Life is not easy and now it can only be imagined how harder it is for persons with disability. In some countries being a disabled person automatically means that you are poor. It is like nobody cares.
Today, my husband is dead. I live on Social Security Disability. My son is ill, life threatening ill, and he can’t work either. He has no health insurance, or income. We live in a state ruled over by Republicans, who refused to expand Medicaid here. I have to choose, on a daily basis, how to spend our money. It is quite a balancing act to pay our motel bill, get my son to the Doctor, purchase our prescriptions, and still afford to eat. I do a bit of dumpster diving most months behind our local ALDI.
Unfortunately, being disabled in America means you are poor, unless someone in your family has money. Being ill or disabled shouldn’t carry a sentence of homelessness, hunger, and lack of medical care with it. It seems to, here in our country today. They feed prisoners better than I eat, better than I can feed my son.
Statistics show that the majority of people who are homeless in the United States are persons with disability. They have no one to care for them. Some have lost their homes in pursuit of medical treatment and bills overwhelming them.
According to the Disability Scoop greater than forty-percent of the population of people who are homeless in America are persons with disabilities.
The one-hundred and fifty page 2008, ‘Annual Homeless Assessment Report,’ issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, did not provide encouraging news.
17.7% of adults in America experienced disability
42.8% of sheltered, homeless adults experienced disability
Disability, in particular mental health disabilities, can make it difficult to work enough to afford adequate housing. Adults with disabilities living in poverty comprise 30.7% relative to the population in America that experiences poverty as a whole. The number of persons with disabilities who are homeless is higher than the number of people who are living in poverty – something that tells everyone that people with disabilities are having a difficult time finding a place to live, or a landlord who is willing to rent to them. The disability they experience is making it less easy to accommodate them without adaptive supports. The resources people with disabilities need in order to survive in America are simply not present in the amount they need to be where housing is concerned.
The future still doesn’t look bright for persons with disabilities who struggle all alone. In some countries their right to appeal has been reduced.
On 28 October the Department of Work and Pensions introduced a major change to the appeal process to the main disability benefit for people who are too ill to work, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). If a claimant wishes to appeal against a decision that they are not entitled to ESA, they must now ask the DWP to reconsider the decision before lodging an official appeal – and receive no money in the meantime.
Dubbed the ‘mandatory reconsideration’ stage, not only will the claimant not receive ESA income during this period, there will be no time limit on how long it will take. People with disabilities and illness are being left with no income for an indefinite period of time. This would be bad enough for a system that works. It’s particularly alarming for a system where 40 per cent of appeals overturn the original decision.