Bonnie: Discovery of Options

Editors Note: Bonnie was turned down for SSDI twice, but she decided to apply one more time. She asked her employment consultant to help her with the paperwork and to assist her at the court hearing. Even though she was no longer enrolled in Broadscope’s services, the consultant and her supervisor felt Bonnie still needed assistance. The consultant helped Bonnie understand the paper work and drove her to and from the hearing. She won her case and she’ll be getting monthly SSDI payments and a lump sum of back payments. With the extra income, she’s now able to pay back her relatives, can afford her mortgage, and is able to take care of her husband and son, who also live with disabilities.

Discovery of Options

Imagine that the job you’ve relied on for the last 30 years has just been eliminated. You’ve got health problems including degenerative arthritis, plus a learning disability that affects your ability to process verbal and written information. A strenuous search for jobs proves to be fruitless, and eventually your car is taken away. Bonnie’s experience was just this.

After some difficult conversations, Bonnie was lucky enough to have the support of family to help financially while the job search continued, but this wouldn’t last. The pressure to pay bills continued to grow, and three years go by without any job offers. The option to tackle and apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) seemed like a possibility, but after a second rejection letter from the Social Security Administration, options were thinning.

Finally, The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) responded to her request for services, and provided a list of agencies to choose from to help with her job search. Included in this list is Broadscope Disability Services. Bonnie was able to meet with an employment consultant and explain the situation, including the barriers encountered trying to find a job.

With the help of Broadscope, Bonnie received one-on-one service, was able to complete numerous job applications, and find a Trial Work Experience at Walgreens. Even though her degenerative arthritis prevents sitting, standing or walking for more than 20 minutes at a time, Walgreens was supportive enough to allow use of a stool and standing cart. After 2 shifts, Bonnie was offered a permanent position and is now a valued employee.