Written By: Kimberly Boyce
My name is Kimberly Boyce. I am disabled, and I am discouraged about my future.
I have multiple impairments: ADHD, BPD, a 3rd degree burn covering my left leg with nerve damage, and a previously shattered kneecap on my right leg that’s arthritic.
My disabilities make it impossible to work FT (full time). When I work too much my legs swell and give me throbbing pain, sometimes making me completely immobile.
My mental capacities fail, I struggle to keep up with basic self-care, and my BPD symptoms escalate to uncontrollable levels.
The entire PWD payment doesn’t cover the cost of rent, and the government limits how much income I can make. Combined they are still under the poverty line.
After bills, groceries and rent, I have $2 left. I don’t go out with friends. I haven’t bought clothes in years. I can’t save. My credit is shot from turning to cards in emergencies. I cannot afford therapy that I need to treat my conditions, and it isn’t covered under PWD benefits.
Constantly I am reminded that the government doesn’t care about me. They see me as a 2nd class citizen, as a burden. I am a healthcare worker, I’m very good at my job, I care about my patients and my community – but the government and community don’t care about me.
I’m always stressed; about money, always rationing food, going without. I live in a basement that’s falling apart, with a low ceiling and little light – at least I can have my pets. I’m terrified my landlord will sell – with the rising cost of suites, (so few pet-friendly) – I’ll be homeless. I will never own a home, retire, or have savings.
I’m living without hope, choice, or options. It’s devastating. If I had an extra $200/a month, maybe I’d be able to afford groceries more consistently.
I hate to say that 2020 was the best year of my life because CERB on top of my PWD payments meant finally I was able to eat, pay overdue bills, and buy a pair of jeans.
Currently my life is horrible. I am barely surviving and I feel I have no future.