The Grass on the Other Side

Retirement. I'm not really at the usual age for retirement, but here I am at the ripe age of 54. Well, I'll be 54 in just a few days of writing this. 

So, what brought this on? Disability is the answer. I originally started seeking Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) back in 2017; however, I did not make a renewed, and more focused effort until 2020. After being initially denied, I hired an attorney who then helped me win my case. Now, here I am, waiting patiently for my award letter and to begin receiving payments.

The process is an extremely humbling process, because in order to show you are truly unable to work, you must not work during the process; however, I did work. They were short stents that were all cut short by my health, and became examples of my failed work attempts. My last day at my last attempt was March 4, 2022. 

I am unable to collect unemployment, either. Unemployment is to be used only by those who are willing to work and are seeking employment. I did apply, but I was denied anyway.

Sadly because of those situations, there had literally been no funds coming in at all. I cashed out the 401k from my last work attempt to pay my rent. I sold my car to pay rent and many other past due bills at that time. I have used the Trustee's office to pay rent and electric, while friends have pitched in on occasion to pay for phone, internet (I don't have cable), and non-food essentials. I also have been using food pantries and SNAP, along with Medicaid. 

I hit a moment of humiliation yesterday when I went to pay for my groceries with my SNAP card, and found that the money that was supposed to be there was not. After having to cancel the transaction (as, neither my mom nor I had the money to pay for it), I came home to make some phone calls. It turned out that I had given them the incorrect bank statement, and they declined my expedited application without notice. Luckily, a friend brought me cereal and fresh fruit to help a bit.

In that, I found that despite giving them all of the documentation they had requested for my Medicaid renewal (for August), they closed my account due to the documentation being incorrect (I honestly don't know what else to give them, as I gave them everything). 

For a week that started on the up and up by winning the SSDI hearing on Monday, having a much needed surgery, and actually feeling tons better, it has ended horribly and left me in tears.

It will probably be a month before I receive my award letter along with my backpay, and the food pantry won't be open again until Tuesday morning (the one closest to me has been closed for maintenance), and then it is only available every 14 days. At this very moment, I won't starve. I need to take inventory of my canned goods, as it looks like I'll be living off of tuna noodle casserole and chicken rice casserole for a bit, but even that is limited.

My request? Pray.