well friends-i know that i haven't been on for awhile-have been extremely busy! something has come up though. My daughter turned 18 on march 6th and her and my son just got part time jobs-actually at the same place-and she is still in high school until june. I have been buried in paperwork ever since! I have found out some very distressing things-i was getting $526 per month for food stamps, am on the housing voucher program for my rent(that took me 3 years to get and threat of eviction 3 times in my place now), and medical coverage for myself and my daughter. Since she has turned 18, they have cut me down to $162 a month for food, told me that my daughter has to apply on her own even though she still lives with me and is in high school and has put me in a big fat mess. I was screaming bloody murder at them for hours on Friday and it is under investigation. However-they told me something else. when my daughter turns 19, i will lose my health insurance alltogether. I am on my 4th application for social security and keep getting denied. now they won't even process me anymore because i have "no changes" to my case. I have taken matters in my own hands now and drafted a letter to my local paper telling them my story. I don't know if anything is going to happen with it or if anyone even cares to hear me, but i feel like i have to try. it is long, but i have included it my blog at the bottom. i guess all i can say is this-keep your fingers crossed for me! thanks for reading!!!!

My name is Kimberly Glanz and I have a story to tell.

I have not had the easiest life, but that doesn’t make me special. I started out with a great childhood and didn’t want for anything. My parents gave me the best. Then when I was 12, we started moving every year and going through a lot of turmoil.. I had my son, John when I was 18 and right out of high school. I had to leave his father when he was 9 months old because the household became violent. I had to move back home with my parents and began working any type of job I could find to support my son. The jobs included K-Mart, a printing company, a golf course, March of Dimes, anything that I could find. During this time, his father was paying me $25 a week for child support. He was always in trouble with the law and going in and out of jail. He was very sporadic in his payments and would go for months with no visitation. He then ended up catching a case that landed him in prison for 5 years. I then had to retain an attorney for sole custody and the ability to move to California.

I was able to finally move in 1992 when my son was 2 years old. I picked up my relationship with a man I knew when I lived in California when I was younger. He accepted my son as his own and we began the process of establishing a productive, working family. We struggled for everything we had. He was just starting out in his job and had no type of seniority or good pay at the time. I decided to go to college so I could get educated enough to get a decent paying job. I started classes at Heald Business College in the Paralegal program. While I was in college, I got pregnant with my daughter. After she was born in 1994, I attempted to go back to school. I found it was absolutely impossible to care for a newborn and a child who was not in school yet, and be a full time student. I cut my schedule back to part time and tried to get some help with child care-with no success. Eventually, I had to drop out of school. I held out the hope that once my son was in school and my daughter was a little bit older, I could go back and finish my degree. I never made it back.

In 1995 when my son was 5 and in kindergarten, and my daughter was 1 ½ years old, I had to move back to Ohio. Her father came out with us at first, but then in 1996 he snuck out in the middle of the night and hopped a Greyhound back to California. We had zero contact with him for the next ten years and he paid me not one red cent of child support. I was living with my mother and my grandmother until 1997. Again, I worked any type of job that I could find just to scrape by. I was getting nothing for my kids from either of their fathers. I did the best I could for them, but we had to rely pretty heavy on my mother.

I met a man in 1996 and we started a relationship that lasted until 2000. During that time, John’s father was released from prison and started to try to get to know his son. He would take him for visits every other weekend and tried to keep paying me $25 a week in child support. He was given an opportunity to move to Florida to be with his biological father. He was very torn about going, but I convinced him it would be the best thing in the world for him. He grew up without him or even knowing who he was until he was 21. I didn’t want him to lose his opportunity for this, and he finally left in beginning of 1997. It was the best thing he could ever do. He got a good job, stayed out of jail, and totally turned his life around. John would go down to visit every summer, etc. all the up to when he was 19. He has a wonderful relationship with his father now and we have put all the bad things to rest. He paid off all his support to us when John was 20, but still tries to help him if he can. I am very proud of him for his transformation. He is also very good to my daughter and she is close to him.

The man I was living with was ok at first, but never really could help me money wise. He did help with rent and such, but he had 3 kids from previous women and was having to pay support for them. We were living in Kenmore and struggled horribly. We lost our homes 3 times due to evictions (couldn’t pay the rent you know), always had the utilities turned off, cars breaking down, you name it, we went through it! Of course, he was in and out of jail too. He would get behind in his child support and would get picked up, drug charges, theft, car accidents, etc. I would be alone a lot of the time, having to live on my small salaries from my jobs. Back then, the county didn’t give me any help at all. Since I had a job, I didn’t qualify for any assistance. Even though I started getting support for John, I still had difficulties in maintaining any type of normalcy for us. It has never been any better.

In 2000, we moved to Mogadore. I started to work for Allstate Insurance Company in March 2001. I was 30 years old with an 11 year old son and a 7 year old daughter and no college education. I thought I had finally made it! After all the struggle and sacrifice, I finally made it to a career job. I was going to be there until I retired at my ripe, old age. I didn’t NEED any help-for the first time in my adult life-I can do for myself and my kids. It was a great feeling indeed. I didn’t know that it would be the last time I had any type of happiness or hope.

The bottom started to drop for me in November of 2002. The man I was living with was arrested for raping his own daughter in my house. He didn’t go to trail until June of 2003. Those 8 months in between were a raging nightmare! The sleepless nights, the stress, the worry, the anger, and all the questions I had swallowed my life whole. I had to take a medical leave from my job for 12 weeks and go under a doctor’s care for depression and PTSD. I finally pulled myself together and went back to work. During the trail, I lost my best friend to a dirt bike accident, and then 48 hours later, Steve was convicted of rape and sentenced to 10 years in prison with no parole. I tried to keep going and go on with life. It was very difficult. Mogadore is a very small community and the looks and the whispered conversations that went on hurt my heart. Everyone thinks that I harbored a child rapist. The fact is-I didn’t. He didn’t do what they said he did. It was his own children that did it to him by making up a story and it was believed. Why you ask? Believe me, so do I. The only thing I can come up with is that they were angry with him for not being there, and they were jealous of my kids being with him when they couldn’t be. So countless lives were ruined because of a small child’s pettiness, and they will never be repaired.

If that wasn’t bad enough-now I am getting to the “good” part of the story. While I was going through this trail, I met a man who became a very good friend so I thought. We started a romantic relationship and I thought I had healed through all the bad times. It would have been great, except for the fact that he had a big secret that he didn’t tell me about for 1 ½ years. He had AIDS. When we got together, I asked him if there was anything that I needed to know about. He looked me in the eye and told me “no”. He lied to me and then he infected me. I didn’t know until about October of 2004. I found out at Akron City Hospital when he was in the ER for pneumonia. I found out by his medical chart, not by him. The nurse left it on the edge of the bed, and there it was in bold letters, “pneumonia-AIDS related”. If I thought the bottom of my life has already happened, I was totally wrong. This has been the worst thing that ever could have happened.

Even after I found out about him and myself, I forgave him for everything and we had only a short time left together. He lost his fight in September 2006. I was with him every second and was his total and complete caretaker. He died in my arms in my living room. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and miss him. Now I have to be alone. At least he was able to die with someone who loved him. I have no contact with his family anymore. His mother was diagnosed with lung cancer two days before he passed. She died less than a year later.

With all that was happening with the trail and then with Bobby and with AIDS, I had to quit working. Now I am not able to work even if I wanted to. I have even gone so far as to try to find something to do out of my house with computers, and have had absolutely no luck. I was diagnosed in October 2004 and I have been under doctor care since that time. I have difficulties with the meds that I am supposed to take, and the side effects really affect me terribly. I have a very low threshold for stamina and I am chronically tired. I have been battling depression and PTSD for years. The doctors want me to be on all these anxiety pills and such and I refuse them at every turn. I have enough pills to tolerate and I don’t want any more. My immune system is pretty damaged. The stress that I have been under all these years about my finances has really left their mark. I was constantly afraid of everything: scared of dying and leaving my children alone, worried about who would take care of them, worrying about how the bills were to be paid, scared to be out in the world because of how people look at me now, losing my house because I can’t pay the rent, everything.

I have applied for social security and disability benefits since 2004. I am on my 4th application for benefits. I have been denied 3 times on the basis that I am still able to work. Now the administration won’t even process my application as they say my case hasn’t changed. I was with an attorney’s office with my other applications and they were no help at all. I was going to go with a new attorney and they tell me they won’t accept me as a client without an active social security application. I am not able to have an active application as they refuse to even process one for me. I have reached the “social security limbo”. I have also reached the point of despair and don’t know where to turn now.

I finally started getting child support for my daughter when she was 12 years old. She just turned 18 this month and will be graduating this June from high school. When that happens, I will lose whatever income I have. I have no hopes of being able to gain more income. I am still not able to hold a job on the outside. I would be able to work from home, but there are no legit companies out there hiring. If there are any companies out there, they all want my credit score for the application process. I would like to know where I would have been able to get a decent credit score in my adult life while I have been a single mother since I was 18. I was lucky to pay the electric bill so we didn’t have to eat by candle light, much less a credit score! I think it is totally wrong to judge someone on their score. The score doesn’t explain the person or say that this person is bad-maybe this person is just trying to make it in the world.

Both of my children have hopes of going to college, they wish to go to school together in Pennsylvania. They think they will be able to go next year, if they are able to save some money to be able to move up there. They have to go through the process of financial aid and grants and such. They are also afraid to go because they don’t want to leave me. If something doesn’t get figured out, they are going to end up having to take care of me instead of themselves. This is what I find to be intolerable. They are 22 and 18, just starting out in their lives and have the opportunity to “do it right”. Now they have to drag their diseased mother behind them?!

I think this is a total and complete travesty. I don’t understand why my government is doing this to me. I have been a productive member of society, I have not been in trouble with the law (except for traffic violations), I held a job since the age of 15, and I have raised two children into productive, intelligent adults by myself. What more do I need to do?! I am not asking for a handout as some of you are thinking right now as you read this. I am not asking for your pity or compassion either. What I am asking for is what is already mine. I paid into social security all my adult life and I will not see retirement age. My life span has been drastically cut short. My CD4 count is around a 50 or below. I want what I would receive for my benefits so I am able to still support myself. My children deserve to go and live their own lives. I deserve to have my money so I can live out the rest of my days in some type of peace of mind, knowing I at least have a house to die in. Again, it’s not much to ask for, nor should I have to beg for it in this fashion. It should have already been given the first time around. I don’t know if this means anything to anyone out there and I don’t know where I am sending this, but thank you for listening anyway, maybe someone out there can tell me what to do or show me some type of direction to go in. I am dire straits here and don’t know where to turn.

Sincerely yours,

Kimberly S. Glanz

3 Comments
  1. kglanz40 10 years ago

     thanks for the advice about legal aid.  i sent this to the akron beacon journal and will wait to hear from them. my next step is the local news channels and also my congressmen etc for ohio. in an election year with the spotlights on all social areas and issues maybe now is the time i get at least ONE person to listen!  if i would have been able to go out there and work for the last 8 years, i would have believe me! some days i am lucky to even get out of bed! with as low as my cd4 has been through this whole ordeal, saying i am tired is an understatement! thanks again for the words and for reading!

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  2. damitjanet 10 years ago

    I think it starts with a great doctor who knows how to fill out the paper work, stressing that you are unable to work. Some doctors aren't to good at that so it may mean looking for a doctor who will work with you. Also from my experience I've learned if you focus mostly on HIV/Aids as your reason for disability and not Depression or some form of mental illness you will never get approved, since so many people look at Aids as a managable illness today, thinking we should be able to manage our illness and return to our normal life. So if you haven't already done so get a doctor to document your depression, get your lawyer to appeal and don't give up. Good luck.

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  3. j_powell01 10 years ago

    If you are still receiving housing assistance, you might try getting in touch with a social worker. What I mean is this, your local health department may offer social services you haven't tapped into. They can help with Social Security as well as rent and utility assistance. Another option, local Red Cross. They have some assistance as well.

     

    Jeanette

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