Friday, July 6, 2012

What Independence Day Means to My Autistic Brother

From Elizabeth Blessing's Caregiving Blog -- just an amazing piece. Better late than never.

Elizabeth and her brother, Bobby.
My profoundly autistic brother, Bobby, was born on July 4. He is my wonderful Independence Day birthday guy who loves American cars from the 1950s, making grape jelly sandwiches, petting cats and going on long walks with his caregivers. Or, as George M. Cohan's song goes, he is a real-live representation of our country, a Yankee Doodle Dandy:
I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy,
A Yankee Doodle, do or die;
A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam,
Born on the Fourth of July . . .    

As Bobby's representative payee for his government benefits, I received a curious letter from the Social Security Administration the other day. In 13 pages of boiler-plate bureaucratese, the letter announced that they would be reducing Bobby's Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from $683 per month to $427. Combined with his Social Security benefits, he will now be living on $874 per month.
The reason for this reduction?
"He is living independently with cooking facilities." (page 2, paragraph 4, Notice of Planned Action)

No comments:

Post a Comment