Joe Entwistle, a quadriplegic disability rights advocate, reveals how thin the safety net is for Americans with disabilities:
The reality for someone in my situation is that retirement usually isn’t an option. You work until you die, literally. A friend of mine is a perfect example. It’s almost creepy the similarities in our life. Both of us had a spinal cord injury at 16. Both of us were injured wrestling. Both of us are policy analysts. He’s a really good guy. He’s 63 years old. He started working for the state many years ago. Yet because of the odd rules around Medicaid eligibility and the differential treatment of earned and unearned income, he literally cannot retire. He knows he has to work until he’s dead or until some rules change. As soon as he starts to draw unearned income (retirement), he’s not going to be eligible for health-care programs or he’ll have to spend down to essentially $710 a month. He could no longer afford his house. He could no longer afford even the taxes on the house.