**Her Story & Where She Is Now**
Two years ago, after a family tragedy, Kathy Samoun, found herself a single mother of two girls with no source of income. Having given up her job 6 months earlier to care for her husband, who suffered a severe brain injury
and loss of a leg from a horrible motorcycle accident, the family was surviving on his disability. A few months after his return home, it became obvious, the volatility due to the brain injury made it unsafe for her to care for him. When he left, so did his income.
Alone with no income and needing to support her family, she turned to the “gig economy”. Working for Instacart, UberEats, DoorDash & Caviar, it seemed like a perfect way to make ends meet, while giving her the flexibility to be home with her youngest daughter after school.
In the beginning of 2019, Kathy decided to take some time off to get her house ready to put up for sale so could be closer to her mother, whose health was declining. After getting her home ready, putting herself in debt due to the cost of renovations, that plan had to be put on hold for a year due to issues with school for her daughter.
Ready to get back to work, she turned back to the gig jobs, and started working again. Shortly after, she started having extreme pains in both of her arms, making even the simplest of tasks impossible. Unable to ignore the pain any longer, Kathy finally went to see a doctor.
Three months later, after what seems like a million tests, they still do not have an exact diagnosis. Her doctor, believing she has an auto-immune disease, continues to order more tests to rule out anything else before moving forward. With every test, something new shows up which requires more testing. Most recently, after a CT Scan, finding atrophy to her right kidney and a lesion on her hip.
As an exact diagnosis has yet to be pinpointed, her doctors, do not know if this is something treatable or how this will affect her long term. Until then, due to the extreme pain, her doctors have put her on a no-work order, giving her an extension one month at a time.
It wasn’t until she applied for applied for temporary disability, she found out as an” independent contractor” she was responsible for purchasing disability insurance. Like many gig workers, this came as a shock to her. California recently passed a bill, AB5, which requires “gig economy” workers to be classified as employees and not independent contractors. Unfortunately for Kathy, this law will not come into effect until Jan 2020. Had it come into effect this year, she would have been eligible for temporary disability.
Along with ongoing testing for her health, kathy has the added stress and worry of paying bills and supporting her family. As you can imagine, she is afraid she may lose her home and her car, along with the stress of not knowing her future, healthwise. Hearing her story, I reached out to her and she has accepted my offer to create a fundraiser to help her family until she can either be able to go back to work or until she can apply for disability.
Updates along with photos and maybe videos if possible will be loaded as much as possible to keep senators up to date on what they are helping with.