Quadriplegic Teacher Faces Losing Career, Home, Independence

Americas

Author: Helping Hearts Foundation Inc.
Published: 2014/12/31 - Updated: 2021/09/24
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: The Oakmont High School teacher lost everything she has worked for including her livelihood, her independence, and her ability to teach and make a difference in the lives of her students. The government programs that are available for the "working disabled" look at their income, work-related expenses, and medical related expenses. The formulas to calculate eligibility are forcing her out of the system at all levels, forcing her to pay for the caregivers herself - it would require more than half of her teacher's take-home pay to do so.

Introduction

Jenny Weast has been an extraordinary woman, inspiring mentor, beloved teacher, and a National Championship cheerleading coach for the past 28 years.

Main Digest

Jenny also happens to be quadriplegic, the result of a devastating skiing accident when she was just 16. She is a shining example for people with disabilities achieving personal and professional success and contributing to society. She is what the Americans with Disabilities Act envisioned when it was adopted 25 years ago this January.

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Jenny Weast in wheelchair alongside old truck
Jenny Weast in wheelchair alongside old truck
Continued...

The Oakmont High School teacher lost everything she has worked for all of these years - her livelihood, her independence, and her ability to teach and make a difference in the lives of her students.

Because she exceeded the income limits used by Social Security, Medi-Cal, and IHSS, Jenny lost government funding. Without her caregivers to bathe, dress, and transfer her, Jenny no longer will be able to work and pay for a home and transportation or continue to pay taxes like anyone else.

The government programs that are available for the "working disabled" look at their income, work-related expenses, and medical related expenses. Since Jenny has been a teacher for so long, her income has gone up and work-related expenses down.

The formulas to calculate eligibility are forcing her out of the system at all levels, forcing her to pay for the caregivers herself - it would require more than half of her teacher's take-home pay to do so.

Forcing Jenny to rely on public assistance would cost far more than the cost of her caregivers that enable her to stay in the workforce and continue making a difference in the lives of her students. Her situation is not unique.

Helping Hearts

Helping Hearts is a nonprofit organization that helps health and social service professionals, family members of loved ones needing care, or people looking for care.

Attribution/Source(s):

This quality-reviewed publication was selected for publishing by the editors of Disabled World due to its significant relevance to the disability community. Originally authored by Helping Hearts Foundation Inc., and published on 2014/12/31 (Edit Update: 2021/09/24), the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or brevity. For further details or clarifications, Helping Hearts Foundation Inc. can be contacted at helping-hearts.org. NOTE: Disabled World does not provide any warranties or endorsements related to this article.

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Cite This Page (APA): Helping Hearts Foundation Inc.. (2014, December 31 - Last revised: 2021, September 24). Quadriplegic Teacher Faces Losing Career, Home, Independence. Disabled World. Retrieved July 16, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/news/america/losing.php

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