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Kurt R. Chicago, Illinois

A roof over my head because of SSDI

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My name is Kurt Rogers, and I want to tell my story of the importance of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). I live in Chicago, Illinois. I receive SSDI because I suffer from depression. I was diagnosed with depression in 1997. Because of that, I was not able to work. When I’m depressed, I feel lonely, in despair, it takes away my energy, and it’s very hard to stay focused on a job. I applied for SSDI in 1997 and I did not get approved until 2001. I had to apply several times. While I waited on my appeals, I couldn’t work and I couldn’t afford my medicine. I became homeless. I was able to stay with family, but I felt like a burden to them and I wanted to live on my own. When I got approved for SSDI, things began to improve in my life. SSDI allowed me to get full coverage for my health insurance, allowing me to pay for my anti-depression medication, and it allowed me to get my own apartment. I live in subsidized housing and having an income made me eligible for the subsidy. Without SSDI, I would not have a roof over my head. I receive $757 per month – this helps me pay for my rent, my medicine, food, and debt I’ve been trying to pay off for decades. I also receive $80 in SNAP benefits in order to make sure I have enough food to eat. I fight for SSDI because I paid into the system for the 17 years I was able to work prior to becoming disabled. I depend on this income to maintain stability and independence in my life and to support myself. If SSDI were to get cut, it would have a huge impact on my ability to live independently and to have a roof over my head.