Multiply Disabled Maria Seeks Grant Money For Debt Relief And Retraining
(Reno, NV, USA)
I am 60 years old and have worked since 1980. Due to recurring pain throughout my body and other medical challenges (brain tumor, diabetes, enlarged thyroid tumors, goiter, fibromyalgia) I had to stop working in 2007.
Previously, as a single mom, I worked full-time in a corporate job and part-time as a realtor to support my son, despite thyroid tumors, breast cancer, and extreme stress.
My doctor warned me that unless I make life changes I would get very sick, which is what happened. With no support network -- no family support and no government help -- changing lifestyles was not an option. I could not afford to rest until I got better. Taking care of my son was a higher priority than taking care of myself.
In 2005, my mom died and my siblings defrauded me of my inheritance. This aggravated my stress so severely causing panic attacks, nightmares, depression, PTSD, and excruciating headaches.
An MRI in 2006 disclosed I now had a brain tumor. I continued to have pain all over my body. I applied for Disability and was denied.
I tried to get part-time jobs with medical benefits. I accepted a part-time grave shift job at a gas station but quit in two days since my body could not handle the crouching and standing required.
I was in constant pain, had no job and no insurance, and was uninsurable due to pre-existing conditions. Insurance brokers advised me to reapply for Disability to obtain health insurance despite pre-existing conditions.
In March 2009, I reapplied for Disability and was denied twice. I am now at the Hearing stage, which could take 16 months to up to three years or more for a decision. Social Security estimates that since 2000 at least 16,000 Americans have died while waiting for a Hearing. I don't want to be part of that statistic.
Since 1980 the government has withheld taxes from my wages so that if I get disabled, I can get Disability benefits. Yet Social Security refuses to grant me those self-paid benefits despite detailed reports from my doctors on my limitations.
They relied largely on their doctor who evaluated me for a few minutes, told me I had a lot of problems that he would report, yet who falsely and without basis concluded in his report that I could lift 25-50 lbs (1 sack of rice!), climb stairs (even scaffolding!), et cetera, contradicting his own report showing I had difficulty even with minor movements. He tested me yet excluded that test result in his report.
Only by going to a chiropractor specializing in muscle and brain testing who for 30 years has successfully treated fibromyalgia, which I have, did I learn that this test result meant my brain was not firing properly, accounting for most of my pains, fuzzy thinking, memory problems, etc.
I also have degeneration of bones in my neck as well as back problems as shown by x-rays taken. Social Security, despite having my medical records showing that all my medical issues are long-term, some dating back to 1989, denied me Disability benefits claiming my symptoms are short-term and should not last more than 12 months.
They ignored my written statements that I can't afford to see doctors regularly since I have no insurance and don't qualify for government help financially or medically. They disregarded my doctor's letter that I have serious medical problems and need health insurance to get treatment.
(Only Medicare through Social Security could give me insurance despite my pre-existing conditions.) Instead they stated that I discontinued treatment, as if that was my choice, without giving the reason why, which they are fully aware of, and which is why I am applying for Disability.
It seems that there is a goal to deny Disability benefits we Americans have worked for and paid into for many years. It is a long, exhausting, frustrating fight. It appears that there is nothing I can do but wait and hope I do not die before a decision is made by Social Security whenever they can get around to it.
A government grant could help me get regular treatment for my medical issues, which Social Security requires in order to grant Disability benefits. It could provide funds for training myself in other skills, allowing me to be productive again, allowing me to use my mind to support my family from home despite my disabilities.
It would give our family peace of mind and relief from all the bills and from having to sell our possessions. It would allow me to focus on causes dear to my heart such as Battered Women.
It can help me find justice for my own family and claim my inheritance which has been unjustly withheld from me for over three years, for which I need good affordable legal help in California, and which I cannot focus on due to this ongoing battle with Social Security.
It would let me, an American citizen, use my time more positively, contributing to America, contributing to the economy and helping those who are hurting, instead of constantly having to fight for my own survival.