Yes, I have actually had people tell me that it “must be nice to not have to work.” Actually, my first thought is that it would be nice, if it had actually been my choice.
I didn’t want to stop working full-time. My serious, chronic health problems make it impossible to continue to do so. Plus, I am hardly enjoying the opulent lifestyle of a spoiled trust fund child.
My monthly social security disability benefits are a mere fraction of my former salary. At this point, my credentials and work experience could command a salary that is ten times what I receive for social security disability. Let that startling fact fully sink in.
The very benefits that I was initially denied, had to appeal in order to win, and have had to keep fighting for are simply not adequate to meet my basic needs. As a result, I find myself being forced to go back to work.
Importantly, this by no means indicates that I am feeling well enough to resume working, even part-time. Going back to work, I now will also face additional scrutiny from the social security administration.
There are very strict limits on what an individual is allowed to earn while receiving disability benefits. Believe me, I understand that someone shouldn’t be receiving disability benefits if he or she is actually capable of working.
However, like so many others who have developed chronic illness, I really resent all of the additional financial stress that has accompanied not being able to work full-time. In my case, I have no doubt that this persistent stress has exacerbated the very symptoms for which I am receiving disability benefits.