Quadriplegic Teacher Faces Losing Her Career, Home and Independence

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On December 1, 2014, Jenny Weast lost government funding for her caregivers

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Because Jenny Weast exceeded the income limits used by Social Security, Medi-Cal, and IHSS, she lost government funding.

Jenny Weast has been an extraordinary woman, inspiring mentor, beloved teacher, and a National Championship cheerleading coach for the past 28 years.

Jenny also happens to be quadriplegic, the result of a devastating skiing accident when she was just 16. She is a shining example for people with disabilities achieving personal and professional success and contributing to society. She is what the Americans with Disabilities Act envisioned when it was adopted 25 years ago this January.

On December 1, 2014, the Oakmont High School teacher lost everything she has worked for all of these years – her livelihood, her independence, and her ability to teach and make a difference in the lives of her students.

Because she exceeded the income limits used by Social Security, Medi-Cal, and IHSS, Jenny lost government funding. Without her caregivers to bathe, dress, and transfer her, Jenny no longer will be able to work and pay for a home and transportation or continue to pay taxes like anyone else.

The government programs that are available for the ‘working disabled’ look at their income, work-related expenses, and medical related expenses. Since Jenny has been a teacher for so long, her income has gone up and work-related expenses down. The formulas to calculate eligibility are forcing her out of the system at all levels, forcing her to pay for the caregivers herself – it would require more than half of her teacher’s take-home pay to do so.

Forcing Jenny to rely on public assistance would cost far more than the cost of her caregivers that enable her to stay in the workforce and continue making a difference in the lives of her students. Her situation is not unique.

Helping Hearts is asking for the public’s help for Jenny and to demand change in the disability system. Please join forces to spread the word by forwarding this to friends, sharing Jenny’s story on social media, liking her Facebook page, and contacting your U.S. representatives to demand change in the disability system today.

For more of Jenny’s story, click here. She can be reached at, jennyweast@att.net.

About Helping Hearts: Helping Hearts is a nonprofit organization that helps health and social service professionals, family members of loved ones needing care, or people looking for care.

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Jimmy Borgmeyer
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