Budget Cuts and Me
My name is Jennifer. I want to share with you how this budget crisis is effecting me and will effect all of us. I will talk about these three items: Medical, IHSS, and SSI.
Medical Optional Benefit (MOB): Dental, Audiology, Optometrists, Optician/Optical Lab Services(o/olb), and Psychology services. These MOBs are needed in my life. I will talk about the most important ones.
1. Dental is important to every human being… it is about teeth. If we have bad teeth our general health will be effected. Teeth are essential to human living… teeth helps us to eat. How it effects me… I have teeth that are missing and it is hard at times TO EAT. Right now NO dentist wants to see me because any dental work that needed to be done… I would have to be knocked out due my disability. Having no access to dental would put my life in jeopardy and may others will be in the same position.
2. Optometrists and o/olb… go together in my case. I wear eye glasses. My eyes can not hold contact lens due to my eye ball moves very fast in my socket. I am a person that with out eye glasses I would not be able to see much of any thing. Losing these two MOB would have a dramatic effect on my day-to-day life. Not being able to see clearly would put myself in danger and others.
3. Audiology… audio… means sound. Audiology deals with hearing aids. Sounds… are an everyday thing, but if you are unable to hear clearly then that is a danger. Without my hearing aids… I CAN NOT HEAR THE SOUND OF A FIRE TRUCK'S SIREN!! I am considered almost deaf without the hearing aids. Technically, my hearing loss in the range of where voices are in the found in the low frequency range. I lived for years without hearing aids and it was a scary time for me. When I had the hearing aids I heard the world around me for the first time… it was beautiful sounds to my ears. If I lose this MOB I would not be able to maintain my hearings aids at all and that scares me the most.
Now for IHSS and SSI…
IHSS: I am not a level!!!! I am a person who needs this to maintain day-to-day living safely. Level… within the IHSS program client's are given a level (1-5). The cut that is proposed is for level 4 and below… on paper the clients may look like level 3, but nothing is taken into account of the reality of the person ability to do the domestic stuff of living. Lets say I am a level 3 on paper (I do not know what level I am in IHSS)what that means is this my IHSS will no longer help me maintain my home. I have problems doing the dishes because I can not stand for a long period of time or making my bed. I did help dong my laundry. I need help vacuuming my house. If IHSS is cut EVERYONE will be in jeopardy in some form or another. My scare is that people will be forced into groups homes because they can not maintain their places. IHSS says "they have family" to help them. Well, I DON'T!!! What about people like me… that is a very scary thought indeed.
SSI… I get $907 as of 1/09. What I am hearing is this: The state wants to lower SSI to $830. That is a $77 difference. I was on $830 about 4 years ago… I could not live on $830 then when the economy was better. What about now?! Today's economy is BAD on two different levels: State and National. On top of all this we have not had a steady COLA given to us. Gee, I wonder why I can not make on $907 let alone $830. All that I am saying that being on a fixed income is hard and having it cut is even harder.
If these cuts are approved the we must find a way to ease the effects of these cuts. I know cuts will be made, but there must be a better way than this.