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Bonny Austin Auburn, WA

SSDI & Food Stamps Are Lifelines

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A few years ago, Bonny experienced significant health problems, including endometriosis, ovarian cysts, dysplasia, fibromyalgia and arthritis. Her hours at work at her retail job were reduced all the way to 11 hours per week.

In addition to her chronic illness, a fainting spell left Bonny with severe head trauma and a lasting impact to her memory, balance and vision. The day she fell, she still tried to go to work, but friends at her workplace could see how unwell she was and insisted she go to the ER for her injury. Two weeks later, she was let go from her job after leaving work early for another emergency room visit.

Since then Bonny has been unable to work. She applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in April 2012, and has been waiting over 3 years to receive benefits. She and her father, who is battling cancer, both stay with her uncle in his small apartment. Bonny lives on the $197 from our state’s disability lifeline program, and the $192 in EBT benefits she receives each month. Her father also gets $192 in EBT benefits and $450 from the VA — a benefit he waited 8 years to receive. Both have to be very careful to maintain a healthy diet due to the health issues they face. Even a small change in her food stamp benefits would have an incredible impact on the quality of life for Bonny and her family.