When I officially applied for SSI was at the we care office with the SSI unit.
We did the paperwork even though I had a phone conference scheduled for August 11th of last year. I was going to use Ms. Smith’s phone and be in the social services office, but the SSI unit decided to help me with my benefits.
I still had to meet with Ms. Smith on August 11th just in case ssa called for the appointment. We waited one hour for the phone conference that never happened.
About a week later, I got a questionnaire in the mail from SSA asking about my disablities. I filled it out as best as I could and had it mailed out. By then I had a SafeLink number which was needed for the application, because ssa would call with an appointment time for me to see their doctors.
After I mailed the application off, about a week and a half later I got a voicemail from SSA to call a number for my appointment time which was also followed up by mail.
My appointment time was 8am and 8:30am. One was to see the psychiatrist and the other their interest for the rhumtoid arthritis. I was to bring my can with me to the appointment which was in Pelem bay.
I made the appointment getting their early, I had to fill out a questionnaire about my current status mentally and my last hospitalizations, which was hard to remember.
I was first seen by the psychiatrist which was all of five minutes. Then I had to wait in the waiting room. About a half hour later I was seen by the internist I had to change into the gown they provided.
The doctor checked my joints and luckily that day I was swollen and stiff.
After my appointment, the wait for a determination. I waited five and a half months for an approval. I thought I was going to have to appeal the decision which would prolong my stay in the shelter. But I received an award letter instead.
I went that Monday early to the ssa office and after I was cleared to manage my own benefits I decided on getting the direct express card which ssa uses to pay benefits instead of a paper check.
I did get my first initial payment by paper check. I was too happy to receive the money so I could get myself together. The only clothes I had was from the shelter donations and they where too tight. It’s hard being plus size in this type of situation. I was too happy to have found a pair of black jeans which where high water but I wore them reluctantly.
But to prove that your disabled is the hardest thing to do because they may not find you disabled enough.
But I was awarded $783 a month plus $23 from the state. So in total I get $806 a month which is the same as working for minimum wage.
I have really been able to catch up on everything I need, and even splurge a little.
But now if I want something I have to save up for it as I won’t have access to my funds anymore. But there’s nothing I really need. I pretty much have everything I need from wigs to ugh boots. My cell phone is paid up for 5 months.
I don’t know what I would spend $15 dollars a day on. Besides coffee in the morning, I really don’t have anything that I want or need. I’m quitting smoking because it’s too expensive a habit to keep.
Even though I was awarded SSI, I still feel like shit that I can’t work to make my own salary. I have problems keeping a job, and if anything should happen my only recourse is the shelter. I literally have no place else to go which is depressing. But I’m thankful that I had the shelter and had basic health care met. I was able to get my tooth fixed where a filling had come out.
But my goal is to stay on ssi for as long as possible, because I’m trying to wipe my student loans with the forgiveness program.
I don’t really see myself working because I don’t know how I’m going to manage seeing a psychiatrist once a month and finding a balance of having to take my meds between 10:30 and 11:45am if I’m going to have to be at work at like 8-9 am.
No one living at St.francis is working, everyone is recieving some sort of benefit.
I remember when I had nothing but $22.50 every two weeks, I would talk to people in the shelter about winning an award letter. Everyone was positive that I would receive my benefits.
Being on welfare is no trip in the park while your living in a shelter. The system is geared to give you just what you need as everything was provided for me at the shelter. It’s not a get rich scheme. The shelter gets a rent check for me living there. It’s a business.
While you don’t get paid for three months from SSI, your expected to keep a welfare case open. You have to have some sort of income. Which the three months over lap and you end up getting welfare and SSI.
Being on ssi is a godsend. It really is a blessing to be able to stay home and try and work through my issues and problems while collecting an income. Although I feel a certain way about myself being on it, it is very much needed and helpful.