“Sue Kerr receives $1,000 each month through Social Security Disability Insurance.” (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)
“My personal income puts me at the federal poverty level, even though I have a graduate degree and more than 30 years of both paid and unpaid work experience. Because I am disabled and no longer able to do most paid work, I receive about $1,000 through Social Security Disability Insurance [SSDI].
“Our household income is higher, but I can’t help but wonder why my life is valued so low. Is it determined by some higher entity or karma? Is it a numerological message or is it just a confluence of being a woman, a disabled person and a queer person?
“According to the 2016 National Survey of Drug Use and Health, an estimated 10.4 million adults age 18 and older in the United States had a serious mental illness, including 2.4 million adults living below the poverty line. In 2018, 9% of white women were living in poverty, compared to 20% of Black women and 29% of all women with disabilities, according to the National Women’s Law Center. A recent report from the Williams Institute found that one in five LGBTQ persons live in poverty.”
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