A cancer patient denied Social Security Disability benefits – both the initial time she applied and on appeal – has created a YouTube video with help from a friend as a last ditch effort. The intended recipient of this video missive? President Obama.
The woman, Gayle Debilbiss, 54, was diagnosed in January with stage 3 and 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Because of the debilitating effects of chemotherapy, Debilbiss has been unable to work and thought she could rely on Social Security to survive.
However, it turns out that she is too young to receive retirement benefits and apparently not sick enough to get disability benefits. Her initial claim to the SS disability program was denied, as was a subsequent appeal.
Debilbiss is currently in remission, but is constantly fatigued and has to be on oxygen most days, making it difficult for her to work. Without Social Security disability benefits Debilbiss worries that she won’t be able to survive.
A spokesperson for the SSD says they will review her claim one more time. The spokesperson did add that only the sickest, most disabled people quality for benefits, setting the stage for another claim denial.