It’s Just Getting Worse

I was going to write about the horrible “religious freedom” (anti-gay) laws being passed in Indiana and Oklahoma, and being proposed in Georgia, because I think it’s bigoted and unfair.

However, I am now way too upset to do that.

Every 6 months or so, I am required to recertify for the SNAP program (food stamps).  After receiving my new card in the mail, courtesy of the efforts of my new caseworker (so I wouldn’t have to go through the embarrassment of my card not working properly)….

Now I no longer have food stamps.

When I got my recertification in the mail in February, I called my caseworker and asked what info he needed me to send in.  He looked stuff over and told me I didn’t need to send anything but the signature sheets.  I asked if he was going to do the phone interview that they sometimes do, and he stated that no, he didn’t need to do that but would call if anything changed.

I then told him I didn’t see the return envelope in the packet.  He said he would send one.

When I went to get the mail the next day, I noticed the return envelope had fallen on the stairs.  So, happily I put my signature sheets in and put it out for collection.  As it was gone the next day I just assumed the post office had delivered it.

Food stamp day came and went – it was April 10.  I bought my groceries as usual.

I didn’t give any thought to the return envelope my caseworker said he would send that I didn’t receive…until yesterday.

Yesterday I got a return envelope in the mail, POSTMARKED IN FEBRUARY, from the Dept of Welfare.

“Oh well,” I thought, “no big deal, as I already sent the info in.”

Today I got a letter from the Dept. of Welfare dated APRIL 7, telling me that as of April 1 I was no longer eligible for food stamps.  And that I can appeal if I want.

The reason?  “You failed to provide the information we asked for.”

I went online to check my status.  My SNAP balance is $12 and my account is active.

It is too late in the day to call my caseworker.  I will try calling him tomorrow morning.

I don’t understand this, but I am upset.  I cannot afford to feed myself and pay my bills too, without food stamps.  And I had just gotten to the point where my budget covers my monthly expenses – just barely, but it does.  I don’t owe anything to anyone at this point.

I have been fairly ill for the past 2 weeks, with the fever having returned, along with the other symptoms.  I feel like shit and I am in no shape to fight the Dept of Welfare over this, but I have to.

I am really hoping it’s all some kind of clerical mistake.  If I could use my EBT card on April 10, how could it be that I lost my benefits as of April 1?

I really like my caseworker and I hope he can explain this to me.  And why was my return envelope, which was sent in February, just turning up in April??

I mean, I didn’t need it, as I had found the original one and mailed it back in February, but it makes me wonder.  Hmm.  The address was correct, so I know it wasn’t misdelivered.

It didn’t have any markings on it, except the bar codes that run along the bottom of the envelope my caseworker sent it in were blacked out.  Hmm.

I am the least paranoid person on the planet, I truly am.  But even I have to scratch my head and wonder what is going on here.

This incident comes on the heels of my interaction with the pain clinic personnel last week, which was not pleasant.

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2 thoughts on “It’s Just Getting Worse

  1. Victoria Post author

    After calling over there numerous times, I finally got ahold of my caseworker. He told me I did have my food stamps, and kept stating, “What’s really important is that you have them” when I repeatedly tried to find out what had happened. I wasn’t trying to accuse him of anything – in my mind, perhaps it was a US Mail problem and my next call was going to be to them.

    He finally told me that he had entered my information late, so the computer generated a rejection on April 1 (as that was the deadline). He went in and fixed it on April 9, one day before EBT credit is generated for April. Why he waited so long to get it done is anyone’s guess, but I am going to go with him being really busy and swamped with work. Except for the panic the letter caused when I got it, no harm no foul.

    As for the pain clinic, the PA decided to deny ever writing scripts for extra days when I went out of town. I had the pharmacy print out my records. so now I will spend some time this weekend seeing if I can find the “vacation scripts” she wrote when I went on my other trips. The script printout is not easy to read, and a cursory look at it yesterday revealed nothing. The PA looked up her scripts on her laptop while I was there, and couldn’t find them either. She is denying she ever wrote them. *shrugs* Just another ‘patient is nuts’ thing to deal with. It’s frustrating because I clearly remember her doing this. Sigh.

    Oh and I had to argue with the pharmacist in order to even get my printout. She kept stating she couldn’t give them to me because of HIPAA laws and would not listen to me until I hit my fist on the counter to get her to stop babbling and asked her to explain to me how HIPAA laws prevent a patient from getting her own records.

    “Oh, I thought you wanted YOUR HUSBAND’S records!” she stated. Further proving that some people just do not listen. Why she thought I said that is a mystery.

    I am transferring my prescriptions to RiteAid now. So even if I have to go out of town, there will be a RiteAid to fill my script if needed.

    A lot of aggravation yesterday, most of it completely unnecessary had people just done their jobs and/or listened to patients.

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