Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bureaucratic Frustration...



Have you ever put something off for as long as you possibly could that is absolutely Necessary... but you need to be in the right Head Space and be able to have the rare all freakin' day set aside to Devote to and Deal with it?   Well, that was my day Today... the Post-Adoption Dealing with Social Security updates for The G-Kid Force and substantiating that what their Reps during National Adoption Day at the Courthouse had told me was accurate Information for Benefits?  Even though I seriously doubted it, given my experience with The System and how they can find such Creative ways to deny Benefits, especially if you're what they call "A Unique Case"!  *Le Sigh*   Yeah, they've sent me off on Wild Goose Chases before for Elusive Promised Benefits... and if your Case is "Unique" enough you'll be Disqualified and Denied all kinds of Crazy ways regardless of Need or Circumstances!


  


So... over five hours of being shuffled around to three different Locations, some of which were on the Far East Side of the Valley, when we Live on the Far West Side of the Valley... going thru Security thrice... sitting in the most uncomfortable chairs ever designed... with no food or drink allowed... no Bathroom in the Waiting Area of one Location...  and waiting for my Numbers to be called in complete randomness since they don't go by how long you've been waiting or what sequential number you have... I was finally able to Escape with my Sanity barely intact! 




So... how did it go?  Dismally... my Guarded Optimism faded almost immediately... but I was required to go thru The Process anyway and it had a time limit set by the Courts... so ya gotta do what ya gotta do... what your Caseworkers, System Reps and Attorneys advised you to get done for the sake of the Children.   Ah... for the sake of the Children... Wish I was not the only one that seems to actually Care about that when after the Talk nobody walks the Walk to back it up!!!  Okay, so for the sake of the Children there I am as quickly as I can make the lengthy commutes and be passed off to three different Social Security locations since... well... such a "Unique Case" you know... and it was becoming quite apparent they didn't quite know what to do with us and this "Uniqueness"!?




Okay... to bring anyone up to speed whose been absent from this Party in Progress and might be a New Visitor... we've been Raising and fully financially Supporting two Special Needs Grandchildren for the past Fifteen Plus and Ten Plus years respectively as CPS Kinship Placements since their births.  But a few years ago The System had some significant Changes with New Administrations in Washington... and well... my original Custodial Paperwork Expired and thus they had to be made Wards of the Court.  They had also been deemed to have been in The System too long and were thus deemed ready to be put up for Adoption!!!  I wasn't having that so I fought it, but my Spouse has Traumatic Brain Injury so he would not be allowed to Adopt and I would have to proceed as if a Single Parent, IF they Blessed it.




Due to extent of Disability the Older one was deemed Unadoptable and the Younger one Hard To Place... not to mention a Foster Family would actually have had to get paid and I was Free Placement so the Blessing came quickly.   The Process of The Adoption, however, was quite the convoluted Dramafest with too many Caseworkers to even recall coming in and out of our lives constantly... and the Case was very "Unique" for a variety of other reasons I won't bother you with the details of... so fast forward two and a half years and I finally get to finalize the Adoption of my Beloved Grandchildren... Hallelujah and an Amen!   But there are things you have to do... like Deal with Vital Records for new Birth Certificates... get them Rated and Evaluated for extent of Disability and any Benefits they might be Entitled to receive... get new Social Security Cards... yada yada yada.




So this bit with Social Security was the last leg of my Journey and Requirements to get Finalized Post-Adoption for The G-Force.  They HAD to issue me New Cards so I felt Confident about getting that done Today, at first... but as it turned out... only certain locations even do that... so Shuffle Shuffle to two different locations before the third location could accommodate me... at least that location was open until Four O'Clock!  *Whew*  'Cause it turns out the Benefits locations closed at Noon Today!  WTF!!!?!??!?!?  Yeah, even tho' they had like a gazillion Clients to Serve packed in there like Sardines... parking is a joke so you have to walk in from surrounding parking lots... and they move at the speed of Death... and don't take you in any particular Order!!! 





 It's cruelly Random... because they Issue Numbers as you come in, but don't see you in Numerical Order or any kind of Order for that matter!  With Alphabet in front of the Numbers... and tho' the Z's were zipping right along, I had an R and they only called three of those in over Four freakin' hours... and called the R Number JUST before mine, just to Tease and get me Hopeful... and then a Number way past mine... then back to a lower number way before mine!  *Le Sigh*  It's enough to make you go Postal... no Wonder some probably have in the Past and will again in the Future!  It's like Vegas without the Fun... you are Gambling with when you might get seen or IF you'll even get seen!  When they FINALLY called my number I jumped up and got Excited like I'd Won a Lottery!




 However, the fact my Disabled Old Man is a Social Security Recipient means I had been erroneously told during National Adoption Day, that though his diminished capacity due to TBI would preclude him from Adopting the Children along with me... they SHOULD still be Entitled to Social Security under his Benefits as his Dependents.  After all, his Disability Income provides for us all and we ARE his freakin' Dependents regardless of Gray Areas they can find to Deny us.   I'm his unpaid Caregiver and had to take early Retirement from my Career and dump 60% of my Pension to take care of all three of them... since finding alternate Care for any of them is... in a word... Impossible.  Believe me, I've tried over the years so that I could maintain steady Employment and help Support us... but even if it weren't Impossible... it would be in another word... EXPENSIVE!   And so, given this crap Information I was trying to substantiate as accurate Information, I had no choice but to hang in there and meet with a Caseworker to Review possible Eligibility under his existing Benefits... for the sake of the Children... 'coz Lord knows I wouldn't go thru this BS and get this jerked around for just anyone!  *Sighs heavily*




Well, IF he were their Stepfather and fully Supporting them without Adopting them we'd Qualify... BUT, Legally he's not considered a Step-Parent 'coz we were already Married when they were born... and he's still just Grandpa!   And apparently being Grandpa fully Supporting them is a Disqualifier... he HAS to Adopt them and Legally become Dad... and because of the nature and extent of his own Disability... he can't and they know that.  One would think a Healthy Stepfather still able to Work wouldn't Trump a 100% Disabled Grandfather who can't in receiving Benefits for his Dependents... but that would be LOGIC and based on Need, that almost never happens!   Treating my Husband like a Non-Person due to a Disability is what irks me the most... by virtue of the fact that Legally I AM now Mom to them, then because he and I are Married he IS Dad or Step-Dad even if they don't wanna acknowledge that fact... he also has supported them since Birth like any Parent would... so it is Offensive to me and Discriminatory to he and the Children to deny Benefits he's Earned and his Dependents should receive like other Dependents can and do.





So it was yet another one of those Sorry about that and we Hope it all works out scenarios 'coz this is such a Gray Area we can't Help you.  Wish I had Cash for every time I've heard that line!  But, when you get Older Dawn... they SHOULD be eligible under YOURS since Legally you are Mom now.  Even tho' the Older one will be a freakin' Grown Man JUST BEFORE you're Eligible... because he's so Disabled... MAYBE you could still get Help 'til he's Twenty-Three if he can't become Independent or Care for himself!??! !  Well, lets just say I ain't holding my breath about any of that... I've been told they SHOULD and MAYBE so many times before, it's empty Promises.   Thank God the Adoption Subsidy at least played out beginning in January of this year, it's the only thing that ever has to Assist me in getting them Raised without undue financial Hardship!   Patience and staying the Course does sometimes pay off... 




And they did tell me I could Appeal and Lawyer Up to see if we can find a way... I've spent too much Precious Time and Energy Appealing and Lawyering Up already Thank You... I'm not sure I'm up to more years of intense battle and expense... these kids are damned near Grown by now already!  I'd rather just Devote my Energy, Resources and Time to Raising them and continue in doing the Right thing... even tho' it's never the Easy thing... and makes my head hurt and completely drains me after a day like Today Dealing with such Jacked Up Systems that make things as difficult as they possibly can manage to... no more Bureaucratic Frustration... well, at least for a couple more years 'til I have to Deal with receiving my own Benefits anyway... Bwahahahahaha!

*******

Blessings and Peace from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

4 comments:

  1. Oh I'm so Sorry! It certainly does not seem fair!! Do they have medical benefits? You probably said but with so much trauma I missed it. You are so resourceful you'll make it work, but you certainly should be getting some help!!

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    1. Yes thankfully they provided them with Medical thru the State Adoption System since they had been Wards of the State and are Title 19 Disabled. Treating my Husband as a Non-Person just because of a Disability to me is what irks me the most... since Legally now I AM Mom to them, then because The Man and I are Married, that DOES make him Dad or Step-Dad even if they don't want to acknowledge it and even due to the fact he could not Adopt because of a significant Disability. I am seriously considering Lawyering Up... with someone who specializes in Social Security Cases... Dawn... The Bohemian

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  2. Oh my. I kinda know what you are up against. We adopted a special needs boy that is now 29. He just now gets sis from my husband on his retirement. Well said disabled child adult has a girlfriend and they are expecting. She has a ten year old autistic son. She has been living on his SSI until they moved in together. She also has disabilities and is trying for SSI. I was with the the day she applied. The guy for SSI was rude. Told her pregnancy was not considered a disability. She was in special Ed. Her entire educational years. Now they warn them if they get married he will loose his benefits. I have spent so many years going through this. Job training, mental health issues, schools, it never ends. I don't want to start over with his benefits. So I get it. Since you are related biologically they are making it wise. So sorry. Hugs

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    1. Thanks Debby... and so sorry your situation is so difficult as well in aiding a Disabled Adult Child to receive help. We went thru that as well with an Adult Child with a significant Disability, the Process is never ending if someone has a Lifetime Disability that significantly impairs Quality of Life and Well Being. Assisting an Adult to live Independently in spite of Disability is always the long term Goal, to the best of their ability to do so. Hugs going in your direction too... Dawn... the Bohemian

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