Susan* was just starting her attempt to climb out of a deep hole when she turned to Disability Advocates of Kent County for help. For years, she had faced severe mental health conditions. In this journey, she had been hospitalized, tried many kinds of treatments, experienced suicidal depression and even tried to take her own life.

Because of her disease, she hung out with what some would call “the wrong crowd” through those years. Her home furnishings were destroyed as a result and she nearly lost her home because she was unable to make her mortgage payment. As Susan says, “I had destroyed my life as I knew it.” 

After her attempted death by suicide, she was hospitalized again and received the medication and treatment she needed to begin the climb out of her hole. It was at this time, she realized that one of her friends had already helped her sign up for and receive Social Security Disability benefits. Unfortunately, it was all too confusing – she did not grasp the basic requirements of being a beneficiary, for example, she did not understand what she could and couldn’t do while receiving the benefits. Susan and her best friend, John*, came to Disability Advocates for help demystifying the benefits that were so hard to comprehend. At Disability Advocates, she met with Chloe, one of our Benefits Specialists, but surprisingly enough, that was not the first time she had met Chloe. Turns out Susan and Chloe actually worked together a few years back in a program helping adults with disabilities. Now, she needed Chloe’s help and Chloe was ready to work alongside Susan.

Chloe was able to help Susan and John navigate the ins and outs of receiving the disability benefits. Most importantly, knowing that Susan did want to go back to work when she was ready, Chloe helped her understand how future part-time work might affect the benefits. Susan said, “We felt a huge weight off our shoulders after talking with Chloe… Her help gave me the confidence to go on.”

Through much self-determination, getting on the right medications, receiving the treatment she needed, and learning how her benefits worked and that she could go back to work part time,  Susan began to put her life back together again. She started volunteering, took yoga classes, and realized she was ready and eligible for a part-time job. Today, Susan works as a Peer Support Specialist helping folks with extra life challenges receive the help they need. We are glad that we were here when Susan asked for help. Now, we are asking for yours. 

Your help is needed so that we can continue to provide these crucial services. Please consider a gift of support for Disability Advocates of Kent County, you can donate here.
PS – Due to the CARES Act, your gift to Disability Advocates of Kent County may provide added tax benefits for you only in 2020 even if you take the standard deduction. Read more on the IRS website linked here or be sure to check with your tax adviser. 
 

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