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Scared to lose my current benefits

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Lovinglife:
I am a newbie here, but have been positive for 21 years.  Over ten years ago I was diagnosed full blown.  New meds emerged and my health slowly improved.  During that time I decided to go back to school (never thinking I would live long enough to do anything with a degree).  After six years of school, I graduated with a Masters in Social Work (Dec 2005).  I am currently on SSD and have medicare and medicaid.  I am scared to look for a job.  I am also new in recovery from addiction so my head is all over the place.  I want to get a "real" job but am fearful of losing the govt benefits I currently have.  There was a time in my life that I was too rich to get help and too poor to pay for it and went three years without help, and almost died because of it.  I know today things are different and my fears seem minimal compared to others, but my fears are stopping me from persuing my goals.  And now I have a ton of student loans (never imagined I would have to pay them back  :D.  Anyway if someone has any experience, strength or hope to offer an encouraging work is greatly appreciated.

Dachshund:
Welcome lovinglife...ain't it funny how life happens while you aren't paying attention. I don't think it is written anywhere that you lose benefits while looking or applying for jobs. Just think the perfect job with perfect benefits might be right under your nose. You have invested a lot of time and soon a lot of money in your schooling. As a poz person I would think there would be plenty of job opportunities for someone with a Masters in Social Work. My two cents good luck and go for it.

Hal

allopathicholistic:
hmm, i can relate but i don't know what else to say except i wish you the best - hope something perfect practically falls into your lap! (those things can and do happen y'know)

Trish:

--- Quote from: Lovinglife on June 08, 2006, 11:31:23 AM ---I want to get a "real" job but am fearful of losing the govt benefits I currently have.  There was a time in my life that I was too rich to get help and too poor to pay for it and went three years without help, and almost died because of it.  I know today things are different and my fears seem minimal compared to others, but my fears are stopping me from persuing my goals.

--- End quote ---

Hi Loving,

Welcome...

I understand completely.  I'm in the same boat, as well as many others here.  I have been poz for 17 years and quit my job as a legal secretary in 1989 because I was under the belief that I was going to die from AIDS.  I also spent my entire savings (nearly $100,000) in one year on crap!  I had a good time doing it, but whatever...

Anyway, I also want to return to work, but for the same reasons as you, I can't find a solution to doing that.  I feel good, but I'm just so afraid that I won't be able to get insurance, and end up losing my meds, which we all know is NOT AN OPTION.  Another fear of mine is what do I put on my resume?  Do I be honest and put "I'm living with HIV and have been on disability for the past 6 years..."  And add to that all the hundreds of jobs I lost over the years because I couldn't make it to work or just didn't care about working and quit many, many jobs?  I don't know what to do and it's very frustrating.  So, in the meantime, I got involved in the HIV community by doing outreach and peer educating when I lived in Brooklyn, as well as joined the NYC HIV Planning Council, to be a voice and keep myself busy.  And now that I live in Kansas City, MO (since March of this year), I joined the PC here and intend to do some volunteer work or something, as well as write a book (if I ever get down to it seriously.  Don't know what I'm waiting for, but that's another story.)

What I do know, is that we can work while on disability.  We just can't make more than $840.00 (or something like that, I may have the figure wrong) a month.  There are a few people here who are doing just that, perhaps they will have some pointers for you.  But, I just wanted you to know that you are not alone, and I totally, completely, absolutely understand where you are sitting.

Wishing you all the best, and hope that you stick around here.  We're a nice bunch of people and I'm sure you'd fit right in with the rest of the crazies here.  (Sorry all, but I think we are all a bit nuts sometimes...)

Take care,

Trish

David_CA:
You know, with a social work degree, you could probably get a govt. job.  State, county, and city jobs all have great benefits (at least everywhere I've heard of) so you would be ahead of the game even if you lost your current benefits.  Private employers, especially smaller ones, are a bit different and many don't have benefits.  If you got some sort of govt job that had minimal pay, the benefits would still be there.  That's my situation, anyway.  I am a State employee and am well taken care of.  The security and stability is also better in a govt setting, from what I've seen.  Good luck!

David

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