Oct 7, 2005
Volume 33
Issue 40

Saturday, Aug 08, 2020 01:05

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Saga Continues - Part IV: Slashed
Saga Continues - Part IV: Slashed
The razor sharp thorns from the petrified "Bush" are cutting the Social programs and help agencies throughout the U.S. of A. Texas and Florida no longer bear the fruits of the Social and Help programs that are a harvest for the poor and needy during their hardships and trials during poverty.

Barry Z. couldn't believe what he had read in my latest Saga series "Slashed." He was shocked and perturbed about people in need being slashed for budget cuts that look good on paper to the heartless plunderers in our government He also couldn't believe it when I told him that my last direct deposit was deposited into someone else's account. Guess what gang? He's a believer now!

While out and about my adoring public told me about the LETTER that they received from DSHS and Social Security. I listened, I advised, while taking notes in my mind for A Saga. Others like me received a letter from Social Security informing them that their benefits had been suspended without a reason for it. Then upon calling get the aggravating excuse that they had been overpaid with their benefits being stopped. Can it get any worse? Yes Sir-Re-Bob! Social Security benefits being denied to those who have applied and kept waiting for 5 years or longer.

One version of the DSHS letters stated that their DSHS benefits had been stopped - all $328.00 dollars worth - including the medical coupons needed for doctor visits and medications. In lieu of Food Stamps, they were given a list of food banks that they could go to for food. In the other version, they were informed that they had to get the enclosed form filled out by their doctor about the status of their illness. Until that time, no benefits would be paid to them.

One such person received a letter from DSHS stating that his benefits had been suspended because his Disability payments made him ineligible for medical assistance and Food Stamps. Here's the dumb part& He had been waiting - and is still waiting - for his Disability benefits to be approved after a five-year wait. After an endless battle, he now lives in a flophouse in Kirkland for $75.00 a month and works in a restaurant as a bus-boy and dishwasher. This is why I never worry about the things in my life, because there's always someone who's is worse off than I am. This keeps me in the habit of dealing with my personal affairs in a positive manner - in silence until the problems are resolved. Then, I tell people after the fact in A Saga. This way I'm encouraging and helping others who are experiencing this HELL! .

Ric-Cyll Sheppard is a cute, blonde, Desert Storm Vet who's still waiting on the award letter from Social Security after waiting 3-years. Ric-Cyll suffers from a man-made illness caused by the plague from Desert Storm. Remember during the Viet Nam war our very own soldiers had Agent Orange dumped on them? Now let's fast forward in time to Desert Storm where our very own Soldiers fought in radioactive sand. Let's flash forward to the present day and rewind back 36 months ago when Ric-Cyll became exposed to the HIV virus, then, applied for Disability. He was denied benefits because he was eligible for SSI and not for DDI. Nor was he eligible for Medicare. Why? Because he's receiving Veterans Benefits that makes him ineligible for DDI.

The folks at Social Security advised him that he could drop the Veterans Benefits in lieu of SSI. Of course, he'd be receiving far less from the amount he's receiving from his Veterans Benefits. But, the good news was that he'd be eligible for Medicare! Big Woo! So, what did Ric-Cyll do to escape from this mass confusion? He hired an attorney! His lawyer advised him not to mention the fact that he volunteers for The Chicken Soup Brigade. Why? Because if he's well enough to do volunteer work, he's well enough to go back to work. Two of his doctors suggested that he do volunteer work to stay active and having something to do. Of course, he has this in writing in the event that his volunteer work becomes an issue. If he could work, he definitely WOULD and then some. But, he's not able enough to return into the working class.

Oh, by the way his Veteran benefits are on hold until his Disability starts. Why? So they can adjust the amount that he's going to receive from Disability. Frustrated and stressed to his last nerve, he's without an income and is making it from the generosity of his family and friends. He waits in aggravation and anxiety for the postman to deliver the letter telling him that he's been approved and when his benefits will begin. So far, the postman hasn't ringed yet!

Speaking of volunteering, while volunteering at The Chicken Soup Brigade, a gentleman who also received a letter and had his benefits sliced and diced asked me for a no-cook bag. He's living in his car until things turn around in his life. Why? Because temporary Housing is no more! He left too quickly for me to pin him down so I could help him during his time of need. More and more clients at Chicken Soup are living in "Tent City" while on the waiting list of housing agencies. A majority of them aren't taking their meds because they have no way to get them since they've been cut of DSHS or put on a spend down.

A mother of two couldn't believe it when she received a check for the back pay of two months instead of the 6 months. If this wasn't bad enough, DSHS slashed the amount of her EBT card to $76.00. Her mother gives her $100.00 a month for food and she doubles her food choices at The Chicken Soup Brigade. People confided in me that their DSHS benefits were stopped because they went over their "spend down" amount from two to eight cents. It took 2 weeks to resolve this problem while going without food, meds, and everything else that one needs to survive. Then there were those in our community who acted uninterested, then, rolled their eyes and said, "Whatever!"

After listening to the horrors from hell that people are going through and seeking advice on what to do if it happened to them. The conversation was of no interest to this lot. Until they receive a LETTER of their very own informing them that they too had lost their only source of income; making them a sneeze away from being homeless; putting their health in jeopardy from the stress; and lack of medications needed for the personal and technical upkeep of their health. Now that it has happened to them, it was a Capitol offense and the horrors of all horrors - complete with "DRAMA!"

Gary Clark, a kilted stud applied for Disability and was told about the 5-month waiting period. So, he went to work at a Bookstore for a source of income while waiting to be approved. He informed the Social Security office that he didn't want Medicare because he planned on applying for the Cobra program so he could keep the private insurance from the Bookstore. He wrote the same in the letter that he wrote to them so they'd have it on file. After receiving his benefits, he received a letter from Social Security stating that he had been overpaid because he had worked while receiving benefits. After contacting the office he found out that the private insurance agency had sent his medical bills to Medicare after they found out that he was on Disability.

The idiots at the Social Security office made this the proof positive, "Exhibit A," that they needed to nail Gary. Gary pointed out that he wasn't receiving Disability on the dates that he had worked for the Bookstore. He also found out that deductions for Medicare were being deducted from his monthly checks. When he reminded the folks at the Social Security office that he didn't want Medicare and that he had written a letter telling them this. They couldn't find the letter to prove this fact. Meanwhile, he fought tooth and nail with the Insurance Company to straighten out the mess that they got him into. The insurance company kept insisting that Gary let them write off his claims to Medicare. It took 45 minutes for the personnel staff of the Insurance Agency to get the fact that Gary wasn't on Medicare. If he was, why would he be paying them through the Cobra program?

During the waiting period of getting his account resolved, $600.00 dollars was deducted from his Disability checks. His finances went to hell in a hand basket as he did creative bookkeeping to stay afloat. After the matter was resolved, he once again had to tell the personnel of Society Security that he didn't want Medicare, after they questioned him about it. The wanted to know when he was going to pay the premium for Medicare? He received a Medicare card in the mail not to long ago. Yes, he's afraid to use it because he fears that it'll be retaliation in cutting him off again.

The Saga Continues&

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October 15- 23, 2005

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