A new policy proposal by the Trump administration calls for the surveillance of disabled people’s social media profiles to determine the necessity of their disability benefits. The proposal, which reportedly aims to cut down on the number of fraudulent disability claims would, monitor the profiles of disabled people and flag content that shows them doing physical activities. When it comes down to it, the policy dictates that disabled people shouldn’t be seen living their lives for fear of losing vital financial aid and, possibly, medical care.
I thought insurance companies already did this? Anyway, it is insanely insulting. For many reasons.
- First off, I like to smile. I am generally a happy person. Hell, even with depression, I like to smile a joke, which was the facade I used so people wouldn’t know I was depressed. Anyway, if you take my picture… I am Also going to smile in it regardless of whether I feel like a heaping pile of goat dung. It in no way shows the amount of pain I am in or fatigue or other crap. I shouldn’t have to Look miserable every moment of the day. I don’t have to be miserable every moment of the day. I am human. I am capable of a Full ass range of emotions.
- For some weirdo reason, we usually post smiling pictures on Facebook. I don’t know why. Maybe we should post the 99 photos out of 100 that show us when we feel like crap.
- Also, I am not miserable every moment of the day. Yeah, I am in pain, dizzy, tired and limited in what I can do. And that sucks. But my Mood is different. I am allowed to not be miserable.
- I can do things. I also then have to rest. And if I exceed my limits there goes the rest of the week. But I can DO A THING without keeling over dead. It just has a cost and a price and consequences. And I cannot do a thing all the time. Some days thinging is quite out of the question. Some days small things are possible. Some days I can actually leave the house and socialize, but I will crash for the next day or two from the effort. So if you get a pic of me Doing a Thing it isn’t evidence I am not disabled. it is evidence a) I wanted to pay the price b) and I will pay the price.
- We are literally told to do specific things to help with our illness. Exercise. Socialize. Keep doing things. And if we can’t then we are not trying hard enough. And if we do… then we were not disabled at all. It isn’t a paradox you know. We can still try to improve our health and well-being and still be disabled.
The truth about disability is that it isn’t a series of down moments but both highs and lows that comprise the lives of the disabled. Simply because disabled people are seen exercising, dancing or shooting hoops does not mean that they have the ability to sustain that level of energy all day. This type of policy also plays upon the assumption that people with disabilities all function and move about in the world in the same way, which is entirely untrue. There are wheelchair users who can walk, people with cerebral palsy that can run and amputees that are bionic. It is just as dangerous to assume that disabled people should have to “overcome” their disabilities to do what they love as it is to assume there is nothing they want to do. One person’s body should never be considered a prescription for another. How A Trump Proposal Could Reduce ‘Happy’ Disabled People
Now, who knows if this will come to fruition. Trump says a lot of bull. But I do know insurance companies do this and it is completely an invasion of our privacy. If they do not believe us, our doctors, tests and specialists then they really have lost all common sense.
Disability is a hard thing to know is a fact in your life. It is difficult to cope with but I certainly haven’t lost my sense of humour about life in general. Didn’t make me stop smiling and laughing. And every once in a while I do socialize for short bouts… because I am human and humans need humans. Isolation is not fun and is damaging to our mental and emotional health. Why people would assume that is a good idea is beyond me. We try. We still try to do things and have some sort of life. And trying is good.
What people do not see on Facebook is the days we literally cannot move or get up. And you can’t get a thing done. And the pain is so severe you just lay there unable to think or do a thing. Or the fatigue is so severe you can’t do anything. Or that those days happen a lot. Or that fact on a normal basis you can’t do much at all. Small things. And then rest. But not much at all. Or how that makes you feel useless and unproductive.