Wednesday, November 8, 2017

i've received first social security payment

About five months ago, I wrote a post stating that I'd been approved for retirement social security.  I also stated I might write a follow-up blog post when I'd received my first payment.  Well, this is it.  I'm happy to say it appears to have been transferred into my checking account.  I was pleasantly surprised at how efficient the whole process was, considering that the U.S. Govt. is involved and the four and half years I spent trying to obtain it early in the form of disability.

I wanted to write another post because, while I may not have had a whole lot of accomplishments in the now relatively long life I've lived, this one, I feel, is significant and I have some pride in it.

As I wrote in my previous blog, for a typical person, receiving retirement social security is another milestone in life, although probably the last one before they die and not really a big deal for them and an everyday occurrence.  

For most people diagnosed on the autism spectrum, this is not a typical milestone.  Unemployment rates between 85 to 90% are reported.  A number of individuals with autism that I've met in real life and have encountered on the internet have been on SSI and have never had "substantial and gainful" employment as defined by the social security administration.  Others I know, have been turned down.
I was very lucky to have supportive parents over the years, but there was still a question of whether or not I would have to apply for SSI and have to live on $900 a month from the government and not be allowed to have support from my parents, be only allowed to have $2,000 in the bank, and have other problems involved with having to be on SSI.

Fortunately, as I've mentioned before, I was able to work sporadically from age 24 (when I completed college) to age 51(when I retired from my last paid employment).  However, it was very tough and I was fired from more than twenty jobs and may be in the Guiness Book of World Records for most jobs fired from.  Working was an incredible struggle for me and I really suffered psychologically from all my firings and the other problems I had in various workplaces over the years where things got so bad I was forced to quit.  

During the last nine years or so that I worked, I did medical transcription working from home as an independent contractor.  Therefore, I had to pay twice as much into social security as a statutory employee to get the same amount back as the statutory employee.  

After I stopped working, I tried to get SSDI, which unlike SSI, has no means test and not the same rules as SSI does, except you're limited in how much income you make from working.  After a four and a half year fight, I did not prevail.

However, though I'm not getting quite as much as an SSI recipient would, it's close.  I'd be getting more than the SSI recipient had I waited until age 66 and 2 months to claim benefits, but chose not to do that.

One of the nastiest individuals in the neurodiversity movement and one of my greatest detractors claimed that I could easily do a menial job and keep it, but because I'd gone to college, I felt this was beneath me.  This is absolutely untrue, as I worked in a warehouse loading merchandise onto industrial palates as my first job and I applied for a job as a delivery driver when I was having problems with transcription jobs before I got my last independent contract gig.  I would have done a menial job if that would have been easier and one I'd be less likely to be fired from than a transcription job, but there is no way this would have happened contrary to what some people's personal opinion of me is.

Others have espoused nasty attitudes toward non-working autistics.  When I described what my situation was on Facebook in one post, a nasty ND called me an enabler and a quitter.  Blogger and Autistic Self-Advocacy Network supporter, The Autistic Bitch From Hell   wrote a blog post stating the reason some pro cure autistics protest ASAN's actions is because they're lazy loafers who are worried about losing welfare benefits because they won't take responsibility for their lives if they're forced to work.

Some of my readers may remember the blog post I recently wrote about the article Ron Sandison wrote where he and Temple Grandin criticized autistics who weren't working and the insensitivity and callousness Autism Speaks displayed when they published the post on their blog.

I only wish the guy on Facebook, the autistic bitch from hell, Mr. Sandison, Temple Grandin, and the geniuses who run the show at Autism Speaks could have felt my pain and humiliation at being fired from so many jobs.  I wish they could have felt my pain from the bad treatment from I received from the California Department of Rehabilitation when I was first trying to learn medical transcription.  I wish they could feel my pain when I tried to learn computer programming and could not do it.  I wish they could have felt my stress anytime a supervisor walked by me and I was scared they were going to call me into the office to fire me.

I'm proud that I tried my best to work and had some success.  Whatever happens during the rest of my life I'm glad I had one accomplishment and can point to a positive resolution. 


Unknown said...

I consider the best thing about Social Security, welfare is that you can say whatever you want without worrying about being fired. Other people who have jobs have to worry about what they say and as a result, People don’t say what they need to say because they live in fear of the fact that if I say the wrong thing a.k.a. politically incorrect stuff such as finding a cure for autism, and their boss finds out they will get fired. You have the opportunity that you receive income from the government as you don’t have to worry about the words that can get you fired such as (He, She, Cure, Boy, Girl, Jesus) and the phrases Autism and disabilities should be cured not respected, abortion is baby killing and two genders. I don’t embrace unemployment, however, in the case like you’re you are free to say whatever you want without worrying that you might get terminated if your employer finds out how “bigoted and ablest”you are. You may have some rights in the public sector, and if you are self-employed but even then if you are self-employed depending on what job you have you can still receive massive boycotts. If I get fired one day I have a feeling it would be about something I did outside of work, however, that’s if I even can get a job I am not even 20 as of yet and have no experience working in a job that I was hired to do, yes I do sometimes work “under the table” for money however that is without the knowledge or consent of an employer however it is instead an employee that snuggled me in so I can help them with their job.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you didn't take a menial job for such jobs generally don't pay enough to survive, as i was a dishwasher in my early 20s & I was just lucky enough to work 25 hours a week for one season, as someone needs some kind of training in order to have a job that supports themselves. It's nice to know You've finally gotten social security @ last. but for me, I had to become homeless for one year & go through some kind of agency in order to get my SSDI check. even my check isn't always enough for me to take care of my bills. But your lucky your parents have been helping you along the way, as my folks have barely enough money to take care of themselves, never mind me!

cubeangel said...

What happened exactly? Why were you not able to learn computer programming? What about it was difficult for you?

jonathan said...

my autism and having to twiddle(stimming) constantly made it too difficult for me to concentrate and apply myself.