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Jan M. Chicago, Illinois

Walk a day in my shoes

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My name is Jan. I’m a leader with ONE Northside. I came to Chicago in 1957. I started working at age 18. I did mainly factory work my entire life. I was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis in 2009, so I could no longer do the work I used to do. I received Social Security Disability Insurance until I turned 66. Now I receive Social Security retirement benefits.

I need Social Security to pay my rent and keep food in my house. I receive very little in LINK benefits. There is a waiting list for subsidized housing in Chicago, so I have to pay market rate rent. My Social Security benefits are below the poverty level, and I receive $15/month in LINK benefits. My rent is $508, my phone costs $57, and my food is over $100/month.

My message to Congress is not to cut anyone’s Social Security income. There are not jobs out there. Try living on my income and see how it goes.