Thursday, July 2, 2009

Can't trust those disabled

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.

1 comment:

  1. Here I am getting out of bed to do what I can to be healthy and productive. When I know my weight is killing me, as that is not all I have to keep me from worrying to stay alive, with excercise and eating right. I too have to go to work to make ends meet and to be honest as a productive citizen paying taxes.
    It is not the fact I have to be a tax payer or that I am singled out when it comes to my disability, by not working enough or getting benefits.
    I hear you loud and clear, when you say to the evaluating social worker how you can be so "high functioning", and still can not put in a full days' work. The sad truth is nobody wants to be excluded and if you are not paying or working at a rate to satisfy the public or as we are led to beleive, "big government", taking the reigns to really change the way we pay and are working to be taxed, we have to remember, the government has nothing to do with a beuracratic spending spree. It has more to do with society as "we the people" are the government! My point is when you take benefits and scapegoat the ones who need it the most, and when you switch from a war torn society and blame the victim, you have a system of producing a lot of persons who are really disabled and never choose too, taking the steps necessary to be a productive citizen.
    I know the aurgument about generations using the system, when the welfare seems to not be working and the only inspiring American is the one who wants to better their livelihood, without asking for handouts.
    Guess what? Nobody wants to be supported and dependant and non productive. If you disagree with me, than we just disagree. My whole beef is the level of arrogance thrown together with callous debate on cutting social support systems when we end up throwing our credibility and financial security into a war for what now, and what has been 18 years, and the people will want to focus on cutting benefits for those in real need. It is a disgace to society the way we rationalize our problems and tinker with the helpless.
    I wish the people, oh, wait, the government can see the blemish we call welfare, not get bent out of shape when the real spending is the war budget, called a black box, where nobody knows how much is spent, and to simplify it by blaming the disabled for not having a job, is about as ludicrous as going to war in the first place for an attack on the trade center. In my opinion, if you want to stop 9-11, you have to look at the underlying causes of our need to trade arms as an economic policy, or the need to go after war for the oil and the big profiteers.
    My beleif is we are distracted by all the talk of wasteful spending, not on the freaking frauds out there, but the rich who have propaganda and focused our attention on celebrity icons and advertizing the military seduction with billions of dollars to keep the war machine well oiled, does not scratch the surface as to who is to blame. Think we are duped and continue to be, as long as the distraction doesn't curtail our economy of oil and cars, not to mention the selling of war and arms.
    I am just a little bit weary of the whole State is broke concept, when we have had it corrupted for umpteen years in the pass the buck and blame anyone who can't defend themselves.