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Disability Grant For Cerebral Palsy Disabled Terrie To Get Accessible Van

by Terrie Birney
(Swansboro, NC, USA)

I'm a 44-year-old woman living in a small town in North Carolina. A country girl, I've been married to a wonderful man for 20 years. I have wonderful family support.

I volunteer at my church as communication coordinator, doing our weekly bulletin, monthly newsletter and our website.

I love to write, especially about my feelings. The book series "Chicken Soup for the Soul" published one of my stories.

Disability Issues

I was born with cerebral palsy. I am not able to walk or talk. I use sign language to communicate.

I have to depend on someone for everything, even to go to the bathroom and to eat.

In August 2012, I had hip surgery; they removed both of my hips. That surgery worsened me instead of making me better.

I have a feeding tube since 2001 because food would go straight to my lungs and I used to get pneumonia often.

I had to have partial hysterectomy in 1989 because my legs were too tight together for my monthly menstrual cycle.

Financial Hardship

My husband has to work to support both of us on his own. Then, he has to come home from work and take care of me.

I cannot receive SSI or any help from government because they have guidelines that I don't meet. According to their guidelines, my husband's income is too much.

They don't take into account that we have necessities such as housing, food and other bills.

Our mortgage is extremely high. Sometimes, we can't pay all of it.

We also have to pay some of my husband's medical bills.

Accessible vans are very expensive and I need a good, reliable one.

Income Efforts

I got my associate degree in microcomputer science in 1994, and then I applied for some computer jobs. One interviewer even changed the job description to the night shift, so I would not have transportation to work (my nurse's aide worked only in the daytime).

I applied for SSI many times and I got denied. However, I didn't stop there to try getting SSI; I went to see a lawyer. Unfortunately, there was nothing that the lawyer could do to get me any help.

My church and family donated to me what they could.

Specific Needs

I need an accessible van to go to my doctor's appointments, do my volunteer work for my church, do my grocery shopping and go visiting family and friends.

I need a low floor minivan so it would be easier for other people to drive it than a big conventional van.

I would like to start receiving SSI or any financial help monthly.

I would like to be able to work from home and get paid for it.

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Jun 17, 2015
by: Sheila Paris


I just floors me the physical and emotional struggles you must go through every day that so many of us take for granted as being so easy. You have my admiration for such courage and stamina to persevere.

Do you have a wheelchair of any sort? In my area, there is transporation called ParaTransit. I use it. I have a Hoveround and it picks me up for where I've arranged for them to take me from home and brings me back. Check with your public transportation and see if they have a disability bus.

I know it's soon after getting your story published, but don't lose your momentum. Head for the workbook Don provides. See all the many resources there that can help.

I hope you'll drop in when you can to keep us posted on how you are doing. Many blessings and prayers for your future van!


Jun 16, 2015
On to the Workbook
by: Don from Ability Mission

Hi Terrie,

I admire your courage. Just to get your story done must have been a struggle.

Your next step is get the Workbook, which shows you how to use your story to get the help you need.

Don Coggan

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