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Friday, September 23, 2011

Out of rope

You've heard it all before. (Mostly right here at Too Much Aubrey.)
But I have reached the end of my rope this time, and I just have to write.

(not my image)

When I got home from work today at 2pm, it occurred to me that it's Friday again. This means Department of Workforce Services (DWS)  is only open for three more hours. I immediately logged in to mycase, the new online service they have where you can see your case info (so happy they finally did this!).

Here's what's happened this week (because I haven't actually updated this situation yet):

Monday I went way out of my way to acquire a car and fax the employment verification from at the DWS office. My fax confirmation page printed out and I left.

Tuesday I called DWS. Waited 45 minutes on hold just to be told "We have 14 days to process your paperwork. Check mycase until you see it updated. Thank you, have a nice day." I was pissed because I've already been without meds THE ENTIRE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER, but they said wait, so wait I did (again).

I checked mycase once every day this week, waiting for my status to change.
Never did. 

Today I got online to do one of those new-fangled IM chats with a DWS worker ("Paul," who is actually just a guy at a call center). (This time it only took 10 minutes for a worker to respond! That beats my previous record by 30 minutes!)

Here's the conversation I had with "Paul" this afternoon:
(Sorry, you'll need to read from the bottom up, that's how the chat window was formatted.)



You:
09/23/11 02:47:17 PM
No, I guess there isn't. Thank you for your time.
DWS Staff Paul:
09/23/11 02:46:42 PM
Is there anything else I can help you with today?
You:
09/23/11 02:45:07 PM
Ok.
You:
09/23/11 02:44:33 PM
Medicaid is the only way I can afford my medication, so if there's anything that can be done, I would really appreciate it.
DWS Staff Paul:
09/23/11 02:44:23 PM
you will need to call and choose option 2 in the eligibility menu
You:
09/23/11 02:43:50 PM
The last person I talked to said that they could call his work, since all they need is an employment verification... is that possible?? I'm sorry to be so pushy, I get suicidal when I'm not stabilized and I'm getting really anxious about enduring another weekend...
DWS Staff Paul:
09/23/11 02:42:08 PM
you will need to refax the inforamtion if you cant see in under the documents tab, and be sure your case number is on every page
You:
09/23/11 02:40:10 PM
I don't know, I guess it wasn't very smart of me to throw that away. :(
DWS Staff Paul:
09/23/11 02:39:38 PM
does the the fax confirmation page shwo that it went throgh ok
You:
09/23/11 02:39:30 PM
Is there any other way to verify Steven's employment with All West Communications? It's the only required document, and I need my meds so badly... if there's another option, I'd love to know it.
You:
09/23/11 02:38:14 PM
Does that mean it didn't work? I got a confirmation page from the fax machine at DWS, so I assumed it went through.
DWS Staff Paul:
09/23/11 02:37:34 PM
it doesnt show that it has been imaged
DWS Staff Paul:
09/23/11 02:36:09 PM
when did you fax the information
DWS Staff Paul:
09/23/11 02:35:39 PM
(I am writing my response to your question right now. While you are waiting for my response, I wanted to make you aware of our Paperless option. To go Paperless, you can actually review your documents online and get your forms immediately, instead of waiting for the mail to arrive. Please feel free to ask me about this exciting feature if you would like to know more!)
DWS Staff Paul:
09/23/11 02:35:35 PM
Your comment has been received; someone will be with you shortly.
You:
09/23/11 02:31:47 PM
I have sent the one required document that was requested in order to get my benefits re-instated, but mycase still shows that nothing has been received. I faxed the paper with my case number on it from a DWS office, so now I'm trying to figure out what went wrong. I am DESPERATE for my mood stabilizer medication, I can't wait through another weekend.



Ok, I am going to just ignore the part where "Paul" is more illiterate than most people I know, and I'll just go ahead and move on with the point.

I HAVE BEEN PLAYING THIS GAME WITH DWS FOR SO LONG!!! I'm so tired of being dropped, only to spend every free moment for a MONTH trying to fix it, and battling depression/anxiety/ADD in the meantime!

Now, I know I should be grateful for the services I receive most of the time. And I am
I am very grateful for what my family does receive. 

But I am TIRED of being ignored. I am tired of being taken lightly. I am tired of my family's well-being being placed in the hands of a VOICE on the other side of the PHONE who is specifically trained to NOT CARE about my circumstances.

So, I did what any decent member of my family would do and I wrote a letter. Why would the governor of Utah care about this? I have no idea. But THERE IS NO WHERE TO ADDRESS ISSUES within the system, so why not go to their "boss"?


Dear Governor Herbert,
I am a working wife and mother of three children, trying to make it in today's economy on minimum wage, but still I end up requiring the assistance of Medicaid and Food Stamps in order to provide enough food and medical care for my children. 
I'm writing to you because I don't know what else to do anymore. For more than a year now Workforce Services (DWS) has been occasionally dropping my medicaid and food stamps case without warning, and the process of recovering services takes several weeks to get through. At this point I am desperate for SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE (who actually has some influence) to know how difficult this is! 
Each time my family has been dropped, I have to quit my medication. I am a lifelong sufferer of depression and anxiety, and I require the help of medication in order to stay stable. I accept this about myself and take good care of myself in order to keep my family safe and be someone they can rely on, but every time I'm forced to quit my medication (because it costs $160 for a 30-day supply) because Medicaid no longer covers us, I become unstable to the point of suicidal thoughts (and one previous attempt). 
I am trying to work hard to get out of the system altogether, but as hard as my husband and I work, we just can't stay afloat. I am forced to use the government's form of insurance, which I appreciate receiving of course, but can't be counted on AT ALL. I am currently without medication and all DWS has to say about it is "fax us another document" (which requires driving in to their office during the same hours that I work). This means I have at LEAST one more week of being without my medication and without enough food for my family.
There has GOT to be something they can do for people like me?? I already feel like I'm not ok, but another week could set me over the edge. 
What do people like me do with a system that takes four weeks to process ANYTHING?? 
Signed,
Aubrey Ortega


Well, readers, I guess we'll see.

1 comment:

  1. FYI I never heard a single word in response to this. Not one.

    ReplyDelete

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