cannot really say how I ended up so sick. I just do not remember this time and how it all transpired. So I moved back to Florida to be closer to family.

As for now I have been so sick. I have blood clots. My memory is whatever it is. Sometimes I can pull my thoughts together. Most of the time they seem lost forever.

Oh yes... somehow my left shoulder was not connected anymore. I have no clue how I broke this. Such is life.

I now take 24 pills a day just to keep me going. And believe me I am not going very well right now. I have no income.

There is no way for me to work. I have two pages of things wrong with me and I do not even remember what they are. I would have to look them up just so I would know. This is not the end of the story.

Financial Hardship

I lost my business. I lost my car. I have lived under the trees. I cannot pay my dock fees and I am behind in payments so I do not know what I am going to do.

I do not have power to keep the medical equipment, CPAP, TENS unit, and something else I do not remember what it is called.

I need a car because I cannot walk too far, I tried to get medicated but did not remember to send them paperwork so they said no. So now I have to start all over again.

My children have needed help and I could not help, I could not even send them a birthday card or Christmas card. This is sad for someone that has work all his life.

I need to make changes on my boat so it is easy for me to live off the grid. I bought the boat when I received my money owed to me so at least I have a roof over my head.

But the boat needs a lot of work that I just cannot do. And I have no money for it anyway.

I have no cash at all. My account is overdrawn. I do not even know how this happened.

My food stamps are the only way I eat and I never know if I am going to get them or not. Like last month it was $47 less with no reason why. This month they did not show up at all yet.

And this is only some, not all my financial problems. With no cash I am literally dead in the water.

Income Efforts

What have I done to get money? I have written to the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, the First lady, the local churches in the area, and the DAV.

I have not tried to get any grants, because it is just too hard to get without help and I have no one to help or any money to pay someone.

My little brother helps me now and then but he cannot support me. I have one friend but who is not disabled, but he only gets $600 a month.

I have applied for SSI, SSDI, VA Disability and service-connected disability.

There is just no way for me to work with all the medication I take every day. There's also the migraines and not being able to stand or sit too long.

I have not been able to get any donations. Asking for money will just get you in jail.

Specific Needs

I have a lawyer but he told me it is going to be at least another year before the SS judge says if I can go to a hearing or not.

I keep telling my lawyers I was going to be homeless again but they just do not care and treat you as such.

I need a lot of advice because my memory is so bad. I just do not remember to do things.

I am getting VA Medical but that is all. I have been working on getting my disability since 1977 from the VA.

I could use a grant to help me fix my boat up so I can live off the grid and in safety without the need of cash.

I also could use some sympathy, if only a smile. Believe me it is lonely out here. I need so much more but I just cannot pull it all together without money and help.

Comments for Disability Grant Money Will Help Disabled Army Veteran Not Be Homeless

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Dec 19, 2012
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Take The Correct Action
by: Claudy

Donald,

I'm not even sure where to start with you but I can tell you that there is a lot of help for you! First you wrote to everyone except the government representative that can help! Call do not write but call your US Senator and their office will help you to get your VA Disability and they will also ask Social Security to expedite your appeal on an emergency basis! The US Senator's office will also advocate for you. Do that first. You sent letters to the wrong people but now you know who will help you. You can then call your US Congressional Representative who will also help you. Call after you call the Senator.

Get paper and pencil and keep notes and dates of everyone you speak to. A log of who, what, when, where, and why. Record dates and names of everyone this day forward.

There is so much help for almost homeless veterans in our state of Florida. Go online, which may mean at the library and go to the website benefits.gov and take the survey. Ask someone at the library to help you if you need help but I think it is simple enough for you.

After you answer all the questions, you get a computerized list of all the federal help for you, complete with addresses and phone numbers. There will be a lot of agencies that will help you, more than you ever realized. Print the list (25 cents a page) or write down the phone numbers and addresses. You can also email them to yourself. Your phone will be back on with more minutes and I know you know that. Call the agencies and they will help you.

Again I am sure there is a lot of help for you but you have know how to find it. Now you do.

Tell the Senators, Congresspeople and government agencies about your story on Ability-Mission.org and that it is an international non-profit. They will sit up and take notice and will help you better than if you do not mention your story.

Good luck to you very soon.

Take care...

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