Please, let's remember to have some compassion.

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nirrti_rachelle
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05 Feb 2006, 9:30 pm

Many of us with HFA and Asperger's Syndrome rely on some type of government assistance whether it's disability pension, welfare, food stamps or Medicaid. Some, in our competative job market find it difficult to find gainful employment because of the overt prejudice against people who aren't "team players" or "out-going". Or they may have other mental health issues in addition to AS or HFA that over-stimulating and stressful work conditions can aggrevate, causing melt-downs, depression and anxiety attacks.

While I'd think many of us would be understanding of those who need assistance for basic necessities and medical care, I've been very dis-heartened about the attitudes of many who think people who receive help are somehow taking unfair advantage of the system or worse using their children to remain on the dole. I understand the U.S., in particular, practically worships the idea of "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" and the "Horatio Alger" myth lives on in society's conciousness. But "Horatio Alger" has very little to do with the daily realities so many people face just to make it from one day to the next. It would be ideal if everyone had a chance from the get-go to work in jobs that substain them and wouldn't have to rely on the system.

If everyone could go to university and find the right connections to land that position that would pay the bills, it would make welfare obselete. Unfortunately, life does not work that way and there are so many variables which can undermine someone's ability to obtain independance be it a mental condition, getting injured or having a developmental disability. We want life to be the predictable, "make good grades in high school, go to college, land that job, get married and have a family, buy a home", you know, the typical American, British, Australian, Canadian, whatever, dream that's universal.

But things very rarely work out that way and many find themselves in a place they never, in their worst nightmares, thought they'd be. Then if there are children involved, multiply that nightmare X how many children they have to feed, clothe and send to school. Yes, there are people who do cheat the system or take unfair advantage of social programs and they should be dealt with accordingly. But to disparage those who count on them like we count on our next breath is not only unfair but judgemental as we often have no clue what they go through each day to survive.

After all, to qualify for aid of any kind often puts the person in a position of being vulnerable since he's pretty much at the mercy of legislators, some who'll love to end social programs all-together. Plus many find it a blow to their self-esteem since they do want to support themselves without help and are frustrated they can't. Add to the fact it often takes, at least, two times using legal help to be granted disability and working during the application period automatically disqualifies one from receiving aid if granted and you see that it's indeed not an easy way out.


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05 Feb 2006, 10:33 pm

I'm sorry.


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05 Feb 2006, 11:02 pm

Have you ever seen Cinderella man?i think its relevant tto this discussion


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06 Feb 2006, 9:07 am

alex, this would be a great article to post on the homepage, wouldn't it? :)

Well said, nirrti! Here, here. ::applause::


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06 Feb 2006, 9:20 am

nirrti_rachelle-That was a point well-taken. I think that what angers most people about government-run social projects is that it discourages some people from really trying to achieve. Some use it as a permanent way of life instead of looking for ways to obtain self-reliance. Also, others try to get assistance by being dishonest.
As someone who has used public assistance from time to time, I personally think that it's easier to be poor and go without! The endless paperwork and ridiculous requirements make it such a headache! (not to mention the fact that you feel if you mess up on reporting "changes in status or circumstances" you are going to be fined, jailed or under surveillance!) Not to mention meeting with social workers and feeling like an idiot and being treated like one. It's very humiliating. Not fun. Not easy. Really, it sucks.


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06 Feb 2006, 10:27 am

Quote:
As someone who has used public assistance from time to time, I personally think that it's easier to be poor and go without! The endless paperwork and ridiculous requirements make it such a headache! (not to mention the fact that you feel if you mess up on reporting "changes in status or circumstances" you are going to be fined, jailed or under surveillance!) Not to mention meeting with social workers and feeling like an idiot and being treated like one. It's very humiliating. Not fun. Not easy. Really, it sucks.

Some people think it's made to be incredibly difficult to complete everything for the benefits so only the most desperate people bother applying.
I think it's discriminatory,the forms are so confusing,and are based on people with physical problems rather than learning disabilities,physchiatric illnesses etc-questions are looking to be too specific,eg asking for exactly how long each thing is [showering,getting changed and so on] how many times problems happen,how difficult it is to get out of a chair...
It's like an examination trying to fill them in,i've had DLA forms for over a year but have never been able to complete them with family filling them in,they don't know my difficulties,and I don't know how to explain them well.


If people have a problem with other people being on disability benefits for higher functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders [or indeed,anything else],that is their choice,but it shows ignorance if they cannot understand that not everyone can function the same as them.

Who is to say those on benefits are not going to be financially contributing to society at another point in their lives? who is to say,they have contributed less to society than those currently working?
If a person is unable to cope at a workplace because of their disability [whether by social or medical model]they should use what services and funding is available to them.


And back to original topic,in full agreement with it!
How much money does the US government give to live on for benefits?
I think the UK is more well off in that sense,but there are a lot of government initiatives to get disabled people into work or training and they are now trying to force disabled people into work,even when they are not ready[those on the incapacity benefit].


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06 Feb 2006, 11:17 am

Indeed, excellent point. Having the innate ability to make the right connections (socially) is essential to obtaining and sustaining employment. An aspect that is generally ignored by those that have the ability to make connections.

nirrti_rachelle wrote:
Many of us with HFA and Asperger's Syndrome rely on some type of government assistance whether it's disability pension, welfare, food stamps or Medicaid. Some, in our competative job market find it difficult to find gainful employment because of the overt prejudice against people who aren't "team players" or "out-going". Or they may have other mental health issues in addition to AS or HFA that over-stimulating and stressful work conditions can aggrevate, causing melt-downs, depression and anxiety attacks.

While I'd think many of us would be understanding of those who need assistance for basic necessities and medical care, I've been very dis-heartened about the attitudes of many who think people who receive help are somehow taking unfair advantage of the system or worse using their children to remain on the dole. I understand the U.S., in particular, practically worships the idea of "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" and the "Horatio Alger" myth lives on in society's conciousness. But "Horatio Alger" has very little to do with the daily realities so many people face just to make it from one day to the next. It would be ideal if everyone had a chance from the get-go to work in jobs that substain them and wouldn't have to rely on the system.

If everyone could go to university and find the right connections to land that position that would pay the bills, it would make welfare obselete. Unfortunately, life does not work that way and there are so many variables which can undermine someone's ability to obtain independance be it a mental condition, getting injured or having a developmental disability. We want life to be the predictable, "make good grades in high school, go to college, land that job, get married and have a family, buy a home", you know, the typical American, British, Australian, Canadian, whatever, dream that's universal.

But things very rarely work out that way and many find themselves in a place they never, in their worst nightmares, thought they'd be. Then if there are children involved, multiply that nightmare X how many children they have to feed, clothe and send to school. Yes, there are people who do cheat the system or take unfair advantage of social programs and they should be dealt with accordingly. But to disparage those who count on them like we count on our next breath is not only unfair but judgemental as we often have no clue what they go through each day to survive.

After all, to qualify for aid of any kind often puts the person in a position of being vulnerable since he's pretty much at the mercy of legislators, some who'll love to end social programs all-together. Plus many find it a blow to their self-esteem since they do want to support themselves without help and are frustrated they can't. Add to the fact it often takes, at least, two times using legal help to be granted disability and working during the application period automatically disqualifies one from receiving aid if granted and you see that it's indeed not an easy way out.



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06 Feb 2006, 2:52 pm

KingdomofRats wrote:
If people have a problem with other people being on disability benefits for higher functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders [or indeed,anything else],that is their choice,but it shows ignorance if they cannot understand that not everyone can function the same as them.

Who is to say those on benefits are not going to be financially contributing to society at another point in their lives? who is to say,they have contributed less to society than those currently working?
If a person is unable to cope at a workplace because of their disability [whether by social or medical model]they should use what services and funding is available to them.









I hope you didn't take my post to mean that I think less of people who are on public assistance. I don't. I've been on it before out of necessity. I think it's good that we have a society that attempts to help those who need it and just because they cannot work or provide enough sustainance to maintain a life free of assistance, doesn't mean that they don't contribute in countless other unmeasureable ways unrelated to dollars and cents.


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06 Feb 2006, 6:14 pm

Bland wrote:
and just because they cannot work or provide enough sustainance to maintain a life free of assistance...


With this statement you just described the American government. :lol:

Bland wrote:
...doesn't mean that they don't contribute in countless other unmeasureable ways unrelated to dollars and cents.


--But here you diverge. If anyone wants to find the leeches in society, just look to the government. I wish I could refuse to pay taxes until that time when I'm satisfied with what my taxes are paying for. If I bought such a shoddy product in the supermarket, I'd return it and get my money back!


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06 Feb 2006, 6:41 pm

Is this a joke, Sophist? I wasn't referring to the government in those comments you highlighted! I was referring to the recipient of government assistance!
(Did I just make a fool of myself?) (oh well.)


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nirrti_rachelle
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06 Feb 2006, 9:45 pm

KingdomOfRats wrote:
Some people think it's made to be incredibly difficult to complete everything for the benefits so only the most desperate people bother applying.
I think it's discriminatory,the forms are so confusing,and are based on people with physical problems rather than learning disabilities,physchiatric illnesses etc-questions are looking to be too specific,eg asking for exactly how long each thing is [showering,getting changed and so on] how many times problems happen,how difficult it is to get out of a chair...
It's like an examination trying to fill them in,i've had DLA forms for over a year but have never been able to complete them with family filling them in,they don't know my difficulties,and I don't know how to explain them well.


If people have a problem with other people being on disability benefits for higher functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders [or indeed,anything else],that is their choice,but it shows ignorance if they cannot understand that not everyone can function the same as them.

Who is to say those on benefits are not going to be financially contributing to society at another point in their lives? who is to say,they have contributed less to society than those currently working?
If a person is unable to cope at a workplace because of their disability [whether by social or medical model]they should use what services and funding is available to them.


And back to original topic,in full agreement with it!
How much money does the US government give to live on for benefits?
I think the UK is more well off in that sense,but there are a lot of government initiatives to get disabled people into work or training and they are now trying to force disabled people into work,even when they are not ready[those on the incapacity benefit].


My aunt, who is diagnosed with manic depression (although I truly think she may be schizophrenic), cannot take care of herself and lives with my grandmother. Recently, the Social Security Administration re-evalutated her for eligibility for disability. The process included filling out forms with hundreds of questions about her daily routine and two even had to be sent to relatives living outside the home. I couldn't understand that logic since these relatives were not with my aunt everyday so how can they know?

If it weren't for my grandmother taking care of the paperwork, lots of phonecalls due to SSI claiming they needed this or that document and beurocratic red tape that would tax the most sane person, my aunt wouldn't have a chance. I wonder how in the world do they expect my aunt, someone who has trouble understanding and writing simple sentences to advocate for herself? The things my grandmother has had to go through to retain benefits that couldn't possibly support my aunt if she, god forbid, had to live on her own, have been quite stressful for her. But she gladly does it because she knows what'll happen if she didn't.


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06 Feb 2006, 11:24 pm

I suppose that's what social workers are for.


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07 Feb 2006, 6:05 pm

Bland wrote:
Is this a joke, Sophist? I wasn't referring to the government in those comments you highlighted! I was referring to the recipient of government assistance!
(Did I just make a fool of myself?) (oh well.)


Yeah, I was joking by making a comparison and contrast to the US government of what you said. Leeches who give so little back. ;)


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07 Feb 2006, 8:32 pm

I thought maybe you were, since you are one of the greatest smart-a**es I've ever known. I'm just so used to being misunderstood I wasn't sure for a minute. (I guess I did make a fool out of myself!)


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08 Feb 2006, 4:45 am

KingdomOfRats wrote:
And back to original topic,in full agreement with it!
How much money does the US government give to live on for benefits?

Approx. $435 per month provided by SSI. I had unearned income of $215 per month (so I got less than the maximum SSI offers) & was on welfare (food stamps, medicaid) already.
It was not a comfortable standard of living yet had to apply 3 times (over the course of 10 years) before my SSI claim was accepted. Not qualified to receive SSDI "disability" because I've no "work history".


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