I hope I get a check with which to pay my attendants and not an I.O.U. (Or, if I do get an I.O.U, I hope my bank will cash it, so I can pay my attendants.)
After the last time, in the early 1990's, that the state issued I.O.U’s in a budget crisis, as it is starting today, a judge ruled that the disabled have to be given the money when it is for paying for attendant care. So hopefully, despite end-of-the-world talk regarding California’s finances this time around and at least until the 27th when it is said the state will be "out of money" if a budget isn’t in place, I will get a check and be able to pay my attendants.
That is, if I’m disabled.
Which I am. Really, I am!
From what I’ve been reading in the paper, it turns out that one of the reasons the state is billions of dollars in the red is that the In-Home Supportive Services program, which gives out money for attendant care, is riddled with fraud and abuse. It turns out there are people still getting money to care for people who died years ago. There are people paid by the state to provide attendant for family members who aren’t disabled.
I had no idea. I knew about Medi-Cal abuse - why it has been paying for less and less (for example, I have to pay for the not-cheap adhesive wipes for my catheter condoms) - but I didn’t know about the I.H.S.S fraud.
No wonder I get threatening letters, demanding to know if I’m still disabled and what my income is. No wonder I keep getting calls and forms inquiring about every aspect of my life and requesting copies of my bank statements. It was only last week that my I.H.S.S called to ask what my income is. (That she was shocked that I was out at the time and that my attendant wasn’t with me and didn’t know where I was and what my income is is another story.)
It is like earning money is a crime. Not only that, but it is like these people think - or wish - that I’ll get up one morning and not be disabled.
Damn it - that’s my wish! And it doesn’t help when I keep having to prove I’m not Homer Simpson playing the system - woo-hoo! - and getting on disability.
And making it harder for people like me.