Man Overcomes Troubled Youth, Lives Modestly Off SSDI and is Looking for More

The Austin American-Statesman had a story last month about a young man who attempted to commit suicide when he was 14-years-old, after struggling through foster care.

According to the American-Statesman, Kenneth Daniels, now 20, lives off Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) because of a failed suicide attempt. Daniels, who suffered from severe depression after growing up in a broken home and living in foster care, attempted to kill himself after several moves across the state of Texas.

Daniels, whose mother abandoned him when he was 2-years-old and father was in-and-out of prison, bounced around from foster care to his paternal grandparents home. After one of his grandparents died and he was sent away to a boarding school, he attempted to run away several times and shot himself.

“I’d planned it out for about two weeks,” Daniels said, according to the American-Statesman. “I felt like there was no way out of that place. I just decided I’ll go shoot myself and die.”

Daniels said that he does not remember much after the suicide attempt. He said he spent several months in a rehabilitation center and then was shuffled back into the foster care system until he turned 18, and he moved to Austin. He now lives with paralysis of the left side of his body.

Daniels said he lives very modestly off SSDI, and that he has trouble affording his electric bill each month for the tiny apartment he rents. He said his goal is to get an education and not end up homeless. “I’d like to start a family someday. I need to get my GED, and I want to go to college,” Daniels told the American-Statesman.

Locate an SSDI Lawyer

Daniels’ story is a great reminder that Social Security benefits are very necessary and are part of the fabric that holds this country together. Daniels made a desperate and shortsighted decision when he was young, based on unfortunate circumstances, and now he is trying to better himself and his situation.

His story is also a reminder that SSDI benefits are not an exceptional amount of money, as he lives very modestly and is struggling to get by. This goes against the narrative that you hear from some media outlets about SSDI recipients, who are sometimes described as lazy or entitled. Whenever you hear a story about fraud or someone “scamming” the system, keep in mind, there are many people like Daniels who have debilitating injuries that make it impossible for them to find work.

If you think you may be eligible for benefits, contact a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney. We offer free consultations, and you may reach us by phone at (918) 587-0050. Contact us today to learn more about your rights.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers


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