“I’m going to become my own payee.” This is a statement I frequently hear from my clients when they aren’t getting what they want.
Today one of my long time clients said this very thing to me. Over the last couple months he has grown more and more frustrated because he wants more money. The problem is last year he decided to work. For 3 months he worked nearly full-time, despite my warning that his disability check would be affected. A few months after he lost his job the Social Security administration began docking his check. For approximately one year money will be deducted from his check leaving very little for him to have for the “wants” in life.
When he told me he wanted to start getting his own check I said what I always say….”if that’s what you want you’ll need to go downtown and to talk someone at Social Security.” I warned him that becoming his own payee would not increase his check.
I frequently hear people talking about the people ‘cheating” the system. The lazy bums living off the taxes of those out there working for a living. The truth is this young man has a legitimate disability. He has lived his entire life with an intellectual disability but he wants to be a productive member of society. He wants to support himself and his girlfriend. He wants to pay taxes. But his disability makes it difficult for him to maintain “competitive employment.”
Unfortunately our government makes it difficult for people that receive disability checks to find their way out of the system. If they make too much they start losing money from the government check usually before they can get enough stability under them to maintain their housing, food, transportation, etc. If they simply receive a check and not work…they may lack self worth and may feel they aren’t contributing to society.
This post is not meant to be controversial. These are simply thoughts I struggle with regularly.
I get frustrated with our government when I see my clients struggle to have a meaningful life. Yet I am thankful that our government is willing to help those that need a hand up.
I get frustrated when my clients vent their anger at me….simply because I can’t make money appear from nowhere, yet I am thankful for the determination so many of them show. I am thankful for their desire to make a difference. I am thankful for their desire to be part of the solution and I am thankful that I get the opportunity to support them through these frustrating times.