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Why are disabled people allowed to make only a certain amount of money each month? Most people are allowed to make as much money as they want and have multiple streams of income. If you are disabled, as I am with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD), you know that having only one source of income a month is stressful. Disabled people are forced to live in poverty largely because they are disabled.

Years ago I worked part-time for a company that I was excited about after a long period of job hunting. It was nice to finally get hired. I have experienced some jobs not wanting to hire me because I am disabled so it was nice being accepted. Most employers don’t want to hire us because they want someone who is going to be available most of the time and is capable of doing everything.

So working and feeling “normal” felt really good. After almost a year of being there, I ended up relocating to another state and was unable to transfer because the job was far away from my new residence.

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Shortly after living in a new state, I received a letter in the mail and a phone call saying I owed back every dime that I ever made with the company. How is that? Disabled people are allowed to make a little extra without owing. I feel like if I made more than the extra we are allowed to make, then that’s what should’ve been owed. Instead, the government took back every dime that was made, making it hard for me to survive.

Every month disabled people receive a check to survive for the month. Not every week or every 2 weeks like able-bodied people that are capable of working. Only once a month and after bills are paid there is barely any money left. It’s not fair to people like me who are born with a disability.

Read more about diagnosis of muscular dystrophy

I feel like we should be able to work if we choose to without any consequences. We are still human and have bills to pay just like everyone else, so why are we limited to how much money we can make? I also feel like if we aren’t allowed to make extra money our monthly checks should be increased.

There are able-bodied people who have to work 2 or 3 jobs in order to survive. So imagine how hard it is for disabled people. We can not control the fact that we are disabled. There have also been times when I had to pay out of pocket for my speech valve because insurance didn’t want to pay for it. That was money that was taken out of my home expenses and it’s unfair. It’s like we just don’t matter in this world.

Most employers want full-time workers. So if a disabled person is lucky enough to find a part-time job, I feel like there should be no problem with us working and still having our monthly income. Some disabled people can not work at all. Should there not be an increase in the disability money they receive every month?

Imagine working for almost a year and feeling good about having extra money, only to have to pay it all back. That’s not fair and it taught me a lesson. Now I try to be careful when it comes to working. I often think what if there is a time that I work and get sick and can’t work anymore. I don’t want to owe at all so I choose to be careful.

I hope one day a change is made for the disabled community when it comes to making money. I should not have had to pay back money that I worked for. I get up every day like any other human being and have to survive like any other person. Disabled people’s lives matter. We are already limited and still have to fight for the rights that we deserve. There’s so much that I want to do in life but I’m limited because of being disabled and having to survive off of one check a month is even more frustrating.