Can You Come for a Visit? My ME/CFS Says No
My daughter and son-in-law just had a baby last week. We are thrilled. But we won't be able to see the baby or hold her any time soon. We won't be able to take over little gifts or help out with housework or babysitting.
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Medicaid Office Giving Me a Hard Time

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by Carrigon, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

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    PA, USA
    The local Welfare/Medicaid office is giving me problems. I applied to get my medicaid back on May 3rd. Brought everything they could possibly need, everything was stamped by their receptionist. They refused to allow me to speak to anyone and said it's all done by snail mail or computer now. Told me I'd get a letter in a month.

    A month goes by, nothing. I give it a few extra days, call my caseworker. And I'm told, "We have NO record of you having brought anything into this office." I tried to explain to her that I need to be switched to Medicaid, that I'm only on Medicare right now. She acted like she had never heard of Medicaid in her life. So three rounds of my trying to explain to her what I need, and her telling me that I'm already on medical aid, finally, she said to me, "You need to apply for a different benefits package." Duh, what do you think I was doing? So, she told me she would pull my file and call me back. She never called me back.

    The social worker at my apartment building has also been trying to get in touch with her about it and she hasn't called her back either. And the social worker here said she has had other people go through the same thing with this office.

    I don't have alot of energy to fight. And it's just really horrible, plus I'm scared of who does have my papers that I brought in there with identity theft. They make you give them everything, your SS number, your driver's license pic, your medical cards. Anyone that wants to steal your ID has carte blanche with this.

    I come up for review in August anyway, so if they keep delaying me, they are still going to have to give me back the Medicaid then, but the point is, I qualify right now and there is no excuse for them "losing" my paperwork.

    So now I have yet another fight on my hands, and I'm not up for it. Really. I can't keep doing these battles when I don't feel good. :(
     
  2. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

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    Olympic Peninsula, Washington
    Hi Carrigon,
    I've been on both sides of this sort of as I used to work for several grant programs that involved liaising with every agency imaginable. I was doing this work when Bush first got into office and the cuts for DSHS and social services were tremendous and case workers were laid off and it was normal for each to have a caseload of close to 60 people. I'm pretty sure this is low normal by now. It's a pretty horrific situation on both sides: I used to get really pissed at how incredibly dehumanizing clients were treated (part of why I was there) and I also was privy to being behind the locked doors and seeing the work load and red tape (red tape like you can barely even imagine unless you've worked for a social services program in the US) the caseworkers were dealing with. It's a lose-lose.

    I saw a state-sponsored counselor (psych but with a Master's in Social Work) and it was really valuable because he was both very helpful personally, but also because he's a part of that overall system. Once you've got another tentacle to reach the case worker with, it's harder for them to "lose" stuff continuously. Also, I'd document when you bring things in and what you leave somehow, even if it's with an instant camera--anything with a date stamp. It's a pain and it's takes energy but it saves energy in the long run. Also, I'd try "pestering" anyone you can get your hands on by voicemails, emails, whatever (snail mail is an unreasonable request imo since I live nearly a mile from my mailbox and there is no outgoing mail).

    All I can say is it isn't you and it isn't a matter of you doing things just right--this system is hard wired to fail the people most in need. Just as many have noted how the disability system is doing the opposite of what it was designed to do--I think this is even worse. Everybody is being treated badly, workers too imo.

    Good luck tho :)
     
  3. Lisa

    Lisa Senior Member

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    Western Washington
    I really feel for you in this Carrigon.

    I'm at a different DSHS office now than I was the first 3 years I was ill and thank goodness. This one is just slow but they typically get the job done with enough bugging and are friendly about it.

    But the first office... :eek:

    Had our case worker lying to us,to our doctors, and in her notes on what all did or did not transpire in conversations. Her goal was to get us tagged as malingerers so we'd be kicked out of the state system and also greatly jeopardize our social security case. We had a very intensive fight to stay on, complete with lawyers and hearings. Its was an absolute nightmare.

    Thankfully she was pretty inept and so somehow our file at DSHS never made it to social security in time for our hearings and so all those malingering documents she managed to generate didn't effect us one bit. DSHS gave up their case when Social Security approved us and since then we've had only time wasting difficulties here and there.

    I don't think it will do much good, but maybe you could try contacting one of your government officials? Seems hardly worth the effort, but at least a super short email - even mostly just a copy/paste of your post here, might yield some unexpected help.

    Also - are there any free legal services (or low income) around you? Contact them and they may be able to help you out. At worst you spend some time on the phone and they say they can't help. But if they can at least do a small letter inquiry to DSHS on your behalf as to where your missing documents are with all your personal identity information then this could get stuff happening for you too.

    Good luck Carrigon! Lisa :Retro smile:
     
  4. muffin

    muffin Senior Member

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    USA!
    Hang in there and keep calling. It is sooooo much better now for CFIDS/FM to get medicare now than in the past when you knew you were going to lose. You have a far better shot now in winning. Get letters from friends, etc. telling how much you have changed from healthy to sick, etc. You know the drill. Support letters, documents, etc. I got so pissed that I responded to my second denial and cited an arguement for each of their arguements and then concluded with the fact that THEY did not know the rules that applied to CFIDS people and were not following them. That was in my file and the judge saw it all. I did win after two court appearances but only because I actually had a fair and decent judge (I lucked out when I so needed luck). Fight. Don;t let them get away with anything. Stay in the fight.
     
  5. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    Social Security is notorious for losing files. That's why you should always make photocopies of whatever you give them, in case you have to resend.

    The remedy is to contact your congressperson's "constituent services" office and let them know what's going on. They will check into this and make sure your file gets "unlost". They are there to help people with government red tape, and it sounds like this would certainly apply.
     
  6. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    Sth Australia
    I think they "loose" things on purpose to stop our claims, it happens all over the world.

    Im in Australia and the one in the Social Security office didnt believe in CFS so he set out from the start to make sure i was denied a disability pension.

    When assessing my ability to work, he spent less than 5 mins and didnt listen to one thing i said so he ended up putting down i could clearly work (he didnt count exhaustion and weakness as symptoms.. and said that everyone gets headaches). I then got the same guy for the second working ability assessment. Then after i got tons of evidence for my file and next appeal (including letters from THREE different CFS specialists saying i couldnt work), i still got knocked back.

    i couldnt figure it out. Then another appeal.. and yet another knockback... Finally my case got taken to the top level, (i couldnt quit, i couldnt work and had to have money, it was shocking as the whole process made me even sicker) and ones in another state were assessing me. It was at this point i found out why my appeals were being knocked back still, someone had taken ALL my supporting evidence out of my file. i only found out by sheer luck that it was all gone right before the final appeal.

    Last Assessor was someone who knew about CFS and he was very shocked that i hadnt been immediately granted it as i was very severely sick. (i couldnt even sit in the centrelink office when i went to the appointments and had to lay on floor or i'd pass out).

    Best luck. You will get there if you persist.
     

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