After being in a major accident, Joyce found herself unable to work. She needed Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to focus on her mental health and return to a normal routine. Her vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselor provided Joyce with support.
My VR counselor gave me a lot of encouragement, making me aware that if I go back to work the disability [benefit] wouldn't go away and the health insurance would not go away until you’ve made a certain amount of your salary, so then that way you could try going back to work.
This trial work period was exactly what Joyce needed. She was able to maintain her financial situation so that she could keep her condo. Beyond that, getting work as a home health aide gave Joyce an opportunity for meaningful work.
I enjoy helping people… My favorite thing about doing this job is caring for the people and making sure they still have a good quality life.
When she was out of work, Joyce found herself struggling to participate in activities that once gave her joy. As she said, "The goal was to get me back to work, to make me feel good about myself, and to make me feel like a person in society that exists."
Her favorite part of being off SSDI is having the opportunity to return to everyday living.
"You can go to the movies, you can go out to dinner, but mostly you can really have fun. I went to Paris because I went back to work and it was so much fun. I would have never been able to do that collecting SSDI."
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The SGA Project is funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education Grant # H235L100004