Aaaarrrgh!!!! Newest saga in my disability nightmare.

@mentalward (14695)
United States
October 30, 2009 9:44am CST
Good grief. I think they're thinking up new ways to hold back my disability benefits! I was approved (yes, really!) at the end of August. I received the approval letter on August 31st. "Fully approved" is how they worded it. The letter also said that, if I did not hear from anyone within 60 days, to call them. Well, seeing as how this over-seven-year-long case has had everything possible to stall it even more, I was not surprised that I did not hear from anyone within 60 days. So, I called them, yesterday. I was told that my monthly benefits are set to begin next month. Yippee!!!!! BUT... I was approved for disability, going back to April 2000. That means that I should be receiving a rather large check for the back benefits. I was told yesterday that this check might take up to 30 MORE days to get to me. I was also told that, if I do not receive it within 30 days, to call them.... AGAIN. AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHH!!!!!! Have you ever been so frustrated that you just wanted to explode? It's a good thing I'm not a postal worker but I can certainly understand the meaning behind the phrase "going postal"! Do you have any government-type stories to share? Have you wanted to move to a different country because of the utter frustration of dealing with your government?
7 people like this
16 responses
@mimpi1911 (25454)
• India
30 Oct 09
Atlast! But still keeping fingers crossed and let it happen in one month time. My sixth sense tells me that this this they would ring you. Coming to your query, I am sure there have been a lot of more frustrating tales with my parents, if not me. It takes ages to move one file from one table to the next and rest you can understand,. Gross and killing.
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
30 Oct 09
You said that right, mimpi! Moving a file from one table to the next must be a daunting task for government workers! Okay, I shouldn't group them all together like that. Maybe I should say "MOST" government workers. I knew a gal who quit working for Social Security because her co-workers were black-balling her because she actually worked. She said they had what she called "the Social Security Shuffle" that entailed moving at no more than a snail's pace. They wouldn't have liked me working there, that's for sure! I actually told the judge, right after being told that I could work during my first hearing (I've had two), that, since they deemed me fit to work "gainful employment" that the Social Security Administration should hire me. Let them eat their words! Of course, they wouldn't hire me. This has been an insane journey and I'm almost afraid to hope that it's finally being resolved. I won't believe it until that check is in my hands!
@olepmis (843)
• Philippines
30 Oct 09
How sad it is to note that the very presence of modern technology like computers and internet in America has this kind of snail pace in processing the disability benefits for its citizens. Wow! I could imagine your disappointment. In my country, when you file/claim for a disability benefits, within 30 days you will receive a letter of approval informing that they (social security) have approved and will deposit the 3 months pension in my preferred bank account and the rest of the pension will be send on a monthly basis until the approved duration of disability will be completed. I hope your pension will arrive soon.
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
30 Oct 09
Wow, Olepmis! Maybe I should move to your country! I've been thinking that I'll die of old age before I ever receive my disability benefits. My case isn't the longest case I've heard about here, either. I heard one story that took 10 years to approve! That is absolute insanity. When we are disabled, we cannot normally wait to receive help. Even 30 days seems like a long time when we need help but it's nothing compared to years! Our "great and mighty" USA is not all that great and certainly not mighty when it comes to helping it's citizens! What I'm so angry about is that I've earned these disability benefits. I worked for almost 40 years and paid Social Security for the time when I would need help and here they are giving me such a hard time about giving me my own money! Believe me, I've thought more than once about moving to a different country. I'll probably stick around for awhile now, though, since my benefits should be starting (relatively) soon. I'd hate to give that up after fighting over 7 years for it!
@enola1692 (3325)
• United States
1 Nov 09
I was aproved fianllay in septmber the letter I got from the judge said I was fully aproved the same day I got the letter saying fully aproved I also got a letter saying I need to go to another intrview to see if I can still get SSI so I go to this meeting an she wants to see my hubbys check stubs all the way back to maty of 2008 an that she is only there on fri so we got everything together an went there this fri hopeing this is almost over an guess what they said she wasn't in can I come back another day well I am starting to worry cause I really need help paying for my mads an don't look like I will be getting my meds this month
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
1 Nov 09
I'm honestly beginning to think that they make up the rules as they go along. They must get bonuses for thinking up new, creative ways of driving us crazy! I was told that I would not qualify for SSI because of my husband's income. But, when I initially applied, they gave me the wrong forms to fill out. I apparently filed for SSI and not disability, although I wanted to file for disability since I had worked for almost 40 years and did qualify for it. I was told that my big check is being held up because they have to make sure I'm not receiving SSI. I think that's ludicrous! Both SSI and disability come from the same place so you'd think they'd have that information right in front of them at the push of a button or two. Besides, they've had 7 years to figure that out. Sigh. We're at their mercy. I'm almost convinced that we are approved or denied based on how the judge is feeling that day. I certainly hope they can get this straightened out for you soon! I know what it's like to worry about not being able to get your meds. I was in that position, too, more than once in this 7 years that I've been fighting them. Maybe you could call before you go to the office next time? I mean, just to make sure that she's in that day and you'll be able to meet with her. My hopes and prayers will be with you.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
30 Oct 09
If you don't get anything, call us. lol It's almost as if they EXPECT that things won't go right. Well it's great news though, at least you've finally gotten approved and can look forward to seeing some payments. No government stories right now and I hope I never have any!!!
1 person likes this
@commanderxo (1496)
• Canada
1 Nov 09
I suppose it wouldn't do any good...if you were to call and tell them that you'd be only too happy to personally pick up the check? You could use the excuse(s) that you'd be doing the government a favor by saving them time, trouble, and the price of a postage stamp. Of course, that's if you don't mind driving the distance to get it? Do you think they'd go for that, or no? I know I kinda like the idea. cdrxo
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
1 Nov 09
Doing our government a favor would be like inviting all kinds of nasty bugs and wild animals into my home. It would not only do no good but would most likely be quite destructive. I doubt they've ever had anyone doing them a favor before and they wouldn't know how to handle it. They'd all probably just have nervous breakdowns and go on paid leave for an indefinite period, then there would be no telling when I'd get this money. Besides, considering the fact that the check will be coming from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and I live in Winchester, Virginia (a distance of 197 miles away), I think I'll wait and let them fork over the money for a stamp. I'll be depending on the government from now on so I guess I should just get used to the frustration, huh?
2 people like this
• Canada
3 Nov 09
Martha my dear...what can I say? Yup, dealing with governmental frustration goes with the territory. Besides, they probably wouldn't know what to do with themselves, should you show up and do them the favor. Heck, you might just shock the b-jeezes out of them! But I DO empathize with your plight, believe me. Get this...today I have to take Social Services papers into my doctor, requesting medical info about my case...have him fill them out...and mail them back into Social Services, ASAP. These papers are for them to determine whether or not I'm eligible to receive monthly monetary assistance, due to the fact that I turned down a provincial disability funds. Why did I do that? Well, I been through this about 5 times before, including appeals, and each time have been turn down. It is their claim that I do not fit their criteria of a disabled person. A criteria that they have determined, based solely on their decision of what they believe is a "proper" definitions of the word - disabled. These government officials ARE NOT doctors, yet can make that determination, if you can believe that!!!? But what IS frustrating about the whole thing...is that I've been receiving governmental monthly assistance for the past 6 years! ... AND, not only that, they already HAVE a copy of all my medical papers, to boot. The only reason I have to do this all over again, is because of my refusal to appeal the Province's decision to turn me down. So frustration? Yup. Get used to it girl. It's only the beginning. Cheers; cdrxo (PS - love the new avatar)
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
4 Nov 09
Yeah, I'd better get used to it. From what I've been told, our monthly disability payments are supposed to come on the first of the month, yet I still haven't seen any money! They've said I'm eligible for Medicare which began in September of this year, yet I still don't have a card or member number in order to use it! It sounds to me like you and I are pretty much in the same boat, I mean about the frustration with dealing with our governments. The last thing I received from Social Security said that they would be redetermining my case in "5 to 7 years" to make sure I'm still eligible. My sister, who was on SSI (Supplemental Security Income) because she had never worked, was redetermined every single year and she had muscular dystrophy! I guess they wanted to see if she had found a miracle cure for that or not. Now, I wonder if I'll see any money before they redetermine my case. I'm beginning to wonder! I certainly hope that you get your mess cleared up soon. Okay, relatively soon. I've already done the 'going to the doctor to have him fill out forms' before. I was denied after they received these forms, even though they clearly said that there was no way I could work, not even part-time if the hours were set. Before I was married, I applied for help from Social Services and, luckily, I got a great lawyer from Legal Aid who argued that very point that you made... that a bureaucrat who had no medical training could not possibly determine my eligibility. At least then the judge saw her point. I'll send all my good wishes your way that they can see that you're not making this up, especially since you've been approved previously! You know what I hope? I hope that everyone who ever denied me, or you or anyone else who is truly eligible, will have some kind of disability befall them and they'll have to go through this very same process and see just how frustrating it is. THAT would be justice!
1 person likes this
@KrauseHome (35517)
• United States
9 Nov 09
Well, I used to be on Disabilty myself so I can understand the frustrations for sure. I know that with being Diabetic and having some of the many issues again with my legs trying to act up again, but part of the biggest problem for me is that either I sit home collecting Disability and find something to do from my home that will not get me in trouble, but can make some Extra $$ from, or work and be inelidgible for disability. Plus since I am married, and the Medicare system is so Bad it would actually cost me a lot more for my meds. So it can be a nightmare for sure, but wishing you the Best.
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
14 Dec 09
Thank you, Tina. I finally received everything... FINALLY, just last week. I contacted our congressman who intervened for me. It was total insanity that I had been approved, yet they still wouldn't release any money to me for four months! I turned down the Medicare. It would have cost me about $200.00 more than what it costs now on my husband's insurance through his job, with my medications included. I thought Medicare was supposed to HELP disabled people but that sure isn't the case. They take advantage of disabled people and that infuriates me! The biggest kick in the head was when I received my first monthly check. They had deducted 2 months worth of Medicare from it, saying Medicare began the month before. Of course, they never notified me that I had Medicare but thought to take money out of my check for it! I sent the form back to them stating that I did not want Medicare. I'll be reimbursed that $200.00 that they deducted... eventually. I won't hold my breath for it, though. As for collecting Disability and doing something from home, I used to do legal transcription from my home. I could work as little as one hour a month or as much as 40 hours a week. It was entirely up to me. I'd think about doing it now but part of my disability is memory problems and it's just too easy for me to forget some of the rules and legal terminology. But, there are a lot of legal, medical and general transcription jobs online. I was earning per keystroke but it averaged out to something like $10.00/$15.00 per hour. I wish I could still do it. If I could, I'd earn up the the maximum allowed while on Disability. (I was told that was around $800.00/month.)
1 person likes this
• Canada
14 Dec 09
CONGRATULATIONS! I'm very pleased for you after all the BS you've been through. Perhaps now, you can at least sit back and breathe a sigh of relief. It looks like it's going to be a good Christmas for you after all. That's great news. Cheers; cdrxo
@leenie50 (3992)
• United States
8 Nov 09
Hi Marti, I'm sorry it took me so long to respond. Things have been pretty tough around here. I'm still shaking my head trying to figure out why the Gov. and SS have been jerking you around so long. They should have realized a long time ago that you weren't the kind of person to crawl away in defeat!!It will probably take that long just for the idiots to figure out how much they owe you. I'm just glad you aren't destitute. You should call your Senator friend. How's everything else going? I should probably email you. That's what I'll do. Leenie
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
8 Nov 09
Hi Leenie. Don't worry about peeking into my discussion late. I understand that people have real lives outside of myLot. Yes, they really do! This case has been an insane journey, for sure. I STILL haven't received anything! Well, that's not entirely true. I received my Medicare card yesterday in the mail. From all that I should be getting, I would have preferred that to come LAST. Oh, and get this, Part A (hospital) began in September 2003 and Part B (medical) began October 2009. This whole thing is so insane!!! They've already figured out what they owe me. The woman I spoke to told me the amount, although they seem to have lost a year somewhere. I'm not going to fight it, though, because it would probably be another year before I received the big check if I questioned where that missing year went. It's just one more reason for me to hate the Social Security Administration. But, since it has been almost two weeks since I spoke to anyone, I'll write to my congressman. He's done more for me than the senator has. I told them about the mortgage being late and was told that they would hurry this along. If this is hurrying, I'd hate to see what they're like when they're taking their time! How have you been? Have you been able to get your mortgage thing straightened out? I sure hope so! I heard about a new government program whereby we can "rent" our home from the government for up to a year. I don't know the details, but I believe that the rent is much lower than a normal mortgage payment. Still, it's another government program. I think I have the swine flu. I'm not entirely sure but I caught a chest-thing and I bet I picked it up in the hospital when I took my son there last week because of his wisdom tooth. There were plenty of people there who obviously had the flu! It's kinda like a bad chest cold with chills and slight fever but no worse than that. I'm doing okay, despite it. I actually got outside some today because it got up to 73 degrees outside! Insane weather... this was a day after it went down to 27 degrees. I find it amazing that everyone isn't sick from this insane weather. You try to stay healthy and don't stress too much. If you ever feel like screaming, just write to me and maybe I can help to calm you down. You've helped me plenty so turnabout is fair play, right?
1 person likes this
@leenie50 (3992)
• United States
9 Nov 09
Marti, After you get the big check then go after that year they seem to have conveniently misplaced. At least they will have to respond and believe me if you hound them they will respond. Don't let them get away with it. Stay warm and get well soon sweetie. You have some celebrating to do real soon. Leenie
@paula27661 (15899)
• Australia
31 Oct 09
My father would probably have a few good stories about the tax department in Italy and yes, we did leave the country because we could no longer live with the bureaucratic BS that we had to endure before the government would acknowledge that as a business owner my father was being over taxed to such an extent that we could not afford to live. I don’t know the details and this was almost 38 years ago but the frustration became so great my dad packed us up and we left the country for good! Hope you receive your money as soon as possible and that they don’t draw the whole thing out for too long; I know our government departments are renown for that here too! Hang in there and good luck!
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
1 Nov 09
It's pretty much the same here when you're self-employed (business owner). I was self-employed for about 20 years and had to pay self-employment tax on top of all the other taxes! Plus, I had to pay for medical insurance for myself and my kids on my own so it was outrageously expensive. It's horrible when our governments punish us for trying to make a little money. With my disability money, I'll be taxed on it (income) because I'm married. If I was not married, I would not have to pay taxes on it. So, they're also punishing us for being married! I thought our government here was all about "family values" but they're encouraging people to just live together without being married. Maybe it's a good time for me to get divorced, huh?
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15899)
• Australia
2 Nov 09
It sounds like a wise business decision! (LOL) It is a shame that the regulations being what they are discourage marriage. Our welfare system is like that here. There are couples who have separated when the man lost his job because together the assistance would have been less than half what they would get individually.
@piya84 (2591)
• India
31 Oct 09
Omg i thought these things do happen in India only.I though America is advance nation and people their face lot less crap like this which we face daily.But it seems i am wrong.No matter how advance country is government officials are crap everywhere it seems.Basically their salaries dont depends upon the way they serve to public.So they are careless about public frustration.I hope you will get your money in hand as soon as possible.
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
1 Nov 09
It looks like government red tap is universal, piya. I would love to know why our government (or any government) cannot be more like private businesses where everyone does their best every day. I know that, if I worked as slowly as the government workers do, I would have been fired from my last job AND I wasn't paid nearly as much as they are!
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
1 Nov 09
Oops, red TAPE, not red tap. Sorry!
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
30 Oct 09
Wow I have to say that is terrible It took me a year here to get mine but the back pay went into my account straight away It is terrible that you are to wait another 30 days for your Money Hope it all comes through for you soon
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
30 Oct 09
Thanks, gabs. This 30 days doesn't sound like a lot but the last thing I was told was to call if I haven't heard anything in 60 days. I'm wondering just how many more days they'll tack on once these 30 days are up. (I've become a bit of a pessimist about this insane case.) My actual hearing was way back in February! So, it's been almost 9 months since my hearing. Most people hear something WAY before then! It just seems like they keep adding more days for me to wait, each time the last chunk of days they tell me to wait ends. I actually filed my first appeal for a hearing before the judge back in April 2004! I didn't get a hearing date until 30 months later! I was denied at that hearing. I filed another appeal for a redetermination and it was granted a year later. But, because I had moved in that time, the case had to be transferred to this State, which of course took even MORE time (another year). I had to go to my last hearing without a lawyer because my old lawyers dumped me after the first denial. (Binder & Binder... HORRIBLE lawyers!) B&B refused to give me a waiver of attorney's fees so no other lawyer would touch my case. (Says a lot about them, huh?) The judge asked if I wanted to proceed without a lawyer or postpone until I could get one. I wasn't about to postpone this! It would have taken at least another year if I did that! Funny, though, I was approved without a lawyer after being denied WITH a lawyer. I just hope it's all over soon. I'm so tired of fighting them.
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
30 Oct 09
Well of course it is a long time after fighting so long even just 3 Days would be, it is awful that you ended having to take it to court I mean what are they thinking of I thought it was bad enough that I had to fight for a year for mine and I know what you mean that you are fed up fighting them, you have done well I will say that much Girl, fighting them that long I really hope that it is all over for you soon, then you can relax and get on with things Let me know Sweet how things go and I really hope you do not have to wait the 30 Days
@thea09 (18327)
• Greece
30 Oct 09
Hi marti, maybe you'd rather deal with Greek beurocarcy Actually I can see benefits to our system in your case, if you'd only got one of your sons to go out the woman in the benefits office you'd have been sorted in no time, failing that I'd have to recomend the brown envelope system for a nine year delay. (Just make sure you don't tell hubby anything about it when it arrives).
@thea09 (18327)
• Greece
30 Oct 09
Well it could have been any number of civil upheavels he was referring to but there aren't any now but Athens is best avoided in dustbin throwing season. You wouldn't like the beurocracy though. My friend the avatar used to work in Canada now I think of it, that must be where he learnt to swear in English. Well I hope you take the money and leave, unless your plans have changed. It could give you a fresh new start. So good luck if you plan to do that with it.
1 person likes this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
3 Nov 09
Hey Marti! How come I'm not at all surprised? Damn government would much rather we shrivel up and die than to give us the benefits we deserve. I hope it comes through for you really soon for I know how much you need it. Are you still packing up your things? Does hubby know yet? What's going on with you gal?
@Trensue (5253)
• United States
30 Oct 09
Did they bother to tell you that it can show up as income (in some countries) and you can be taxed on that rather large check in the mail?
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
30 Oct 09
Oh, yes, I can be taxed on it. But, it's rather complicated (just like everything else in the government). I'll be taxed on what I should have received for the past 4 years, but not the first 5. I was not married for the first 5 years but got married 4 years ago. They determine what to tax based on your marital status, plus your income if you are employed part-time. But, if you're not married and have no other income, there are no taxes to pay. I was primarily self-employed for about 20 years before my disability. I learned a long time ago to keep some money in the bank to pay taxes. I had to pay my own, so I'm well aware of what needs to be done. I've got that covered.
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
30 Oct 09
I am sorry that it is taking so long, but at least it is coming. They don't get in a hurry, unless you owe them. I have more trouble dealing with the insurance and medicaid. Getting my son's prescriptions every week, has been a nightmare. I call and call people, but don't get hooked up with the people that can help. They just keep telling me they can't help me. I finally got ahold of someone last week that could help. It has been since March. I spent at least half of day, sometimes the whole day, trying to get things straightened out.
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
30 Oct 09
I really feel for you! It's frustrating enough when we're fighting for ourselves but, when we have to fight for our children, it's horrible! I had to fight for my youngest son. His pediatrician thought he had ADHD. His school said he didn't. They refused to place him in special ed or give him a modified education. I had to take him to the Kennedy Krieger Institute, part of Johns Hopkins Hospital, to have him tested at a cost of $2,000.00 to me before the school would do anything for him. (He did have ADHD, according to Kennedy Krieger.) I can't wait to get Medicare (NOT!). It seems so confusing, with all those "parts" (Part A, Part B, Part C, Part D). I'll have to get supplemental insurance but have no idea about who the best would be to go with. They told me I've already been approved for Medicare, so I guess I should start now to find the right supplemental insurance. Hopefully, I'll have that before the 30 days are over.
@dragon54u (31636)
• United States
30 Oct 09
The only dealings I have with the government is with the IRS and that's tough enough for me! I'm so glad you have a check coming!! That should allow you to claim your independence and begin a new life.
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
30 Oct 09
HOPEFULLY, I'll be receiving a check, dragon! I'm beginning to think that they're just jerking my chain and they're NEVER going to give me a penny! Nah, I think it's finally going to be happening, eventually. I can't help but wonder what the next thing will be to hold my money back. This has been an unbelievably insane journey! At least, dealing with the local Social Security people here in Winchester is SO much easier than it was in Baltimore! There's a definite reason why the people there are called 'Baltimorons'. In Virginia, here, people seem to care much more about others. Still, we're talking about our government and they are never easy to deal with. The thing I got the biggest kick about was them announcing their "Paper Reduction Act". I'd love to know which piece of paper was reduced because it certainly couldn't have been more than one.
1 person likes this
@neildc (17253)
• Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines
6 Nov 09
Hi Marti. For some reasons we know, we are also disappointed about your disability benefits. Personally, not for myself but, you know it, about the kid we both love. The cute little kid who is now my avatar. Though we can still take the pain we have, not only in the night when we have to sleep, but also in the daytime that we have to control ourselves, when we cannot control the hyper-activity of him. Gosh, we really losing sanity. You know it. lol I also wonder why it took them so long before they could send your first check. I think that should be there, in your hands, early September or October is the latest. But that is really too long now. I can't think of any reason why it that happening. This is really disappointing on your part, as we know, you really want it, and besides, it's yours. So far, I do not think about leaving this place and live in some country, though I know there are some other countries, a lot better than Philippines. The government sometimes could not understand, especially the officials. I guess, I just don't have to elaborate, people might get think I am against the government, besides, I am a state worker, so whatever they order or what the law says, I can only abide by. It took me some time to get back to this discussion of yours, because I got too busy over the past weekend. I have my former manager, the one that gave me the job when I quit my former job in 1999. Then, that became my second job, when I get appointed here, in the government job... And then, we have no constant internet here in the office, as our boss is on leave, so her office, where the modem and the router are in place, is always closed. With my mobile phone, I still trying to connect, but sometimes, it took me so long, until I lose the crave.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Oct 09
Wooohooo! You finally got approved! That's awesome. My ex got his approval letter but it still took him a few weeks to get it in the bank. He elected for direct deposit and I requested a check for my daughter(child support) and I got mine a week or more before he got his own.