Header for Ability Mission

Disability Grant For MS And SVT Disabled LaRosa To Build Solid Home Business

by LaRosa Thomas
(Roswell, GA, USA)

I am a 49-year-old woman living with my husband of 29 years. Fortunately, our children are grown and live in their own residence, but they grew up with a mother who could barely care for herself, much less them. I have a four-year-old grandson and have never served in the military.

LaRosa Thomas, MS and SVT disabled writer and graphic artist
LaRosa Thomas, MS and SVT disabled writer and graphic artist

I went to school to better our life, but my cognitive issues made it impossible for me to finish school. I would like to get my Master's so that at least I could work from home as an instructor. I am two classes away from my MBA with a concentration in project management.

I am determined to get my MBA no matter how long it takes. I have been kicked out of school three times because my GPA fell below a 3.0 (2.8). So I have taken some time off to get myself together, so that when I start again, I can finish successfully.

Disability Issues

In November of 1993, I was diagnosed with MS and had my first acute hospital stay in January of 1994. I am classified as totally and permanently disabled.

In addition I have SVT (Supraventricular Tachycardia -- heart rhythm issue) and severe allergies and asthma. The SVT is of major concern since congestive heart failure runs in my family. My mother has it.

I suffer from migraines, hypoglycemia and sciatica. I began having migraines after a bad head trauma when I was 12 years old. When the doctors were trying to diagnose me, we discovered that I have low blood sugar. It has dropped to as low as 40. So I try to eat small meals 5-6 times a day to keep it up.

My neurologist discovered the sciatica when I went to him complaining about the pain I had in both legs, no matter what position I was in. He did some tests and confirmed his suspicion.

My environmental allergies and asthma require that I always carry Benadryl, my fast-acting inhaler and my EpiPen with me at all times. When the allergens are triggered, I suffer an anaphylactic episode, which can result in an ER visit if I cannot stop it myself. I have a severe allergy to carpet, pet dander, smoke and mold, which we discovered in 2009.

As a result, going into public places is a real challenge for me. I never know what might set off an attack, so I am always prepared. I am forced to stay at home, where I have some measure of control over my environment.

I am not allowed to drive, so I depend on others to take me to the doctor or grocery store (at least this way I can get out of the house). Usually my husband or daughter does this for me.

I do not have gas money to give to anyone else to take me anywhere. I am unable to ride public transportation because of the chemicals and smells that cause a bad reaction for me.

I use a bath bench to get into the tub to take a shower, but I've fallen so many times that I am afraid to do this. As a result, I wash in the sink most of the time. I fall frequently and this is a problem. I am currently recovering from a concussion sustained in February. It is taking a long time because my MS complicates things.

Even though my life is uncertain, I smile. Just because I am in pain doesn't mean that I have to be mean or can't smile. Besides, smiling is great therapy for me. I watch cartoons to cheer me up when I am feeling down. Another thing I do is color. It is relaxing and takes my mind off of negative things.

Financial Hardship

In the past I have tried to work from home; however, my health issues have made this impossible. Currently the only income I have is my SSDI, which goes to pay the rent.

My husband started a new job back in February, so he pays the rest of the bills. But we are short every month. Since I am unable to find steady work from home (so many scams out there), I am forced to depend on the charity of others. If I did not have a husband, I don't know how I would get along.

He works a fulltime job right now, but he is always worried about me being alone. He works second shift but he calls often to check on me. He has had to quit jobs to take care of me.

He tries to find flexible work using his talents as a photographer/videographer, but people are always booking him, then pulling out at the last minute. We cannot live like this.

I try not to be a burden, but the nature of my health issues make it hard for my spouse/caregiver. We pay for the Internet each month so that I can look for work, but it is very hard.

We had a car accident in February and the insurance company ruled the car a total loss. They paid it off, but then we had to spend almost $2,000 to get the other car repaired.

I have a car, but it needs $1,500 worth of repairs. I could let people drive it to take me to my appointments, if it was working properly.
LaRosa Thomas's girls, Jasi and Deuce, wanting to help
LaRosa Thomas's girls, Jasi and Deuce, wanting to help

Since we are planning on moving closer to the children, maybe we will be able to share meals and this will be a big help. There are times when I am too weak or sick to cook.

We were getting SNAP benefits, but that stopped when my husband began working. It was only a little over $100, but at least that was a help.

Income Efforts

My husband tries to earn extra money as a photographer/videographer since I am unable to work. But this is very difficult. He is constantly working on his client base. He realizes that he needs flexible employment.

Local charities help us with our bills.

I am still looking for a work at home position that I can perform without adversely affecting my health. I have to watch out for scams.

I can go back to JLodge, but they have changed their model to call center work. I cannot do telephone work because the headsets hurt my ears and end up causing a migraine.

I like graphic design, but I have to be careful not to get used by others. I have over 25 years of experience in graphic design. I was trying to work with a lady in another state using these skills, but she stopped paying, so I do not work with her anymore.

I like editing because this is something I can do at my own pace, but legitimate jobs are hard to find. I've been editing since the early 80s. I also enjoy writing, but no one is paying a decent wage for writers.

All of the so-called jobs I have found are basically scams.

I am registered with FlexJobs.com and ZipRecruiter.com to find work. I've been putting in a minimum of 10 applications every two days, but nothing has come through yet. I will continue to look for legitimate work.

I am looking to find people interested in self-publishing. I published three books this way and am a consultant in this area. Unfortunately, many people feel that I should give this information away. They fail to realize that I have to live and eat as well.

Specific Needs

At the time of this letter, we are being forced to sign another lease for a year so that we can get the lower payment a month. But, we realize that we cannot stay here since the rent will be over $1000. This will take my entire SSDI check.

I need a grant to move into suitable housing (no stairs and no carpet). The children have decided that because I often have allergy attacks and I often fall, we should move closer to them so that they can help take care of me.

We need money to move (security deposit, first month's rent and the transfer of or the starting of new utilities. This comes to a total of roughly $5,000 (buyout of the lease, water, gas, electric, Internet, application fee, admin fee, security deposit, first month's rent, moving truck, laborers).

We cannot pay more than $1000 per month. It really should not be more than $800. Lowering the monthly housing expense will make it easier to clean up the credit and qualify for a mortgage. We need to move from this apartment since the stairs and the carpet is a problem for me.

However, we need to move to a safe neighborhood. In a less secure area, I would be a target because I walk with a cane or walker or sometimes I'm in my wheelchair. The fact that my husband works in the evening and at night would have predators watching for opportunities to steal from me or hurt me.

Business Idea

My husband has a degree in television production. He is also a photographer and videographer. The state of Georgia offers many incentives for businesses related to the film industry. We want to start a production company.

The minimal costs are roughly $15,000 (state licensure, registration with film commission, business setup, website, advertising, renting or purchasing some equipment, hiring crew).

The cost to start the production company on the high end would be roughly $30,000. My husband and I could do this together. I could do the admin duties while he did the creative work.

I am also a writer and this would give me the opportunity to hone my writing skills. We've already designed the logo, I've started a fee website (wix.com) and started the business plan. We already have a project in mind and have done the script for it.

This would be an opportunity not only to help ourselves but also to hire others and stimulate economic growth in the community. We have fine-tuned the business model to maximize the niche market we have targeted.

Comments for Disability Grant For MS And SVT Disabled LaRosa To Build Solid Home Business

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 13, 2016
by: LaRosa Thomas

Thank you Don. I appreciate the guidance I am receiving.

Jun 13, 2016
We're there to help
by: Don from Ability Mission

Hi LaRosa,

We're there to help as you go through the Workbook.

Don Coggan

Jun 13, 2016
Thank you
by: LaRosa Thomas

Thank you for publishing my story. I knew I had a lot going on, but is it really something to see it in writing.

Even so, I am determined to start a business so that I can be a productive member of society.

Thank you once again.

Jun 11, 2016
Now, on to the Workbook
by: Don from Ability Mission

Hello LaRosa,

Great job on your story. You've clearly put your writing skills to work there!

Now that your story is published, you can access the Workbook, which shows you how to use your story as a springboard to finding the benefits you're entitled to.

Don Coggan

Click here to add your own comments

Return to US Georgia.