This last summer, my family was presented with a medical catastrophe. My husband had a Stroke and suddenly, we were forced into an entirely new reality.
It was as if the Heavens had decided that I was getting too complacent and wanted to present me with a challenge that would force me to concentrate on an issue that would test my abilities to navigate bureaucracy in an entirely new manner. To start with, no one, in any agency, had any idea what steps I needed to take to make sure my husband was protected. The current coverage we had didn’t take care of what we needed when he was discharged. I made 40 (yup, actually kept track) phone calls, some to agencies three or four times, and could not get a straight answer or the information I needed to take care of business.
Enter Long-term Health care. I have dealt with the State Health Care system for far too long already (another discuss/opinion I will save you from) and now, it was the same malarkey but in an monstrous new way.
Of course I already knew I’d have to submit a lot of paperwork to show need but this time, I had no direction or idea on the struggle that lay ahead.
The Home Health agency finally sent a woman out to explain what I needed to do in November (5 months later) and things finally got going in the right direction. As I wrote, I’ve been through this mess numerous times before so I gathered all the items I knew they would ask for—if you have any sort of asset, be it life insurance, savings accounts, a house and/or a car that you own, a business that you started, be prepared to prove that you:
- No longer have it
- Transferred it to some distant cousin in the Cayman Islands
- Shut it down because it just wasn’t viable
- Are making a million dollars and really shouldn’t be asking for help from anyone
This is also known as: the FIVE YEAR LOOK BACK. WHAT???? Ok, I don’t know about your memory capacity but mine is only set-up for ME, not my family—i.e. things that happened to me, affected me, made me happy, made me sad, etc. etc. The operative term here is ‘me.’ As for my husband, for the last couple of years he was just a long for the ride so to speak. Now, every little project he started and messed with suddenly became a reason for the State to say, “SHOW US.” Sigh…
Needless to say, I gathered all the paperwork, trotted down to the city office, dropped it off with some poor minion at the Front Desk and she gave me a nice little receipt showing, not only the date but, also the time as if that were relevant in any case (they’re only open until 4:30 pm so who cares?!?!). Then the fun began.
I called the city office a week later and said, “I dropped off everything already so all the worker needs to do is review our paperwork and let me know when my husband will be eligible. Problem is, it took them a month to figure out they still needed more. They sent me a list of all of my husband’s prior activities (asset-wise) and said, “Please provide copies of these too.
Between bureaucracy and patience, I will attest that this has certainly been the greatest challenge I have faced. Every phone call I made went down the proverbial rabbit hole and if I ever hear, “let me know how you made out,” ever again, I promise you’ll witness a large Mushroom cloud…