If somebody I know ever has to apply for any kind of benefits at anytime in the future I will tell them what I know about it, and then, without skipping a beat, I will warn them to 'RUN THE OTHER WAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!!'
There is nothing in life like filling out 2.5 years worth of paperwork and then being treated by the people 'in the know' as if you were some kind of an idiot.
My husband has been on a medical leave from his job since June, 2005, and he will not ever be allowed by his doctor to return to work. I have been up to my neck in paperwork ever since.
Filling out forms for doctors, hospitals, Social Security, the VA, taxes, schools (read: colleges), and insurance...and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
I have been trying to keep it together all this time, both for the sake of my own sanity and that of my family ~ I mean, if I lose it mentally, who can they depend on then, eh?!?
We have been waiting all this time for Social Security to decide that they will hear our case...and so, last week, we finally got our hearing in front of the judge. Without a moment's hesitation, the first thing he did was scold our lawyer for ten minutes on the importance of being on time with paperwork ~ paperwork which had been mailed to them over a week earlier, but which had not made it to the file yet.
And yet, when they had mailed a form to us to fill out and return 'within five days under penalty of THE LAW' ~ ~ and I had to call them to tell them that we received it four days after they had mailed it to us (and it even included a section that had to be filled out over the course of three days), I was the one at fault!
'What do you mean, it just got there!?! This is Thursday, we mailed it on Monday! How dare you not get your mail on time!'
'I'm sorry. It won't happen again.'
'Well, that's better! Just get it back to our office as soon as possible ~ you still have three weeks.'
I was told by our lawyer that I was to wait in the outside room while the hearing took place, and that the judge would summon me if he needed to talk to me...which he never did, thank the Almighty ...and after it was all over, they (my husband and the lawyer) came out of the hearing room both looking as if they'd been kicked in the stomach.
'Oh, don't worry ~ this judge is human, like you and me ~ he puts his pants on one leg at a time, no worries!'
'Well, then I won't worry ~ much.'
Well, after hearing my dearest explain all that went on in there, I have to say that this judge must be a different kind of human than I am...I do not scold people for things that are not their fault, I don't treat disabled vets as if they are dirt, and I certainly don't expect miracles from everyday people to fix things that are not under their control, like the workings of the Post Office or the Federal Government!!!
Contrary to what they may believe, this money which is handed out to millions every month from the Social Security coffers is money that they have been earning for all the years they have worked, even though I have been told that it comes from other sources...then why the weekly tax on my husband's paycheck for 35 years, hmm-mm-m???
He is legitimately disabled, and it is the fault of the Government. The VA had no problem admitting this ~ why are the rules for another branch of that same Government any different than that?
He will finally be able to collect that which is OWED to him by this same Government which put him in harm's way nearly 40 years ago. That is the least they can do!!!
And for myself, I will say, 'How dare you take so long?'