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Unemployment due to Disability

This is the short version:

I worked for most of my life; at 58 I had a final "hearing" drop in a series of hearing losses that could not be fixed. There was no job that could accommodate my skills, especially given secondary issues of asthma and back problems. I was fortunate that I qualified for disability benefits, BUT - it took 2 years of jumping through all kinds of hoops and red tape: in the meantime, my insurance shot up to first almost $600 for cobra, and then $800 for special disability insurance. I had to borrow money from my brother until the insurance kicked in, and even then, my income decreased to about 35% of what it was before when factoring in the increased insurance costs. I have gone through about 40% of my retirement, which I will not be able to replace. I have been trying to sell my house for almost 3 years in an effort to downsize.

In another year, I will be 65, and the insurance money will stop; my income will then be only social security plus a few hundred dollars.

I am not just worried about money; I am offended that the skills, training and experience I have (Art Education, Writing and other studies) are not considered important enough in our society to create at least some kind of part time work IN MY FIELD that would still let me be a contributing member to society.

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