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Disability Grant To Help Accident Disabled Plumber Regain Independence

by Judd Sehn
(Columbiaville, Michigan, USA)

I am a 44-year-old married man with two children.

At the age of 10, my father taught me the trade that had served him well in supporting our family. My father was a plumber.

With the booming building industry in the late 70s and 80s, he was teaching me how to support myself as an adult.

By the age of 18, I was already a journeyman in the plumbing industry.

When I was 21 years old I was involved in a serious car accident, where I sustained a broken back.

After four years of therapy and spinal fusion surgery of three vertebrae, using a piece of my hip to replace the shattered one, I was walking and functioning almost as good as new.

This is something they told I would not do again. I returned to the work force as a plumber.

Disability Issues

The disability has evolved since the accident 24 years ago.

In 2008, I went through another spinal fusion surgery. The doctor fused an additional vertebra to the original three.

The newly damaged vertebra was the result of the original fusion being stronger than my own bones causing the damage.

The doctor informs me that I am suffering from a degenerative bone disease and that additional vertebrae can be stressed in the future and I would be going through another surgery if I returned to plumbing.

I am in pain all the time and my lifting is still limited to 10 pounds, despite my doctor's regimen of high doses of vitamin D and calcium, in order to strengthen my bones.

On June 3, 2010, I was declared disabled by the Social Security Administration and I remain disabled.

Financial Hardship

The financial hardships that my family and I have suffered have gone from losing our home, losing my wife's business, burying a parent and dealing with another parent fighting the battle of cancer.

On top of it all, my disability has prevented me from providing an adequate income.

The constant limits of disability benefits and everyday expenses of living are preventing me from purchasing a home.

My medical expenses are usually covered from the insurance carrier from the car accident from 1989; however I have approximately $300 a month in prescriptions that are not covered.

The cost of living along with expenses like that on a fixed income makes it impossible to save for anything.

My yearly income has gone from about $70,000 in 2006 down to $21,000 in 2013.

The rent for most housing in my area is beyond my budget and the only way I see to get within my budget is to buy a foreclosure, reducing my monthly housing expense in half.

My wife is currently enrolled full time in college, but is not expected to graduate until 2016 and then she will be responsible for her student loans.

Income Efforts

I have been receiving benefits from Social Security since June 3, 2010.

Our local Department of Human Services has helped us through these tough times with food stamps and occasional emergency relief for utilities.

Our local Salvation Army organization is available when the criteria are met.

My wife's family has helped us while she is attending school but is limited also.

Our income expectations for the next couple of years are limited. I am attempting to put my budget back in check. Housing should not be a want; it is a need.

Specific Needs

I seek a grant that will enable me to qualify for a down payment for a home that will lower my housing expenses in half.

There are many foreclosures in my area that could enable me to obtain a home to call our own. It would be a home that could be tailored for my disability as it changes in the future, while my wife finishes school.

In this effort, I also hope to be a little more independent and less reliant on so many state organizations just to help us get through the month until we get back on our feet. Thank you for your time.

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