Using Disability As Cash Cow

Fair warning*** Some of you might not like the article of the day. However, it’s Friday, so you will get over it. When I first starting working in the social work field I was introduced to the disability cash cow.

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Before you get irate, I’m not talking about people needing help because they honestly need help. My mother worked most of her life, she got sick in her 50’s which resulted in her having to get disability. A few years after she got her disability, she died. I’m talking about people placing their children on disability as a means of income. There are some issues that will automatically give birth to the need of disability, however today we are talking about the ones that do not.

My first encounter with this situation started around 2012. I was at work and a lady entered my office with her three children. All of her children were under 7 and two of the three were diagnosed with disorders. In most cases, I haven’t heard of people giving children under five schizophrenia diagnosis. Yet, I am not a doctor, so maybe it happens. However, when I questioned the mom about letting her children attend school red flags started to show up.

She went on to talk about how she didn’t want them in a school and how the school wouldn’t be able to take care of them like she did. She was in a shelter and from what I could tell she had other people looking after her children most of the day. She then told me that she was getting around 1500 a month in disability and she was in the process of getting the youngest child placed on disability for their ADHD.

My daughter as many of you know suffers from ADHD/ADD and ODD. She was briefly diagnosed with having an intellectual disability until she was retested a couple of years ago. Around the time she received the intellectual disability diagnoses someone tried to talk me into putting my child on disability. I was told she would be able to get money because of that and her ADHD. I smiled and politely informed the person that I wasn’t placing my child on anything because I was going to help her learn how to control it.

Here’s the point, there are times when someone might need to get disability, but I would think long and hard about it before I sign any papers. Maybe talk to someone in legal. My daughter works and she plans on going to college to get a career. While her struggles have been real, our encouragement has been never ending. I always think back to the 19 yr I met years ago. She was bright, funny, and such a pleasure to be around. I would often make her read aloud in group when we went over coping skills. At first she was scared, but later she started to really shine.

I asked her why didn’t she think about going to college one afternoon. She then informed me that she had a low IQ which prevented her from being able to go to college. Apparently, her mother told her she was too slow and put her on disability with the help of professionals. Her mother was using her disability as a cash cow until she moved out of the house and then issues started because she wanted to work. We must always think about what’s good for our children and not what’s easiest for us.

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Outsiders Are Being Used To Fight Our Battles

The Democrats will use the Hispanic impoverished countries to win their battles while the Republicans will use the Russians to fight their battles. I never thought we would see a day when America forgets how to be America.

We are talking about Trump and why the Republicans will not step up, but then when you think about the Democrats wanting to let some illegals vote in elections, it all makes sense. However, what people are not understanding is that one price will be higher than the other. So glad, I am an Indie right now.

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Two wrongs do not make a right, at least that is what I have always heard. Historical movements are among us. The question is, how do we turn things around or are we too far down that river?

Who’s Lurking In Your Neighborhood

I didn’t think much of this encounter until I heard Mueller’s report. A week ago my husband was talking to our neighbor across the street and he reported that a strange Russian man walked up to his house. He informed my husband that this man started up a conversation while he and his wife sat on their bench. He reported that the conversation started out about how things were hard and then it got crazy which resulted in his wife walking into the house and shutting the door. He then stated that he informed the man that he didn’t agree with whatever he was saying and he quickly followed his wife inside. When my husband asked him if he had ever seen the man, he responded that he thinks the man came from a local homeless shelter.

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Last night all of the lights went out in the neighborhood. I freaked out and out of nowhere, I thought about Russia. Now, I haven’t been afraid of Russia since I was a little girl scouting out hiding places inside my classroom. Yet, after hearing the report from Mueller yesterday, I am fearful. This isn’t about politics anymore. Who was the Russian man on my street and why was he walking down the street saying random things to random people? What made the next door neighbor so uncomfortable that he wouldn’t repeat the conversation? Be careful and watch out. This could have been random and meant a big fat nothing, but if it isn’t take care to be on guard.

Planning The Perfect Vacation For People On A Budget.

If your family vacations are anything like mine, most of them result in trips to the ER, after all the fun ends. YEAH!! However, this year we are planning to go about it another way. We will plan the perfect vacation for people on a budget. The first thing we do is look for fun things near our state. It gives the children a chance to go out of state without making us pay so much in gas. This year the winner is!!

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The winner is New Mexico. Some of you might be wondering why New Mexico. Well New Mexico has an ice cave! My husband and I love the idea, I’m wondering how the children will like it. I think it will be a surprise because they aren’t into science like me. However, I want them to respect nature because while it is beautiful, it also has the ability to change life as we know it. Most of our trips have something to do with nature. I would love to go to Yellowstone, it really is a dream. Yet, it isn’t close enough for us and would hurt the budget. We try to find fun things that will allow us fun minus the guilt of spending after we get back home.

This year I plan on learning more about the adventure prior to pulling up to the site, God Willing! I will be a good mommy and make sure I pack lots of water and bananas. We will need to bring a bag with clothing that will protect us from the coldness inside the cave which shouldn’t be too costly. We have bags around the house and we can just use our normal cold weather clothing.

The first thing I like to do is google the distance of the place. It should take us around 13 hours to get to the cave. I have a Jeep that uses e85 gas so I think we are looking at 300 bucks in gas give or take 100 bucks either way. My husband is a state worker so he can get hotel rooms a little cheaper which will get us a better rate on a room. Trying to spend no more than 100 on a room per night which gives us at least two nights without drama. The park fee is 12 per adult, so we are looking at 60 for the whole family. Breakfast will consist of something from the hotel and packed lunches while we are touring.

While I bet New Mexico has nice local authentic food, we normally just stick to the dollar menu for dinner. Normally, our vacations always end with an ER visit because someone does something crazy. One vacation my husband hit is head on the cave ceiling. I was just about to say something to warn him before he hit his head, but I was too late. He started having severe headaches which warranted a visit to the ER.

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The other incident involved me sitting in a hard spot for five hours. LOL Hardspot! Get it! LOL okay, my sense of humor is my own. Anyway, after we made it to the car, I sat with my leg bent in the air for like three more hours. By the time I got home, I couldn’t walk. Turns out I hurt my butt, I didn’t even know that was a thing. I still swear I felt something jiggle around when I was walking. The nurses in the ER were laughing about it, but I was quite worried.

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Lastly, my daughter’s spider bite got infected by the other place we visited. We were having fun in the water which turned out to be irritating her bite. The doctor said it happens more times than people realize. We think those bandages are good for protection, but they can fail. Alison’s bandage came right off and that was what caused the infection. So, this year we will be adding a first aid supply kit to the trip. We are just too clumsy not to have one.

Are you planning anything fun this summer for your family?

Are Electric Bills Forcing People In The Poor House?

My husband and I moved into this house a little over a year ago. When we first moved in our electric bill was around 250 per month. The 250 per month included an energy saving plan with TXU. Supposedly, the green plan would help save us money and lower our bill. After about six months of seeing very little savings we decided to move to another plan with TXU. This plan was supposed to save us more money because we wouldn’t be paying for energy on the weekends.

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About a month or so after the plan we noticed that our bill started to get out of control. It was no longer in the 250 range, it was going into the 300 plus range. The weather was starting to change and the house was starting to get colder. So, I asked a TXU representative why were our bills so high. He told me that basically, I needed to mimic the outside weather. So, if it was cold outside, my house would need to be a representation of that in order to have a normal bill. I asked him are you saying we need to freeze, he said bundle up!

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That was clearly not going to work with three children in my home. So, we started cutting back on other bills. No matter how we limited our usage, or what we did, the bill was still high. The area we were spending the most money in was still heating.

After my year ended, I linked up with Direct Energy. I have since noticed about a 200 dollar drop. TXU called me back and wanted to know what they could do in order to get our business back. They stated that the plan I was on prior to leaving was a plan that cost 14 cent per kilowatt. Average households pay about 12.7 to 13 per kilowatt, but TXU had us paying 14 cent. This was the reason my bill was never going down. I now pay 10 cent per kilowatt.

If you are having trouble with high energy bills, you need to talk to the company about the amount you are paying for your electricity. You shouldn’t have to freeze in your home in order to save money. Pay close attention to where the most energy is being allotted. In our case it wasn’t about computers, TVs or even appliances it was something we needed. Study your bill, and look back at your usage from a year ago. I hope your home stays a climate friendly zone.

Nextdoor App Exposes People You Do Not Want Living Next Door.

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For the past few months I’ve been reading the post on Nextdoor. If you aren’t familiar with the app, let me give you the run down. Nextdoor is an application that neighbors use to post various things for their neighborhood to see. Some of the information can be useful, but often some of the information seems to be a little too dramatic.

One morning someone posted a vent asking people to walk their pets in their backyards due to her being tired of seeing poop in her yard. Needless to say, this didn’t go over well. Apparently, people like walking their dogs, but they do not like taking doggy bags with them for the retrieval method!

Another evening, a thread was started about someone selling internet, or some other service from house to house. The author of the post stated that the person in question was told that he pretty much wasn’t welcomed. So, instead of leaving the property, the individual decided to ask the owner of the house if he was being turned away due to his race? The author of the post went on to talk about how the person used the race card, while another member stated that door to door salesmen didn’t have equal opportunity.

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At that point, I told my husband our neighborhood seems to have a drama problem. From frequent posters speaking of shootings every weekend minus emergency vehicle follow-ups to neighborhood watchmen wanting to play cops, I felt it was time for my review. After reading a thread about events unwinding at a “local” crack house near the neighborhood, my husband questioned the authors about the location. Instead of us getting a response, we got silence. Another person questioned about the house, again nothing but silence.

I have come to the conclusion that Nextdoor, helps me know exactly who I do not want living next door to me. If you can’t give accurate details, you are doing nothing more than spreading gossip.

How Are You Rating Your Quality Time

Families are made up of so many different things. With each family comes a set of unique illustrations that paint that family’s life from within. Trauma seems to add new details and sections to the dynamics which can ultimately alter how families are able to coexist among each other. It is at the end of the school year, and we have come to the conclusion that we are still dealing with the tremors of trauma from five years ago.

If the event would have been an earthquake, you would have expected to see small tremors that popped up some years ago. However, it seems as though the tremors are harmonic in nature and ever reaching. We were finally able to have a real heart to heart with our 13 year old. Yes, I said the 13 year old. She was 8 when her sister was attacked and my oldest was 16. In many ways we focused so much and so hard on the recovery process for one child that we nearly lost the other two.

My eldest has been living in Florida for nearly six months now. It makes me sad to write this because I don’t know how much I missed when it comes to being there for the 13 year old. For the past five years while I was trying to save one daughter, I was slowly letting the other two drift away. After having a real heart to heart, my baby finally opened up and told me how she felt.

She informed me that there were nights that she would just lay in her room crying because she felt like we didn’t see her. No parent ever wants to hear that, you do not want to hear that you were a shit parent. I think I did what my parents did in many ways. I tried to bring in things to make up for not being there. We had the season tickets to Six Flags, great hiking adventures, and even trips to craters. We were really trying to meet that quality time quota that so many of us play towards.

Now, we are looking at quality time in a much different way. It’s about those trips to markets that result in instant bright face appreciation as well as those moments of tenderness because some boy has broken her heart. It’s about telling her how much we love her each and every night and telling her no matter the outcome, she will overcome. In my mind, I still see her as

this little one. This picture was taken on some random day at the park. We decided to ditch the normal routine after school and have a play date. Don’t make the mistake that we made and think that quality time has to be something like below.

Hiking in the mountains.

Going to ballet.

Mining in dormant volcanoes.

It can be anything as simple as just watching your kids walk ahead of you at the park. If you are anything like my family, you are still trying to work out the kinks. We are moving in a better direction, but that direction now comes with open eyes. It’s not always easy after you take off the rose colored glasses, but it’s something that you can’t ignore. Don’t miss those moments.