In terms of the number of people living with a disability who are receiving Social Security disability benefits, there are over 9 million Americans who fit into this category. However, there are far more disabled Americans who are in the process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or who are fortunate enough to have family support or a private disability insurance policy.
In addition to the financial issues persons with disabilities face, there are also many other difficulties and discomfort often made worse by people who have nothing but the best intentions. According to a recent news feature from The Washington Post, a group of people with disabilities has formed a Reddit thread to discuss what it feels like to have a disability and how they wish others would treat them.
While some of these requests may seem surprising, it is not hard to see how people are negatively affected by what seemed helpful. First, users wanted everyone to know they do not wish to be told they are an inspiration to others. Commenters said, as they did not ask the universe to make them disabled, they do not want to be praised for it either. They would rather be treated for their actions, not simply existing, and engaging in normal activities as people without disabilities do on a regular basis.
Commenters also pleaded that people not try to help them by telling them they could be treated or healed with health foods and essential oils. As one commenter stated, “Paralyzed from the waist down, eh? You know, a raw food diet would clear that right up in no time.” This is not a helpful suggestion.
One of the other requests echoed by many commenters was that people in wheelchairs often consider their wheelchairs an extension of one’s body. Having someone you don’t know grab the handles of your wheelchair would be equivalent to picking someone up who you don’t know and carrying them across the street. Many people with disabilities feel like this is an invasion of privacy. This is not to say commenters do not realize many people have the best of intentions and are only trying to be helpful.
Another rather interesting request was not to question another person’s use of a handicapped tag on his or her vehicle. Many people take a quick look at a person who uses the permit and will not see any obvious disability. Some of these people will go so far as to question the user for having a disabled permit. As commenters wanted people to understand, there are many different kinds of disabilities, and some are not immediately apparent.
As our Boston Social Security disability attorneys can explain, many people who are in need of disability benefits do not always have a readily apparent physical disability either. There are a variety or reasons one could be disabled, including mental illness. If you suffer from any medical condition, which makes it difficult for you to work, you should speak with an experienced disability attorney as soon as possible to see if you have a valid claim for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
If you or a loved one is seeking Social Security Disability Insurance in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
A powerful reddit thread reveals what it’s like to have a disability, Apr. 24, 2015, Washington Post
More Blog Entries:
Rand Paul Says Many Receiving SSDI Benefits Gaming System, Jan. 27, 2015, Boston Social Security Disability Insurance Lawyer Blog