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Most people with autism need time to process things, time to respond, etc. At least with me. Unexpected changes throw us off. Think of your GPS telling you where to go and all of a sudden, it changes the route on you and you may not have time to react. That’s how hard it is for us with changes. I always talk scenarios but I thought I explain a real-life situation that actually happened. I made a vlog on this topic which you can watch here.
Due to my inability to find a job, I get food stamps to help my folks somewhat. They get a limited amount of money. I saw on Facebook about proposed changes to the food stamp program, requiring people to work to get stamps. I disagree with this BECAUSE what will happen to someone who just can’t get hired? What about someone who gets laid off or fired when it wasn’t their fault? What about if someone gets sick/hurt and can’t work anymore? Even though I wrote this last year. This COVID situation is a perfect example for why the work requirements are a bad idea. Everyone who’s job is non essential lost their jobs. So what happens to them?
My first thought that it was fake because it’s hard to know what’s true or not when reading things online. Or if it was real I thought it would take a while to implement. I thought it would be September or October when it came into place. My state (Illinois) doesn’t play. They implemented it or started to crack down, not even 3 months after I saw the article in question on Facebook.
In March, early March, I get a letter from the place. It said I need to come in for an interview. The letter did not specify what the interview was about so I assumed it was to follow up. The place follows up every so often to see if your income has changed or if you moved etc.
I get to the place. A lady calls me back. I ask her if my mom can come with me if something is said that I don’t understand. She denied my request for the same old excuse ‘because I am an adult.’ I think these laws were put in place to give people an excuse to leave people with hidden disabilities in the dark to struggle. This law implies that you don’t need help because you’re 20 something.
The lady somehow had me in for the cash program. I told her that I do not get cash assistance nor didn’t I apply for it. I tell her I have no idea why I am here and that I received a vague letter in the mail. She goes to get someone to find out.
Then she came back and said I am here to talk about the work program. It felt like the world was crashing down. I have explained on this blog in the past why I am unable to find and work a job. The gov may not understand autism, a matter of fact, they don’t understand autism and how it limits me from working. Hence why I got denied disability 2 or 3 times. Also, their work program was for NTs so that’s another thing I wanna add. Even if there were disabled people on stamps, their problem is different than mine.
Quickly. Anytime you see me use the abbreviation ‘NT’ I mean Neurotypical, which means a person who doesn’t have autism.
Ok. I wait for the case manager to call me. They were trying to get me in this program fast. I had no time to adjust to this. No time to process or anything due to the error. I think had they not put me in for the cash program I probably would have known about these changes sooner.
Due to that other lady denying my request and because the world thinks disabilities drop off the earth at 18, I had no one to chime in and help me when I could not process my thoughts and speak for myself. THIS is why we ask for someone to come with us. Nothing to do with being adults. But our condition sometimes prevents us from speaking for ourselves. Your ableist law hurts us.
This was also a bad time because I stopped seeing my last therapist because he would disregard my problems and expect me to be like other people with my condition. The place could not find anyone else for me to see and at the time I thought the psych that I saw before didn’t take my insurance. I told them I was unable to work due to a physical/mental condition. Well actually there was a form with possible things that can excuse you and without a second thought, checked the option(s) that applied to me. And. I needed a doctor to sign the paper. Which was a problem because I couldn’t get to one.
The caseworker only gave me 30 days to get my form signed or I’d be forced to work. I am paraphrasing what she said. That has to be illegal. You can’t force someone to work if they can’t due to health problems. Some people can’t afford to see a doctor. I think because they wanna so badly rob people of their benefits, there are things they did not think about.
Then I called the doctor that stopped taking my insurance. There was a mistake and they thought I had Medicare, which they don’t take. I don’t have Medicare. I have MEDICAID. I had to wait almost a month to get in to see him and the place only gave me 30 days. Kinda harsh if you ask me.
I hate the stereotype that unemployed people are lazy. I explain why there can be other reasons a person may be unemployed.
So much stuff thrown at me with no time to process because of a mistake the food stamp place made.
Fortunately, I was able to get my papers signed. I send them in and then the place sends me a letter saying I have to come in and explain why I didn’t show up for my ‘appointment’ when I never got anything for an appointment. These people are incompetent enough to get on your case for missing an appointment they didn’t tell you about. I understand there are people who are fully able to find a job/work but choose not to. On Dr. Phill, that girl who cried for losing her Instagram openly said on live TV that she uses stamps and claims to make thousands of dollars a month. Some people can have a job online but I don’t recall her selling anything (most people have an online business and use Twitter, IG to help them expand) or having a blog to even get money. She can get stamps yet there are people who need then and can’t get them or have their benefits cut. This greatly affects people who are truly unable to find and get a job. Whether they have a disability or illness or their area has high unemployment.
Mistakes happen but it wasn’t cool making my anxiety worse.