Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Rant #1,317: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Yes, I voted yesterday, and I did exactly what I said I was going to do.

How many other people who voted can look themselves in the mirror and say, "You did what needed to be done."

I can do that, and I made my stand.

I wish others did the same.

Anyway, I have my own challenges to overcome today, which I have been trying to overcome for months.

My challenges involve my son.

No, he hasn't done anything wrong at all--he has done everything right, in fact.

However, government agencies have not done right by him at all.

As you know if you read this column regularly, he has a learning disability, ADD, and is out of school now.

After a long, arduous process, he gained Supplemental Security Income, which means that he also gets Medicaid.

The Medicaid part is key. It allows him to use various programs offered by organizations that deal with this type of thing, including programs that will hopefully put him to work.

He has gotten a couple of interviews on his own, but nothing has come of them. I think that when he is interviewed, employers see that he will need some help on the job, and they don't hire him.

Through programs that he can get through organizations and due to the fact that he has Medicaid, he can be provided with a job coach, who will see him through these jobs.

The problem is, he needs a Medicaid number, and that is really where everything happening now starts.

He has been approved for SSI/Medicaid for at least six weeks. We received the acceptance letter during the tail end of the summer.

Although he has already received at least one payment through SSI/Medicaid, he does not have his Medicaid number.

The payment came through his Social Security number, and without the Medicaid number, he cannot participate in any of these programs that he so sorely needs.

He has been turned down by various organizations because he does not have his number. He has been told to call back when he has it, but until he gets it, they cannot help him.

I am his official representative--no joke, I went through Hell to get that designation--so it is my job to see to it that he gets that number as soon as possible.

I have called Medicaid, they tell me to call Social Security. I call Social Security, they tell me to call Medicaid.

And calling these places is also a joke.

You can get entangled in their respective phone systems, and be on the phone waiting for an hour, only to be told to leave your name and number and they will get back to you.

And they never do.

I have persevered, and actually have gotten a few people on the phone to talk to.

Most are almost robotic, telling me what I already know and not helping me with solving this problem.

And yes, I have learned that what they say about most government workers is true. Many of them are mind numbing, don't listen to anything you have to say, just are pencil pushers, and I really wonder how we, the taxpayers, are paying people to do very little.

Anyway, through sheer luck, I was able to get the supervisor's number for Medicaid, and I have called her several times, faxed over some information that I was told to fax over, and still have not heard from this person.

The icing on the cake is that I called the other day, and I got a woman on the phone. I told her my mission, and this was how the phone call went.

"I can't do anything for you."

"Can't you transfer me over to Ms. xxx?"

"No, I can't, because the transfer button on my phone isn't working. It broke today. They use the cheapest parts here to save the county money. You can blame the county executive for that."

"Well then, can't you walk over and give Ms. xxx my message that I called again?"

"No, she is on the other side of the building, and I can't walk over there."

"Well then, what would you like me to do?"

I swear to you that this is not a fabrication, this actually happened.

Even amid this horror, I will persevere, and try again. And again if I have to.

This is your government at work, and as you can see, it does not work at all.

All the while, my son is at home, on his computer, just whiling away the time.

We have been told by various sources that it can take anywhere from six weeks to six months to get this number, and that is way too long a time to sit around and wait.

I have been told that my son can get a temporary number, so he can participate in these programs and get the ball rolling.

I feel I have reached a certain crossroads.

Do I continue to act professionally on the phone, and get nothing, or do I begin to get nasty, and that will lead me to the so-called promised land?

I just don't know.

In the past seven months of fighting for my son to get Medicaid, the only way that I have been able to get anything accomplished was to be nasty on the phone, only when necessary.

I actually reported someone who I dealt with to her supervisor in order to become my son's official representative. If I hadn't done this, I would never have gotten this designation.

Now, do I act this way again?

It seems to be the only way these people understand anything or will do anything for the public that they are supposed to be serving.

I will report back to you in due time about this, but hopefully, I won't have to resort to this method to get things done.


  1. The incumbent you voted against yesterday is probably your best bet for help in this matter. If you get nasty with the bureaucrats you won't see the number until 2016.

  2. Sorry, it was Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, who is smack dab in the middle of his term, and who I voted for when he ran the last time and who I will vote for when he runs again. So sorry, you are incorrect.

  3. Howard, I checked and I don't see anything from you. Please re-send, but make sure you have my correct email. Thanks.



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