> No More Secrets And Lies: Mary Makes Money

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mary Makes Money

A few months later I got Social Security Income for Mary. The two of us went down to the Social Security office in Mankato and brought all the documents we thought we would need for Mary to qualify. The worker at the office looked through all of Mary's information, even her neuropsych evaluation, but the clincher was when she saw the list of group homes she had been through. That was all she needed; she didn't need to see anything else. And within two weeks, Mary qualified for Social Security Income. I was surprised by this because I had been told getting this would involve a long process and could take up to a year or more.

Most of her monthly SSI checks were a little over two hundred dollars, and most of this money was used for food and clothing for Mary and other household expenses. The remainder was usually given to Mary as an allowance. This is how her Social Security worker told us to use the money, and that was fine with Mary.

Mary looked for jobs too. One night we drove to nearly every motel in town getting applications for dishwasher and housekeeping positions. She filled some of these applications out, but we never got around to turning many in. She did, however, find a job on her own. One day I woke up and saw a note she had left me letting me know she was working for a man over at some house in the neighborhood. I walked to the place she was working, and to my surprise, found her laying bricks with a handyman. I should have taken a picture. She had found this job on her own, and I honestly don't know if I would have had the confidence to jump in and start working at something I had never done before, like she was doing. But she was doing this, probably because no one had told her she couldn't do this kind of work. Her boss seemed like a nice guy, and he would occasionally call her when he had small jobs for her. She enjoyed doing hands-on work like this and was very good at it.


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