Sunday, October 16, 2011

She was permanently disabled, continued...

Photo provided by LJ Fullerton

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

LJ Fullerton continues to cope. She described, “Living with a chronic illness is extremely difficult, as it impacts everything about one's life – daily, work or recreational activities, adhering to any type of schedule, as well as the financial burdens. On top of that, is the emotional struggle; the ability to face each day in significant pain, while both loved ones and strangers believe that you aren't feeling that bad, that you just need to get over it, or make the comment well you don’t look sick! It is heartbreaking. The feeling that no one understands paired up with people's skepticism can be very frustrating and devastating and many people spiral into deep depression, or even worse - commit suicide.”

Considering all that LJ has been through, she is pushing for change.

She shared, “I suggest that together the SSA and Congress immediately set up a task force made up of claimants who have actually gone through the SSDI system, that has major input and influence on the decision making process before any final decisions/changes/laws are instituted by the SSA Commissioner or members of Congress. This is absolutely necessary, since nobody knows better about the flaws in the system and possible solutions to those problems, then those who are forced to go through it and deal with the consequences when it does not function properly. As if things are not already bad enough now, they are about to get even worse, as the SSA is facing budget problems, employee layoffs, and office closings, just as the growing numbers of disabled/aging population needs their services more than ever. Congress also needs to legislate that Social Security funds cannot be used for anything other than to pay out benefits and administer the program. It is important that you contact your Congressional representatives on this very important issue.”

LJ continued, “I authored the Social Security Disability Reform Petition, which currently has thousands of signatures and horror stories from all over the nation. They are from people who are like myself, who have either struggled to win, have lost, or are still fighting to get the SS Disability benefits that they are entitled to. I have also written a proposal for Congressional legislation titled the Fullerton – Edwards Social Security Disability Reform Act. I have been fighting so long and hard for these changes, and I only hope I live long enough to see my proposals become a reality. A personal goal of mine is to one day speak before Congress, to raise the awareness of this crisis situation. I have also submitted written testimony for the record several times to the House Ways And Means Committee hearings on various Social Security related issues.

Sadly, many SSDI claimants have lost all their financial resources, their homes, and much needed health insurance. Worst of all, thousands have died while waiting to get their Social Security Disability benefits approved. Remember that disease and tragedy do not discriminate on the basis of age, sex or race. Your whole life can change in an instant. If you think this could not happen to you – you could be DEAD wrong!”

If you take anything from LJ’s story, be inspired by her perseverance and her passion to make the system better for others; learn from her!

Click here for more information from LJ.

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