Dear readers, in 2008 I filed for social security disability benefits.
In Puerto Rico SSI isn’t available, so you can only apply for SSDB.
A year after my diagnosis I was trying to do my best to continue my career as a Third grade teacher, attaining quality of life was difficult because handling three groups of 24 children was energy consuming and took a lot of effort.
I was afraid that in one of my appointments to the neurologist, he was going to bring up the point that I needed to look into applying for disability benefits, and I was even more scared of losing my livelihood of many years.
After talking to my family about it, we all agreed that even though sacrifices would have to be made and our family budget would be tailored down, if my life was going to improve everyone was on board.
I never imagined that the road I would travel was going to be bumpy and filled with a zillion potholes.
The economic hardship that would follow was beyond my dreams, but I’m sure this is nothing new to anyone reading this.
When money gets tight even the simplest things are hard to get by.
I began reading all the information that was on their web site and I found that MG was listed as an impairment. So, in my naivety, I thought it shouldn’t be that hard.
Which took me to the following step, begin the process to apply for disability, After the school year ended, I didn’t go back to work in August so I could begin the process in January, since there was a six month waiver or something like that.
I’m sure that whoever reads this post, will know that it isn’t that easy. It’s not staying put for six months with no income, it’s gonna take a bit more, if not waaaaay more.
I remember one particular moment where the attorney told me that he wanted to try to have the SSD judge to approve my case using my file as reference because if she or he saw me they would think I was “fine” based on the way I looked.
Frankly, I was speechless.
I thought of all the process as unfair. I sure felt sick, the deal with MG is that sometimes it doesn’t reflect on the outside.
The thing is that it got worse, because when the neurologist who the SSD hired for my evaluations said my impairments were not enough, it was confusing and painful.
At some point, I gave up and just waited for the process to finish.
To my surprise, I got approved after a two year wait with a fully favorable hearing judgment. For most of the time, I thought that I wasn’t going to get anywhere close to getting approved for a coverage I had already paid for while working.
I was disappointed and angry at the system.
Social Security Disability Benefits are not free monies, it’s an insurance we pay for while we are part of the working force of this county. So, it should work for us not against us.
So, my dear friends reaching to the point where everything works for us is a road full of bumps and potholes, but we’ll get there. And that hope that everything will be okay is what makes us move forward.
Plan your life because it’s yours and only yours, and find meaning and purpose in each day reaching out to others. When we give it a try, it’s pretty amazing.
I invite you to come along on my quest for wellness not only of my body, but most importantly of my soul