View Full Version : I need help...
05-12-2002, 02:03 AM
I am a husband and care provider for my wife and have been for 6 years now. When she was first injured at 19 (before we were married) her parents took care of her when she got out of the hospital (6 month stay). They eventually grew tired of having to care for her after 3 months they moved. I guess they figured since I cared for her so much, I should do it full time. At the time, I was going to college full time and working part-time and doing what I could to help my future wife. When her parents left I could not juggle everything. I decided that keeping a roof over our heads and taking care of her was the most pressing priority. Now after 5 years, I want to return to school. It is very costly to live like this and without an education, chance of survival is low. My wife is planning to return to college also, but how are we to survive when her time is dedicated to school and herself and my time is dedictated to caring for her and my education? I guess that is where I need help. Are there ways that people in our situation and can get finacial help until we finish school? What can we do when life itself is a full-time job? Please, any advice or guidance would be much appreciated.
05-12-2002, 03:03 AM
I am happy to hear that you have decided to go back to school. My husband and I are both full time students at university of Miami. He is studying pre law and i am studying pre pharmacy. As of right now we are both 23 and are paying for rent, insurance and food and tuition all on our own!!! it is possible, and here is how. First thing is once you are a full time student making no income you are liable for financial aid. Secondly, VOcational rehab, will help you pay for your wives tuition at a state school. You must get yourself in touch with them as soon as you can. Also while she is at school they will pay you 500 dollars a month in caregiving money. They may at first question the fact that you are her husband and care giver and therefore should not be paid, but then you must remind them, that in that time you could have made 500 and more working for 8 dollars in hour, to pay someone else to help you around the house, so regardless, you should receive the money, so you can maybe hire someone to do your laundry and genral house cleaning once a week, or use it for food. Also, you can sign up for private student loans which you must of course pay back, but not until after you are done with school. I mean i will have a 120 thousand in school loans once I am out of medical school and my husband who is a quad is out of law school, but in the end, i will still be making much more than if i had not gone to school and gotten a job. A loan will solve all your problems, but take ONE Out Please. It will really help your sanity if you dont have to get a job. I am a full time care giver for my husband and a full time student and at first i tried to handle a job to pay for the interest accruing on my loans, but i realized that it was taken away my reason to live. But in our sitation, an education is important, you are right, i refuse to let my husband even fathom about not having a graduate level degree in his situation. It is possible i promise you and if you have any more questions about vocational rehab and the fafsa please feel free to ask.
05-12-2002, 03:12 AM
Hi, Teion, A little more information would give us a better picture to be able to help you out.
What is your wife's level of injury? What is your/her insurance like? Here in Jersey, the Dept. of Vocational Rehabilitation provides help with education; I don't know about California; perhaps someone else will chime in. I would also have your wife check into the 'special services' dept. of whatever college she would like to attend. They were very helpful with my son in suggestions re financing, getting extra time if needed from the professors for papers and exams, transportation, notetakers for classes, and maneuvering around the campus.
Sounds like you and your wife are well on your way to discovering new lives together! You sound like a very together couple, and it's great to hear you have goals and dreams; now we just need to find a way to help implement them!
Tough times don't last - tough people do.
05-12-2002, 03:14 AM
Hi, Fara - I think we posted at the same time! Welcome to the forums; glad you found us.
Tough times don't last - tough people do.
05-12-2002, 12:29 PM
The passion will see you both through. I bet that you've both experienced so much that once upon a time you may never have believed possible to survive ... and I have no doubt that you will see your dreams come true. Best of luck, Beth
05-12-2002, 12:36 PM
Is it possible for you taking turns.If she got her education and position first.You could work while she's in school.At the same time you could take some night courses..just a suggestion...Sure hope you two find your way.
05-12-2002, 07:51 PM
My wife's is injured at the T-6 level. She is covered through medicare and recieves SSI and Social Security. The school she is going to is in Los Angeles and is a Art College. We will be moving there soon and I guess our biggest concern is being able to pay our normal living expences (ie. rent, food, transportation). At one time I went to school part-time and worked part-time while my wife went to school full-time. It worked for a while but the cost of living here is so high. We figured with some help we could both go full-time to school and just get it over with. I don't have much time left in college before I graduate and then get a decent job to support us both while she finishes with her education.
At T-6, most people I know are totally independent in their own care. Most live alone, or with family members who do not provide any direct caregiving. I am puzzled. Why does your wife need a full time care giver? Does she have other injuries other than her SCI? I am assuming she is young. Perhaps she needs an occupational and physical therapy "tune-up" to maximize her independence. Are you doing things for her that she can do for herself for convenience? Where does she get her SCI care? There are some good SCI centers in the LA area (esp. Rancho Los Amigos in Downey) where she could be seen as an outpatient.
You both should be able to go to school full time, each with your own schedule and not be dependent upon the other to provide care or homemaking. She may be eligible for VR help with her education, and if she does not have a DVR counselor she needs one now.
Fara, in California family members can be paid for caregiving, but only if IHSS social workers determine that the person actually needs care, and they determine the number of hours and pay. It would be rare that anyone with this level of injury would be approved for any hours...perhaps 1-2 hours daily at most. Keep in mind that VR, attendant programs, and Medicaid programs are entirely state run and vary widely from state to state. Only Medicare and SS have universal rules that cross state lines.
05-13-2002, 06:58 AM
I agree with KLD your wife should be very independant.... I am t4 and totally take care of my self... You should both be able to go to school. Does she have special circumstances that has made it hard for her to be independant? Good luck Anna
I, too, am a T4 and take care of myself. My wife does help me with ROM therapy however, because I have severe spasticity and one of my knees will not lock from being crushed. She does not want to see my legs lock up before the cure comes along. I know it will be hard at first but once she realizes just how independent she can be, she will wonder why she let you pamper her. (ain't love grand http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif ) I also suffer from some brain damage which means she is also my memory.
While you are both still in school be sure to apply for as many grants as you can get too. And check with some of the non-profit agencies to see what they may have to offer.
Good luck and here's hoping you both have long and happy lives.
"And so it begins."
05-13-2002, 05:55 PM
I'm sorry but I guess it does sound like my wife is dependent on me, but that is not the case. The only thing I do for her now is offer transportation because (since her injury) she isn't very fond of automobiles. So I will be taking her to school for the time being, until another way is found. So if I just went to school and not work, my schedule would be much easier to work with. Besides we are both close to finishing school and just wanted to get it over with.
Thank you for your help