Hugs and Head Pats for those who deal with Government!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    To all of you who collect food stamps or other government based services...I applaud you. Without a doubt I feel like an alien from an underdeveloped country trying to "finish off" the disability process for difficult child#1. YEAH..I KNOW..I am "whining and whining" but GOOD GRIEF I have NO idea how citizens cope with government employees. (I apologize for those of you who are gov't employees but WTH!)

    I wish I were trying to be entertaining but I'm not. I received a letter saying "contact" with a number in regard to past medical expense reimbursement. The letter stipulates "I have unpaid medical bills from the time period of x to y before I was approved for disability."

    I have (truly late, I know) put together a number of bills that I paid. I could absolutely use five grand or more in reimbursements...but...the letter says "unpaid" bills. I paid the bills..duh, often using credit cards.

    Friday, Monday, Tuesday I called the telephone number on the single sheet form letter. Each time I called I had to "enter the ss number" "enter the zip code" "enter the dob" etc. etc. and THEN ended up hearing a message that said "We are sorry but we have too many calls at this time...please call back later". I made a total of TEN calls over three days and...then...I got a lady who was eating potato chips. She explained to me that she was "losing her hearing" AND "my eyesight is poor so I may not be giving you the correct referall number". OMG.

    I REALLY wanted a cigarette (on the wagon since January) or a bottle of Cutty (hmmm...not at work) and I SERIOUSLY said a prayer (brief, I'll admit) for those in need who have to deal with gov't. We used to say in the 50's "as God is my witness"'s 2012. I hereby avow "as God is my witness I have no idea how people with disabilities EVER get help unless they have a bull dog as their advocate.
    Unbelievable! DDD
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful



    Travis and I we accepted for both. No hitch with the food stamps whatsoever. Travis got his medicaid card just hunky dory. I know I was accepted because the hospital billing staff looked it up, found the number of MY card and used it to bill them.

    I'm STILL waiting for said medicaid card so I can go to fam doctor and get the rest of my frigging medications. I'm giving them this week. If it doesn't show, I'm going to make an appointment and go see my caseworker. (now they're so overloaded and overwhelmed you have to make an appointment omg) I try to do as little regarding them over the phone as possible. In person is always best (even though a major PITA) and make sure you get a photocopy receipt of everything you hand them. This is for your protection when later they try to state they didn't get such and such.

    I'm only being this patient because I do know they're overwhelmed in this county and the CW I got is an utter idiot. (same one Nichole had for a few years) Well meaning and nice, but still an utter idiot.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Sorry - but I had to chuckle. This is why Boo isn't on SSI/Medicaid/anything. I do not have the patience to deal with- this garbage. I know I'm going to have to do it sooner rather than later, but... I abhor incompetence, I detest waiting, and I know it will take several days off work to get Boo signed up for all the things he's supposed to be on and quite frankly - it's not going to benefit him (at least, not as long as husband's insurance covers him), so it's going to be a net financial loss for us.

    I honestly wish I could just take him in, plant him in the SS/Medicaid office and say: "See, he's got a disability."

    Calling gov't agencies is an absolute exercise in futility.

    Have to ask though, why do they care about unpaid medical bills? Is this for SSI? It's a lump pmt, regardless of expenses, isn't it????

    Hugs to you. It is an absolute nightmare.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hon, I am a contractor for the fed govt and I know EXACTLY what you mean! OMG. Some of the idjits I deal with on a daily basis... UGH!

    That said, I am trying to figure out if Meggie will qualify us for WIC. Only for a few months. because my short term disability hasn't been approved yet - GRRR!
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I have PTSD from my days of dealing with social services (feels like another lifetime ago). Not only are the caseworkers a bunch of real winners but the people in the waiting room are something else entirely-egads!!! Sends chills down my spine!!!
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    It's a sick little world of it's own tasked with keep you out of it. Once you get it done, it's over with. I think that is why so many of us who already get government services/aid are terrified of the programs being drastically changed. They won't know what's going on. There will be new management. We will have to start all over again. It may be lame, but it's not broken, and they sure as heck don't seem to have a plan to fix it.

    Imagine your difficult child trying to go through this maze every year without your help because he or she has to renegotiate it for the best price/best services every year.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    As a former county government worker, Im sorry. As a person on Social Security Disability, I feel your pain. I swore I had to get an associates degree in Medicare to understand it. I know without a doubt I have messed up the actual Social Security part because every caseworker will give you a different answer so I just use the ones I like. Works for me. I hate every fall because we have to pick a new Part D provider. It gives me nightmares. I have to enter all my medications and play Russian Roulette and hope I pick the right plan for the year.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I TOTALLY empathize with all of you! I am having 2 struggles with govt agencies. First is our city gov't, which owns/operates the local electric service. We moved in August. We have yet to receve a bill. I was told to just 'go online' to find out the bill amt and date, but they wouldn't give me an account number or some other info that you MUST have to use the online system. Of course that other bit of info is printed on the bill. I went round with them several times last week. Monday I called to make sure that we wouldn't have problems because hd (and a good 60% or more of the entire town!) gets paid on Friday. I was told there was a note in my file to not cut us off and that we would pay the ENTIRE amt on Friday. I was told that this wasn't strictly necessary because they would generate the cut off notices and send them out on Tues (due date for the area) and we would have until the 4th or 9th depending on how far behind we were.

    They showed up yesterday and cut the electric off. i was SOOOOOOOOO angry. We borrowed some $$ and dealt with it, but this is NUTS. husband said there were some college kids in the next line when he was at the city offices and they had problems too. They not only didn't get a bill, they also didn't get a cut off notice. The lady at the office told they that sure they did. The electric going off WAS their notice!!!!! It won't happen to us agan because I am taking over bill paying (husband felt I wasn't letting him be 'responsible' for things so he took it over wth interesting ain because I am changng the way we handle bills.

    My second struggle is wth medicaid for kids. We were told that given our income, it would be possible to have the kids on medicaiid and husband and I on the ins through the university. I send in the paperwork for the univ ins, and then find out that the kids' ins was cancelled. We are certainly under the income guidelines that are published, but I cannot get ANYONE to even LOOK at this. Mailing copies f paperwork sin't helpful because it takes 2-3 weeks to process and get it to the caseworker who then has 10 business days to respond. Open enrollment for health insurance ends on 10/30 and I think we can add the kids to that, esp as their ins was cancelled on 9/30.

    It is just so frustrating. The ins for the kdis wil more than double the cost of our insurance, plus the copays will eat us alive. I just cannot figure out how to get someone to pay attention adn give me the info I need. Esp snce no one bothered to send a letter telling us the kids were not covered! Yes, the office did confirm that they did not send us a letter at all. they just assumed that when it didn't go through as we went to pay for a doctor visit or rx that we would know. GRRRRRRR.

    Thank you for letting me vent!!!!! I am so upset about the health insurance that it has made me sick. I am working hard to not let that happen, but it s what it is!
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    WELL, lol, at least I know I am not alone. If we were sitting under a palm tree sipping a Margarita I'd go into details but since it is a longer story than The Perils of Pauline...I'll just feel comfort having company.

    In answer to the question about past medical bills..he had his brain surgery at 18 but was turned down multiple times for disability. We took a breather (MISTAKE) and then let attorneys try. He was approved retroactive to three months prior to retro approval 1/09. A smart (yes, smart and nice) rep told us that we could get medical bills paid now that should have been covered since the end of '08. I have gathered paid receipts for around five grand that came out of our pocket and I want it, deserve it and need it.

    by the way the unpaid bills that were turned over for collection from emergency rooms etc. played a big role in his not getting approved for a home mortgage. Furthermore...crazy...the mortgage brokers told me that when they are paid by the government it will lower his credit rating not increase it. This process is honestly exhausting me. Sorry you all are visiting the Twilight Zone too. DDD
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Maybe that is why my credit score is in the toilet even though I paid off my car on time for 4 years. I wanted that car loan to help me get my credit built up and could have sworn it would have considering I was never a day late in 4 years because it came straight out of my I even paid it off 2 months early when they contacted me and told me that if I did that I would only have to pay 10 dollars more than my monthly payment to beat the last two months of interest. Made sense to me. I did make sure at the time that I wouldnt be penalized creditwise for early payoff.

    I was absolutely shocked when I couldnt even get a Bill Me Later account online for 19.95. LOL That is bad.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Credit scores are about the most confusing thing I have ever attempted to understand. I am sure that we are all familiar with the 'free' credit check companies that offer to tell you your credit score every so often. Sounds like a great idea, surely we should ALL know this info, correct? There is one big, fat, stinky problem with those services. EVERY time your credit is checked for ANY reason, it can lower your credit score. Of course it doesn't lower it each time, or by any predictable amount, or in any way let you know if this time is the time it will be lowered. Part of the rationale is that you are trying to get credit from more than one source or you are trying to get credit for something and keep getting turned down. It doesn't really matter why to the credit bureaus, it just is.

    Medical bills are a major problem for many people. It is possible to do a medical bankruptcy and only put medical bills into the arrangement, but I am pretty sure it acts like any other bankruptcy. in my opinion it is something to think about if you have a lot of bills piling up.

    DDD, I am so sorry you are having all these problems getting a mortgage. You might speak to a mortgage broker to see if they have any advice. NOT a real estate agent, someone who hleps you find and secure the mortgage. Even with a good credit rating we had trouble getting a mortgage until we worked wth a mrtgage broker. Just be careful to find a broker you like.

    If you have belonged to a bank for a long time, either from business or personal accounts, have you made an appointment to go and speak to them? Not a phone call, but an appointment where you tell them that difficult child is getting a guaranteed income, with this amt that would be a down pamt, and can they help you with the mortgage? IF you like/trust them, you could lkely even have the bank be his trustee (or whatever the name for someone who holds the purse strings) and that might help b.c they woudl KNOW that the money is there very month and they wouldn't be waiting on a check or whatever. I remember hearing about some arrangements like this when I worked in/with the mortgage/appraisal depts of a bank. Having the relationship with the bank before this situation happened, and making the bank be the trustee, really opened some doors.

    Making a non family member the person in charge of the money cuold be a good thing in the long run. No hassling you for money, if something happened them there would be no confusion/worry/stress about who would handle the money, etc....

  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Regarding lowering your credit score by checking it - sort of. If you use, it won't touch your score - just only check each company once per year OR when you are declined (whoever declines you must send you a letter explaining why, this gives you the right to check more frequently if necessary). Also, periodic checks by current creditors don't count against you. NEW creditors do though.
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yes and that hoovers! If you want to compare loan offers, the company won't give you the terms until they do a credit check so you end up with your credit getting worse just by having banks, car dealerships, whatever, checking.