Those that know me know that I struggle with multiple disabilities. It took a lot of hard work, and political infighting, for me to be able to attend the Academy of Art University.
Living on the federal government’s Supplemental Security Income program for people with disabilities can be difficult. Our funding is extremely limited and part of it is controled by the states. In California we have seen cuts to our already below poverty level funding. If you live in cities such as San Francisco it can be impossible to survive.
I am a University student. I have found that there is no program for people like myself. I am burdened with $20,000 in student loans. My computer is failing and there is no funding program to replace it. We are left at a great disadvantage, especially since we don’t qualify for private loans because our income is so low and many of us have bad credit because of medical bills.
I spent many years as a mental health advocate. I want so much to advocate for SSI reform. I have no idea why I am emotionally blocked from getting off my ass and doing it. I would benefit greatly from reform; reform that includes financial and technological support to help us further our education.
There are other things than can be done. This includes making SSI only for those with permanent disabilities, taking control of our income away from the states, and putting our health care under Medicare with 100% coverage for all necessary services. This would have to include vision and dental; services those of us in California have lost.
Reforming SSI is vital to all people with disabilities. Now I just have to get off my ass and get to work.