Season’s Greetings to all of you from the staff and columnists at ACCESS PRESS. We all hope you have a joyous and peaceful holiday. Don’t overdo!
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GOOD NEWS! The Occupational Therapy Program has been spared. The Dean of the Medical School withdrew his proposal to eliminate the OT program at the University of Minnesota.
I assume the University took a look at all the benefits the OT Program had to offer Minnesota and then intelligently reconsidered their decision. Thanks to everyone who helped bring this awareness to the University.
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I thought I would share with you my recent experience with the Social Security Administration. I called the 800 number to get an appointment with them to discuss the PASS program. The person I talked to told me it did not apply to me because I am on Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and the PASS program only applied to Social Security Income (SSI). I informed this person that I was aware of that, but it was my understanding that I could change my SSDI to SSI and then qualify for the program. At that point the person told me I would lose a large portion of my benefits if I did that. Obviously, the people answering the phones at the Social Security’s 800 number do not understand the PASS program and only with persistence can you get through their bureaucracy. I now have an appointment in December and I’ll keep you informed as it progresses.
In the meantime, please read through the second part of the Self-Sufficiency article. I know it is not easy reading, but it may help you achieve independence. Part 3 in January.
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Now that the cold and ice season is here in full force I took two suggestions from readers who wrote to us. The first one may make you long for spring and the other may offer you a way to enjoy this winter season. I must admit my choice is the first. To me, fishing on a pier in northern Minnesota sounds more attractive than trekking through a winter wonderland. But read both and decide for yourself. Let us know if you take advantage of either opportunity.
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Next month the Minnesota Legislature will be in session. They will be making some important decisions which will have a direct impact on people with disabilities. Governor Carlson and Mr. Ehrlichmann blamed the Legislature for the Metro Mobility fiasco which resulted in higher fares. The Governor vetoed the Health Care Bill last spring and it is coming back. ACCESS PRESS will provide you with names, addresses an the phone numbers of the people making the decisions. Lets make sure they know where you stand.