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Disability Grant For Osteoarthritis And Depression Disabled Single Mom

by ArLisa Foster
(Los Angeles, California, USA)

I am a 51-year-old African American single mother of two. I have three grandchildren ages 1-7 years old.

I have one brother 10 years my junior who has children. I've been an educator for over 25 years working with ages pre-school to adults.

Disability Issues

I have osteoarthritis that has been progressively degenerative for 20 years.

I have had major depression for 40 years and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2012.

I have been unable to work since February 2011 and am currently on State Retirement Disability.

My conditions will not improve and I must use a cane, knee braces and take medication daily for pain, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure (I have had for six years) and digestive issues.

My neck, shoulders, upper back, spine, hips, knees, legs feet, toes, hands, fingers, elbows are all adversely affected by my disabilities.
My nerves and disposition are also affected by my disabilities.

I still drive, but not every day and not for long distances. I cannot sit for long periods of time nor lie down for long periods.

Though I take medication for insomnia, I still have sleepless nights one to two times a week.

Financial Hardship

When I stopped working in 2011, I lost pay for over a year until my disability started.

My house was in foreclosure and all my bills seriously past due.

The money I now receive is half of what I earned working, but none of my living expenses have decreased.

I was able to save my house and now I am not seriously behind in bills, just behind (couple of months).

I no longer have health insurance because I could not afford the $1,500 dollars a month for premiums, doctor visits, medical procedures and medication.

I was getting acupuncture and massage therapy that I also now cannot afford.

I have lived in my house without a working heating furnace for over a year. I'm still trying to get it repaired. My house has been too cold to walk around (35 degrees) and has caused more body aches.

I have two children that I never received any substantial child support for so everything I have accomplished, I struggled to make happen.

I was successful, until 2010 when I began losing my battle to stay mobile and functional on a regular basis.

I have days I cannot get out of bed, or out of the bathroom.

My life activities have become extremely limited along with my finances.

Income Efforts

I have tried everything that my body will allow me to do to obtain additional income.

I have inquired as how to apply for SSI, SSDI and General Relief and was told I am not eligible for any of those programs.

I applied for and am still waiting for a decision about getting Medicare assistance now that I have no health insurance.

I have borrowed to my limit with family and friends as well as from my church.

I help my daughter when I can with the family foundation by making calls, hosting meetings at my house, having my grandchildren over when she and my son-in-law need to take care of business and providing ideas and help with development of those ideas through formal and informal meetings at my house or theirs.

My efforts to function daily with my disabilities have become more challenging due to my limited finances.

And, I still have a child in college that I am still trying to support. He attends a university in North Carolina and is trying to support himself, but he still needs my help.

Specific Needs

I am looking for grants that I can apply for that will help me with all that I described above because now after working for over 25 years as an educator in public, private and non public schools K-12, and helping other children and families, I now need assistance and support to get caught up and back up on my feet financially.

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May 19, 2015
Thank You!
by: Ar'Lisa Foster

Thank you Sheila. I appreciate your kind words and help. I will keep a prayer up for you too! Thanks Don; you are a blessing! Thank you Ken for your input. Everything helps!!☺

May 19, 2015
Follow Up
by: SheilaKay Paris

Hello ArLisa (what an unusual and pretty name),

My heart goes out to you. After I read your story I said a prayer. I, too, am disabled, my story is here. I feel we are like kindred spirits. I left out of my story that I have osteopenia, one step down from osteoporosis. So you be careful you don't fall and break any bones.

I wish I had a million dollars I'd get you out of your financial bind. Since I don't, there are alternatives. Prayer is the biggest, but I know Don mentioned the Workbook. I know it takes energy you probably don't have, but try to get into it.

While you are at the computer go to:

Disability Digest

This is run by a business associate of Don's, his name is Brian Therrien. All of this is free to you. He gets his money from the sponsors, not you. He also has a passion to help the disabled. Below I copied from one of his pages:

Getting Approved For Disability
How To Maximize Your Benefits
How Much You Can Legally Make
Reliable Jobs And Income
How To Find Affordable Housing
Disabled Grants
Financial & Health Care Assistance
Connect With And Learn From Others
All About Veterans Benefits, and
More when you become a member

I think you mentioned being on disability. Is it state disability? Because you said someone said you don't qualify for social security disability. I disagree. You have worked all those years and paid into the system - you have earned the right for the government to now help you. Brian has resources to help you get SS Disability.

Plus check out the other resources too. I know it all takes time and energy you don't have, but when you are up to it, just take one item and work on that, a little at the time. Try not to get overwhelmed, because I know how fast that happens, it does it to me too.

I'm glad you have your family. I bet they look up to you as the matriarch of your family. I can tell there is a lot of love there.

Take care, ArLisa. If you get into these resources and have questions, please write me here and I'll get back to you. We'll try to figure it out together.

Many blessings,

Sheila Paris

May 19, 2015
Let the Workbook drive you...
by: Donald

Hey ArLisa,

Glad to see your comment! The best thing you can do now is to follow the Workbook and stay engaged in the process.

Don Coggan

May 18, 2015
by: ArLisa Foster

I am so thankful that my story was published. I apologize for not saying so sooner. I have not been able to get back to the site until now. Among other things that have been going on I was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and Obstructive Sleep Apnea two years ago. It's been tough, but I'm still here and grateful for that! I would appreciate any help offered including prayer and words of encouragement. I have another grandchild now who is four months old. My children and grandchildren are my daily breath of fresh air as I go through this journey!

Jan 26, 2013
Tough times take tough-mindedness...
by: Ken

Hi ArLisa,

Times are bad, and things won't get better soon. I know the troubles you have. We sold our 4-bedroom home and had to downsize to a trailer. It gave us piece of mind because it costs so much less per month on everything and we have way less worries. If you want to relieve yourself of all your anxiety, try to do what we did. We were used to having $100,000 a year. I can't feel sorry for myself, because it was not our fault. Just had to do what we had to do. Go for it, you will find it way more comfortable.

Take care,

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