Tevlin: State could spend a little to aid disabled, save way more

  • Article by: JON TEVLIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 23, 2012 - 7:37 PM
  • 11
  • Comments

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kathywilmesJan. 24, 12 8:39 AM

You don't have to be close to retirement to experience what this man is. My 23-year-old disabled daughter had to spend down all the money we had saved in bonds for her college education in order to qualify for SSI, so basically had to start at a community college and qualify for funds through state vocational rehabilitation programs. We also were told that we would be checked to make sure her bonds were used for educational purposes.

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jackpinesavJan. 24, 12 8:49 AM

Another home run for Tevlin. Great article. Time for Amy Koch to restore some lustre and carry legislation to fix this. Or is this the type of citizen her party refers to as "welfare" and castigates ? Do the right thing, Amy, and it might even change the news cycle for you.

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loyalrepubJan. 24, 1210:28 AM

Silly Liberals. The State has no choice but to reduce Mr. Van Heuveln to poverty and indigence, and force him to give up everything he has earned for himself in his career to live in utter dependence in a State-paid nursing home. We have to cut wasteful social spending programs even if it costs us hundreds of times more money and human misery to do so.

Otherwise he would lose his incentive!

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mgstpaulJan. 24, 1210:50 AM

Great column, Jon. This is absurd. I know someone who was 40-something and had a condition that required medications that were $700/month and couldn't work full-time because it would make her ineligible for Medicaid which covered the medications that made it possible for her to be healthy enough to work. Craziness.

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mikemtkaJan. 24, 12 1:14 PM

Great article. I have a brother who just turned 65 in August and was working and under MA-EPD. Now they take away most of his income exactly like your subject. He worked full time for 30 years even though he didn't have to work a day in his life because he was certified disabled with CP at age 21. He earned a small pension is on Soc Sec disabiity now, lives in an apartment and will have trouble making ends meet. Just ridiculous laws!

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swmnguyJan. 24, 12 1:26 PM

loyalrepub: Sometimes on this site you need to use the /sarc tag.

This is a classic penny-wise, pound-foolish policy enacted to satisfy bluenoses who can't stand the idea that somebody else might be able to succeed with a little bit of help. This needs to be fixed, and now. If anybody believes in helping others to help themselves, and people making the very most of their abilities, this should be as good as done right now.

It's absolutely appalling that not one of 201 legislators has even bothered to respond to this man. What, are they too busy working on a football stadium giveaway plan?

Mr. Tevlin, a column like this is exactly why we need a Local Beat columnist. Thank you.

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donny01Jan. 24, 12 1:34 PM

I'm not religious, but "I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me." Some of the parables apply regardless of religious belief or affiliation.

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varmintJan. 24, 12 3:08 PM

A great article on a terrific man in a horrific situation. I would ask the question to our legislators- what if this were your parent or child? Charlie has worked hard all his life, he has attempted to live the American dream and now, as he is forced into retirement and poverty it is the nightmare of a system that is going to reward his efforts with poverty and pain. I think we owe Charlie and all persons with disabilities the equal rights they too have had to fight to aquire without punishing or humiliating them. It is time for the legislators to answer his letters with action.

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sundialJan. 24, 12 7:21 PM

So how do we fund this? There's a thousand ways. If you're a Republican, find 1.7 million in the state's budget that can be cut and re-directed. If you are a Democrat, raise taxes on the rich 1.7 million. If you are a moderate, find a balance of cuts and increases. After all, the state senate just found a way to cut 2 million from their operational budget. So the issue is not money. It is priorities. Let's make the Charlies in our community a priority. And while we are at it, repeal some stupid rules that discriminate against those who want to work--even beyond an age that we have traditionally assumed persons would "retire".

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mamie571Jan. 24, 12 8:59 PM

I've have known Mr. VanHevlin since 1972. Charles is a very dedicated man who has worked to earn a living and help others with disabilities It's ironic that he's being forced to retire while he would be saving the State money by working longer. It doesn't make sense. Why can't Public Officials recognize that people with disabilities want to work and pay their taxes? As a person with a disability, I feel there are two conflicting thoughts here. 1) When people with a disability can't find work or can't work, they're looked upon as burden on the HEALTH and HUMAN Services Budget. 2) Yet, when someone like Charles is self-sufficient, is told he must retire, I'm left wondering what do the Public Officials really want? LeAnne Dahl, former Lobbyist and Advocate

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