Don't Even Get SSI
by Anthony Pratt
I learned that I qualify for SSI after being approved for SSDI. The government gave me such a hard time getting benefits at first but as soon as I got SSDI, they literally tired to force me to take the SSI. I decided not to get SSI but keep only the SSDI. Doing this helps me avoid certain issues that are sure to pop up if and when I am ever able to work again. It is also good to avoid SSI but keep only SSDI if you intend to get married in the near future because your spouse's income will cause issues with SSI but not so with SSDI. It would have been only a little more money for me but plenty more "check and balance" for the government's toolbox.
Trust me, getting SSI is not worth the headache if you intend to get off your butt and work just as soon as you are able to do so or just as soon as your disability will not get in the way of your success. By the way, I have a vestibular disorder, which is a serious disability but I don't consider deafness as a disability. However, it helped to expedite my claim since the vestibular disorder is partially the cause of my deafness.
What makes deafness a "protected condition" under the ADA is that most companies refuse to hire us because they think deafness will prevent us from equally contributing to the workforce. Thus, being "perceived as disable" is undeniably disabling according to the ADA. This is logical because you are truly discriminated against and "made disabled" if you can't work due to being prevented from doing so as a result of the current paradigm of the majority of people in positions of power. Being made disabled does not mean you are actually disabled. This only means that, in the real world you need to be able to do for yourself – you need food, water, shelter, etc. For example, you can become homeless if you are not allowed to earn a living wage. What’s more disabling than that? Further more, you are made disabled when a force greater than you has the power to cause you a long duration of undue hardship. So, being perceived as disabled has real world consequences that most of us have no control over.
Yeah, I know that I am the one to make folks think outside the box on this issue but I don't intend to raise the issue of deafness as a disability for this discussion. So, the take away on this is: SSI is not for everyone even if they qualify for it and SSDI is the better choice for most people who really need it. One more thing: it is not fraud to refuse to accept SSI and the government can not force you to get it by threatening to take away your SSDI. It is against the law to for them to do that.
I advise everyone to do the following: avoid SSI and get SSDI if you really need it but go to college and get your education. Your goal should be to become so over qualified for the jobs you are seeking that the companies will have no other choice but to hire you or get sued for discrimination. If you can’t change the current paradigm of the majority of people in positions of power, focus on changing yourself – become educated, become over qualified.