Monday, October 13, 2008

Bureaucracy At Its Finest

Having a terminal illness sure is interesting! I have had my first real journey into bureacracy with The Social Security Administration.

When a person works, part of the taxes out of their pay goes to their SSA Disability account. There is a formula the government uses to determine what you paid in, over what period of time, and what you would then be entitled to should you become disabled and unable to work. Sounds good, right? Let's just say that I have been very lucky to have connected with a case manager who cares and have actually met in person. The rest, horrible. I was denied disability and judged to be able to work in some fashion where I don't have to sit, stand, or walk for lengthy periods of time. I am, to say the least, irrate.

I immediately filed for a reconsideration, their word for an appeal. Frankly I wonder who the board is that reviews this stuff! My case worker had been so confident that I would be approved due to the "terminal" part of my illness. But alas, we are in holding pattern while we await a second decision.

As many of you know, I have not worked since I was first diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy in November 2007. So the family finances had already been hard-hit with breast cancer. Then we turned around and got hit with leukemia.

It is a very helpless feeling to know you paid in, to know that you are physically unable to work right now, yet be denied disability benefits. The stress of not having this go more smoothly has not helped either.

Let me repeat: I'm really pissed about this. I'm mad about what it is doing to me, my family, and to other people out there who genuinely need this help. It's actually kind of scary.

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