Jackson’s Road Map to Benefits

February 6th, 2017 - Brett Diaz

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 10.06.40 AMBrenda came to our special needs resource fair in May 2016.  She had previously consulted with Joshua’s Path regarding her 18-year-old son Jackson who was diagnosed with a rare progressive genetic disorder called Alexander’s Disease.  Jackson is not yet manifesting any symptoms (i.e. impaired coordination, difficulties in speech articulation, swallowing and sleep disturbances), but is expected to in the future. Brenda came to the fair in order to speak with our vendors and find out what services would be available for her son.  About an hour into the fair, Brenda approached me.  She stated that she had spoken to several of the agencies and gotten valuable information.  However, she wanted to speak with Social Security, but was feeling nervous about it.  Upon further questioning, Brenda confessed that she had called Social Security after initially meeting with Joshua’s Path, but the person she spoke to was rather abrupt and unsympathetic to Brenda’s situation. Brenda, already devastated by her son’s diagnosis, was reluctant to approach the agency representatives at the fair, in fear that she would break down in public if treated the same way she had been on the phone. I offered to speak to Social Security on her behalf and make an introduction.  As it turned out, the district manager for the central Broward office was in attendance. I told her about Brenda’s unique situation, as well as her unpleasant experience when she reached out to Social Security for help. The district manager apologized to Brenda, and asked her to sit down so they could talk further.  When the resource fair ended, Brenda came over and thanked me for assisting her with Social Security.  While Social Security cannot offer financial assistance until Jackson becomes disabled, Brenda now knows that her son will receive benefits when he needs them. Joshua’s Path is here at Goodman JFS to bring hope, dignity, and joy to all. Click here to learn more about Joshua’s Path.

February is Jewish Disability Awareness Month.

If you would like to help special needs adults like Jackson, please click here

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