Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dear Senator Murray and President Obama

I am so fed up with our system and government I sat down and wrote a letter to our US Senator, Patty Murray. I think I will try to mail it to Obama too. But, won't hold my breath for any answers.

Most of you know of my disability and how long I have had it. You also know that it has kept me from doing the things I love most, especially fixing up our new home by decorating, remodeling and working, remodeling the garden. Oh, how I have been tryingwanting to try and fix up the garden now that it is summer and wanting to get my hands dirty and plant my garden! It was so neglected by the widower that lived here. And I know all I have to do is clear and clean and rearrange what is here. But, my body just won't let me! The kids have flown the nest, and we want to be doing so many things to fix the house the way we want and do the hobbies we love so much, like Papa going bowling and me with my arts and crafts. If I was working, we would be having the times of our life, doing what we want to do and not having to worry about the kids. I want to work so Papa and I can do the things we love to do the most!!

If I could work and have the money to do this I would be there in a heart beat!! I have always worked! I started in the 3rd grade when my dad put me to work at the Hobby Shop on base that he was in charge of along with the Marina where my brother worked and the Horse Stables where my sister worked. I have always worked unless I had to take time off to move, have a baby, or when I got sick, had surgeries, etc. Even then, usually after surgery or having a baby I was back to work within 2 weeks or less! I had great jobs that I was good at and made great salaries and benefits. Why in the world would I just quit and go broke so that we have to go without the things we love and want the most for us and our kids? Do you think that I am not scared at the possibility of having to pull my son out of college because we can't afford it? Or loosing our home? Not that we are behind or close to it.

We were smart in making sure we could buy a home, and have enough in savings so that we could survive on Papa's salary. But, that savings is going by quickly. Unexpected expenses, and then being ripped off really took a big chunk of change that we had. Now how can we replenish it? Especially with new debts from college, or the house and cars?

I applied for disability over a year ago. I was immediatly turned down and had to get an attorney. But, they tell me it could take 2 more years before I get a court date to see if I can qualify for benefits. And the exam they sent me to have, oh what a joke that was!


Why do we have to go through so much and wait so long, when we did everything right to survive when I got sick and lost my job just so I can recieve what I am rightfully entitled too? Why do we have to fear our son will not reach his goals because we cannot afford it, when we should be able too? Why are we going without so many things like my diabetic strips and supplies, medications or Physical Therapy to save money for more important things such as paying our bills, and our sons needs at college when I worked and paid into a system that gives money to welfare recipients or the unemployed in less then a month or two?

It is ridiculous and scary to think that we might tank before I am able to receive the few hundred a month that I had worked for and contributed towards for a long time.

Is it the government holding back the funds, or not providing the public with enough staff out there to handle these claims that they deny more so then they approve and provide a process a more efficient and faster before we loose everything we worked so hard for?

Welfare recipients and unemployed workers get money in usually a month and they are treating us like criminals in order to recieve any benefits we are entitled too. Yet if I were an indigent, I could get help, benefits from the state without a cross examination by a judge or box full of proof saying I can’t work! Yes, they too have a process and can be turned down, but, not compared to Disability insurance where you have to wait for years and then go before the courts to see if you will be granted any benefits.

I see able bodied young kids that are able to get housing, health care and food. Able bodied young adults also that loose jobs because they just don't feel like showing up, and who would rather go to the concert at the Gorge instead or adults who just refuses to pick themselves off the couch and drive themselves to work. I know people like this! It is all about fun and friends, celebrating birthdays for a week, or until the next birthday! I see it happening and it repulses me to think we have such a talented generation who wish to turn their backs on their goals, or working for what they need and want and settling for surviving on our tax dime and having a great time! They don't need much to be able to party 24/7. Who cares, they are living their lives their way.

I saw it at the hospital when I worked at the cancer center. People that worked all their lives, and then lost everything because their health care benefits, and SS was not enough to help them. Medicare pays worse the Medical Coupons and Medicaid! They have to sell their homes, use up their savings to try and stay alive and get treatment. While Welfare recipients get everything paid for, even free transportation. Now, I am not saying that all Welfare recipients do not deserve it. But, I see more people on it that should not be, then those that do. People that served our country and worked all their life so they can live out their retirement in comfort. Bam, they get sick and loose everything! They have to loose everything to survive, yet Welfare recipiants don't. These people that worked hard all their lives get healthcare that pays squat and even less for prescriptions and medicine, and oh, no, they don't get any help for paying for these things at all. Not even the free transportation, cab fares that Medicaid recipiants are allowed. They either don't take their medicine, or starve themselves to be able to afford it. God forbid if the gas prices go up again, they won't be able to afford to drive themselves to the doctors or to get their treatments. They end up having their spouses going back to work at age 70 or more to try and survive.

People are able to get these welfare and unemployment benefits in less then a month or two. Is there something wrong with this picture? Someone who has gone through jobs like Emelda Marcos goes through shoes, gets fired for calling in sick or not showing up, goes gets a nice apartment, medical insurance, and food stamps and all within a month or so on the tax payers dime. And with no proof of whether or not they can work, or are looking for work. Yes, some people loose a job through no actions of their own. They deserve benefits until they find another.

Why when I have letters and documents from my doctors, does the SSDI doctor, not even look at them and does a 20 minute SS Doctor exam, only asking me to touch my toes, taking my vital signs and poking me in places and asking if it hurts? Then having only that information, not even READING my doctors notes, x-rays, etc, he decides I am an able bodied person that can work? I am not even allowed to work while taking the drugs I am on! But he did not care to know what drugs I was taking or what my tests said. Because I probably was nice and not looking like I was about to die, (Papa said I was trying to hard to look good when I should have been letting him see the pain I was in and how it makes me miserable, etc.) But, how can a 20 minute appointment without ANY Doctors notes, x-rays, lab tests, etc, make a determination that I can work or not? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? Just because I can touch my toes?

Is it discrimanation against the sick and disabled or a scam so that attorneys can make money on that comes from the government fund. Who thought up this process and how many Senators and Congressmen voted on it and how many of these politicians were attorneys?

They can’t make money off the unemployed or Welfare recipients, but, the disabled or sick….they are making a fortune, especially the longer the client has to wait. Because they get a percentage of the retroactive payment, if it takes 3 years, that is 36K if you get a benefit of $1000 a month and the attorney gets...hummm depending on the state, sometimes 30%. And all they do is gather all your records and "wait" for the hearing. I have to get my records, or they will charge me, and deliver them myself to the lawyer. What exactly besides gathering records and storing them until the hearing and then telling the judge the findings do these guys do to make so much money??

But, Welfare folks, unemployment benefits, oh, no. They just get the benefits with a little wait time and not even half the paper work, such as doctors notes, medical records, medical tests, etc. We the sick, disabled people are told to suffer, go broke while we WAIT for a HEARING to see if we qualify.

We eventually have to stop our medications, treatments, loose our homes, cars, go deeper into dept because we can't afford our bills, the late fees and added interest that keeps adding up daily, monthly, yearly. Buy the time we do get a settlement, our money is gone to all the debt incurred by the attorney and debt incurred because of having no money. Our cars need extensive repairs because we could not afford to pay for the upkeep or small repairs before they turned into bigger issues like spending 3x more for those brakes because we waited to long to replace the pads. Our house is rotting from a leaky roof we can't replace so we have to pay 5x the cost because we have to replace the siding and facia instead of just the roof because that small repair became a monster and destroyed everything around it because we had to WAIT.

Why am I and so many others I know of, being punished and humiliated like this? Is it discrimination against the disabled and sick or is it just so the Lawyers can make money? They turn down so many claims that the courts are back logged for years? Yes, they turn down more claims then they approve. It is almost like it is the procedure for SSDI. Deny all claims first. Then hopefully they will get better, quit trying, or die before they can make it to their hearing before the judge.

So what will my Senator say about this? What does the public say? I wonder what Obama would say. Maybe I should write to him too.

On the Website for the White House it says that:

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included a number of provisions of particular concern to people with disabilities.
The Act included $500 million to help the Social Security Administration reduce its backlog in processing disability applications.
The Act supplied $12.2 billion in funding to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA);
The Act also provided $87 billion to states to bolster their Medicaid programs during the downturn; and,
The Act provided over $500 million in funding for vocational rehabilitation services to help with job training, education and placement.

Where is the help I need? Why is it taking even longer? Is nobody using the money to get the back log down? Who got the money and when is it going to take affect? Where is the transparency?

By the way. There are lots of people that need unemployment and Welfare benefits and are entitled to it. I respect them and wish them the best in finding a new job and getting out of the Welfare rut when they are able and I am proud of them when they are able. That is what the benefits are for. But, there are people that take advantage of this departments as well as the SSDI. In fact, A LOT of people take advantage. I am not trying to say that all people on Welfare or unemployment are frauds. But, I do know a lot of them that are frauds, even ones that recieve disability. I do not want to offend anyone that deserves it, and I hope they can work with me to contact our Politicians and demand transparency and change so that innocent people like us do not have to suffer for others mistakes. We the people that need it and deserve it should be making sure that others are not stealing it from us.

At least make it an even playing field. It should NEVER be that people who are suffering with an illness should also have to suffer financially also. Make it more rigorous and take as much time for people to get Welfare or unemployment as it does for disabled people to get benefits. It all comes from the same pot, right? Yet for some reason, the sick and disabled are more able to wait and have to PROVE we are entitled. Even then, they still poke you and tell you to touch your toes and say, "Nah, I think you can work" And if it is proven you did not deserve it or were fraudulent, you have to pay it back, for instance: When they spot people going sky diving, or surfing when they have a bad back, they are charged and fined and have to repay the benefits. It seems the fraudulent folks get benefits faster then people that are diagnosed with cancer or MS! How is it that someone who has a bad back, which I had surgery on mine, was able to get benefits without going to a hearing? They did not even require a hearing! I have all kinds of documentation regarding my back and surgery. But, the SSDI doctor did not even care to look at it. I could touch my toes. I guess I am not that bad.

Lets make sure our government changes this system that is nothing but a defective process in getting help to those that need it so badly.

Wish me luck as I have been getting worse with each month that passes. I only want to provide for my family like I use to so we can make sure my son can stay in College, or so we can afford my medical supplies and pay for the things we need to fix such as our defective roof and cars that need maintenance. Then maybe even take some time to visit our children, maybe go on a date with my husband or afford the food without having to go without the medications and treatments I need so we can afford food or money to send to our son. You have seen the videos and know how hard he has worked and how talented he is. You know he deserves to have a chance to go for his dreams! We did everything responsibly, just like people who served our country and worked all their lives to retire and deserve to live out the rest of their lives in comfort without having to loose everything because they fall ill and their benefits they paid into for 50 years don't come close to helping them survive the medical costs, or medicine that is more expensive then anywhere else in the world.

To not be able to work like I have all my live and support my family and myself leaves me feeling inadequate as a useful human being, then to be denied benefits that I am entitled to that I worked so hard for almost my whole life and have to go to court to PROVE I deserve these benefits, is a huge slap in the face and leaves me with no confidence in our governmental processes that are suppose to be there to help people like me. I will write more later and find out where this money is actually going and if it is really helping people like me. I am on my soap box and will be ruffeling some feathers if I need to.

But, I have a feeling, that there will be no accountability or laying the foundation for a new era of responsibility and transparency in this area. They seem to want to pass out the benefits to line their own pockets, or use it for something completely different such as their own self serving reasons or programs and not for the people that deserve it or need it the most.


Kathy said...

You let them have it. It is a bogus system and I have personally seen how you have been affected by both the MS and the diabetes.

Michele said...


I did write to Obama to using the White House webiste

It is a good site to keep up with all that is going on and even contacting them via email, phone, snail mail etc.

Papa just reminded me I have been waiting 2 years and not one, and the lawyers are telling me it could still be another 2 years!!

It is ridiculous that people who are suffering physically cannot help themselves financially so they loose everything they have, or have to make their kids suffer because we can't afford their education.

Thanks Kathy. I know you see it and hear it every day almost. You have been a huge support for me and cannot thank you enough, even when I know you are suffering as well.

Love ya babe!

Michele said...

I thought if anyone would like the addresses of the Senator or Obama to help, this is where you could go to help support all of us that have to suffer through this bogus red tape and be treated like criminals before we get any help.

White house:

Senator Patty Murray:

Flood them with emails...your loved ones, family and friends that are suffering because of an illness deserve this.


Momnerd said...

Wow, completely unbelievable! I am aware of how messed up our government is but I had no idea what hoops had to be jumped through for disability. It breaks my heart and makes me so mad at the same time. I am going to write a letter too!