TEX ASIA FENCE MANAGER KELLY TANZI has a new client.
The 30-year-old woman is an elderly couple who live in a one-bedroom apartment in the upscale district of Houston.
The two have been living on disability benefits since the Great Recession, and TANZI has been trying to help them pay the bills and save for their future.
“I just have to go back to work,” said TANzI, who was born in Mexico.
“I had to get a job.
I had to put food on the table.
I’m just trying to make a living, and I don’t want to do that.”TANzi’s client has been struggling financially since the recession.
They had been receiving disability benefits for the past five years, and she and her husband both had jobs.
She had a medical condition that caused her to lose her legs.
TANzi said she worked as a security guard at a hospital before getting her disability benefits.
She didn’t want TANzanis disability benefits to end until she could find a new job.
“My daughter has a medical emergency and she’s at home, and so I have to get up, go to work and take care of my daughter,” said the woman, who didn’t give her name.
“But the money that I’ve saved from disability is just not enough to pay my bills.”
Tania Sanchez, who is TANza’s cousin, said she was shocked to learn that TANzer’s wife was on disability.
“She is a really good person,” she said.
“We’ve talked about it.
She’s a great person.
I just wish it would work.”
Tanezis job has come with some unexpected expenses.
She has been making ends meet through her own savings, and her wife’s disability benefits have also been cut.
Tania said the couple is working on making payments on their mortgage.
“They just need help, and we’re just looking to help her,” TANezi said.
The couple’s situation is emblematic of the challenges that disability benefits face.
According to the American Society of Social Workers, disability benefits are supposed to cover the cost of living and other living expenses, such as utilities and food.
But many states have cut back on the amount of disability benefits that can be awarded, and there is still a long way to go.
“It’s not a good time to be disabled,” said Lorna Sorenson, president of the National Disability Rights Network.
“There is a huge gap between what the government says it’s going to pay and what is actually going to be funded.”
In Texas, a total of more than 100,000 people are on disability, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
That number is expected to reach 1.6 million by 2020.
While the disability system is complex, the Texas Commission on Disability Services estimates that only 3.7 percent of people receiving disability benefit will actually have a job and will be able to live independently.
The most common reasons for receiving disability aid are:•Not able to find a job due to disability•Needing to take care, such a a nursing home, as a home health care provider, or caring for someone with a disability.•Willing to work, but not able to because of a disability•Not having access to health care, including emergency services, or a job because of an injury.TANzer said her job has provided a new lease on life.
“We are making a living.
We are making money,” TANEzis daughter said.”
So I feel like we have a good life.
We have a lot of people who are in good health, but I’m happy.”
Read moreAbout The Associated PressStory by Natalie DiZinno, AP Writer and AP ContributorCopyright 2018 The Associated News.
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