Social security income or SSI is a government grant given to those who are deemed disabled. It comes with much responisbily to not get cut off. You have to adhere to the rules and regulations of having SSI. So when I went to the social security office for an award letter with Ms.smith, my award letter said because of change in living situation I was cut off SSI. They told me I could reapply, and I was given an appointment for a phone interview.
Because I had no phone, Ms. Smith let me use her cell phone number for the the interview. It was the last week of July of 2019, my interview was schedualed for August 11th. In the mean time I had a pic assistance was opened. In order to rent with vouchers you have to be recieving income from working or from SSI, or some cases SSD and SSI.
We care where my advocates for SSI. I spent an hour and a half going over my work history, and my health history as a schitophrenic, while the case manager for the ssi department at We Care filled out the application on the computer. You have to apply for SSD, which goes by your points with SSA, when you apply for SSI. I got denied for SSD because of lack of work history, I didn’t have enough points.
Agatha was nice enough to get the application process over with the first day. I didn’t have to come back to finish the application the next day. She work fast. So when I got the questionnaire in the mail one of the questions was to put down a family or friend who knows of my diagnosis, so that they maybe contacted. The only person I could put down was my father who didn’t live in the house hold but used the address. “Maybe contacted” Could go one of two ways. He was going to be sent a questionaire in the mail, or get a phone call. I don’t know if they contacted him or not, but I had no choice.
Im fucked up, and it reflected in my answers. I have dyslexia so my hand writing isn’t the best. But it all worked out for the best. I was given an appointment to go see their doctors. By the time I got the questionaire in the mail, I had a working cell phone number. Victoria who’s a woman at the shelter gave me her Obama phone. I switch SIM cards and had safe link send me a SIM card. The only rule with safe link is that you have to make at least one phone a month on the phone. But I had no one to call, so my calls went to calling the 800 number for EBT and checking to see when I would get a deposit on my EBT card.
By the time I went to my appointment, Mike who I met off of tagged went with me. He was nice enough to meet me early morning after his shift a a deli where he was the deli man and he took me. He had fallen sleep in the waiting area so he didn’t see that I had to put down that I was schitoeffactive on my questionaire that I had to fill out for the office. It had questions like how did I get to the office, how did I travel, my last hospitalization, my disabilities, my weight ad my height and my last doctors appointment.
Abdul had given me $40 to take a cab from Susans place, but that wouldn’t be enough, it cost $45 dollars when I checked online with uber and Lyft cab services. So I pocketed the cash. Mike was supposed to take me out to lunch after the appointment, but ended up taking me half way back to the shelter. He wanted to go csh his check, so he gave me $10 from his tips and gave it to me so I could buy myself lunch. I had my cane in toe and I was just ready to get back to Susans place.
Now that Im on SSI, I don’t feel any different. Im not happy jumping for joy because I have some money in my pocket. It still comes with a hardship. Once I month I have to go to the post office to get a money order for 60% of my income. I was spared this month which was my first payment. I got may and June and had to call The Northern bronx location to challenge about my benefit. They corrected the error over the phone, and told me I would be gettin may and June, so I decided on buying a laptop on amazon.
But I still have to save money for when we get back to Susans place, I know my case manager is going to want me to have money to put into savings. Then there’s the chance that SSA will feel that they over paid you, and take money away from your income. You also have to show up to appointments if they request you to come into the office.
Also there’s no bank for Direct Express. They have an app which you can set up a profile to check your statement and your balance. You have to use public ATMS, and pay to take out money where ever you are even the bank, which cuts into your money. The ATM at the check cashing is $2.50 per use. So your loosing money. But I opted to have a debit card because carrying around cash for a month is ridiculous. Im not like Ruby who pulls all her money out and keeps cash. Plus I’m trying to be responsible, now that I have no body to rely on for the extras, and nothing to go buck wild and spend money on. I can’t just buy clothes and live like I can get $20 dollars easily. I have to conserve my resources.
So far doing laundry is free at the shelter. So I don’t have to worry about $6.00 dollar machines and $4.00 dollar dryers. So I have no problem putting money away. But SSI is a benefit that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Its the hardest thing to ascertain. The hoops you have to jump through to apply.
Mostly everybody at the shelter is on SSI. Most of the woman suffer with some form of depression, or disabled. There are a lot of woman with walkers, and wheel chairs at the shelter. There are a lot of woman who are still on just public assistance also, challenging for SSI. The longest you ca be at Susans place is 4 years, then your transferred to another shelter. I don’t know how long it takes from building a income profile, to moving out.
The most you can save is $2000 on your direct express card or bank account or SSA will stop paying you. So My plan is to just conserve my resources. Im not paying for anything extravagant. I have to live, so I have my apps like Netflix and Hulu that I pay for. I have a phone, and a tablet and now my laptop. I decided on getting the tablet so I can stream my tv shows and play games on. And You need a phone. The Obama phone wasn’t cutting it. I need to be able to entertain myself in general. This is my new life now. Its not brand new anymore, I have gotten accustomed to the shelter life.
Security around all the time. Living with DHS (department of homeless services), going though a medal detector when I come into the building, and being frisked with the wand for contraband. Im scared that I will run out of money so I pinch pennies as soon as I get a direct deposit. Even though this was my first direct deposit since being approved for SSI.
So I now have two phones, with no one to call. I plan on paying my cell phone bill 3 month in advance when the next 3 months hiatus comes along. I still use the Obama phone I have it as back up just incase.
Anyways maybe Ill make a new friend on one of the dating apps Im subscribed to. I don’t want a boyfriend its too messy a situation. I can’t attach myself to anyone with not being able to go out after 9pm, and my mental health and all the skeletons in my closet. I just have to maintain my entitlements and monitor my mental stability and find ways to counter act the fact that I may never have a stable environment.