Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Well, the day has come. I have lost my disability status.

When I started my job last September, my understanding was that I had a 9 month trial period before they would consider whether or not to take away my disability.

Well, I was sorely mistaken. My trial period actually started in 1998! They tracked every little job, even before my first transplant. Needless to say, I am way past my 9 months.

And guess what? They want me to pay them back all the money they gave me this year! That's got to be a joke, right? No. It's not. And, if it were a joke, it would be a very un-funny one.

On top of that, my last day at work is next Friday. Money was going to be tight around here while I tried to make a career out of my public speaking but now...tight sounds like a luxury.

So, I have a big dilemma. I can apply to be reinstated and hopefully avoid having to pay back the thousands and thousands of dollars.
I can also have the peace of mind knowing that I will be able to eat and drive my car from A to B.

What I won't be able to do is make one red penny. If I do, those benefits are gone immediately.

I stand on the edge of my future. I have no idea if I will be able to make this book and this voice into a successful livelihood. There is no way to know unless I do it.

Do I take the money and settle for nothingness? Do I give up the money and face possible failure and poverty?

What happens if I become a mediocre success? I may not need that monthly check but I will need my Medicare! Unless I become a millionaire and can buy my own insurance, I can not lose that coverage. God willing, when the time comes for them to take my Medicare away, I will either be rich, dead or sick enough to reapply for disability. What options!

My instincts are telling me to have faith and let go of the safety net. I haven't made up my mind yet but that's how I'm leaning.

It's all very scary.


Midlife Midwife said...

I know that disability it so difficult because you are penalized for working (dumb huh!). I have a family member who is paraplegic as a result of Polio as a child. He can't afford to make too much money because he needs the medical insurance. He is "uninsurable". So he has to make sure he doesn't make too much money. Some creative financing is done to be sure that he can feed his family (he is an incredibly hard worker) but not make too much so he loses his medical benefits. It's a hard balance.

oooh, I wish I had the perfect crystal ball to tell you which way to go. But I don't. So I will give you the usual advice...follow your heart.

Jen! said...

I am sooooo sorry. That soooo sucks.

JJBrake said...

Our system is WHACK!! I am so sorry, it truly is that precipice of choice, the one that looks a little like it's really going to hurt to go over the edge. But then again, you've been to that precipice, twice. I don't have an answer, fuck em about paying them back. That's really...uh, I have no words. It just makes me sick. And there's no way to go under the table? Speak "voluntarily" and simply ask for a "donation"? There are back roads, you must search and get damn creative (talking to a lawyer probably won't hurt too much either). Phewy, it all is so WHACKED!!

Aundypants said...

Man, do I feel for you! Been there, done that a couple of times, hated it and loved when my health allowed me to wipe my hands of it. And you're a sicker girl than me! To some degree that's an advantage. If you have a chance at some degree of financial security to buttress the physical insecurity, I say consider that a health stabilizer! You can still pursue your ambitions and if they pay off big time, you'll be able to go off assistance. I don't want to be a wet blanket, but as I push 50, my spirits sag a little faster, achieving my dreams is at a higher detriment to my quality of life, and the regular age-related complications of a lifetime of crappy breathing are setting in - and no one warned me this could happen! If you're not ready to ramp down your dreams, then I say, "go sick girl!" But plan ahead for the need to ramp down into security as you age. I'd kill for a bit of security now and I wish someone had warned me about planning for it!

Connie said...

How unfair! I have no advice for you except to say that it is a tough decision especially with health insurance now. I wish you the best.