So, last week I wrote about the faustian nightmare my family is navigating with regard to public aid. I was surprised at the response.
My mom, an educated and compassionate woman, was super pissed. Her immediate thought was that we should get an attorney, and fight the decision. I reminded her that I have a J.D., and that they sent the paperwork nearly 3 months later in order to deny us an appeal.
I asked her, “What do you think an attorney would do in this situation?” and the only real answer is to apply again on our behalf — only this time, we’d be paying someone hundreds of dollars to do the work that I did last time. It doesn’t guarantee that the system will operate as it should. It would just equip us with someone else to lobby on our behalf, assuming we could pay them to do so. (Inadequate financial position is an ouroboros.)
Another friend reached out and offered to buy us Thanksgiving dinner, which was extremely kind, but unnecessary. It also, oddly, made me feel painfully ashamed — like folks may have misinterpreted the point of my last post.
I am not begging for money. Full stop.
I am loudly declaring that I have noticed a specific pattern of corruption in the public aid process that needs to be addressed somehow. The complete lack of dated postmarks from these specific letters is suspicious to me. And when I spoke with my therapist this week, I found out that I’m not even her only client dealing with the exact same problem. (She can talk us through coping techniques for anxiety and depression, but a lack of medical coverage during a pandemic? It’s not pathological worry and sadness. It’s the only reasonable response to a traumatic situation.)
The fact is that we are applying for participation in the public welfare programs we have paid into our whole lives. I do not feel any shame in that. We deserve access to those services, and I don’t think that’s controversial or indicative of any sort of personal failing. The tools are supposed to be there for us… they’re just not being given.
I feel like a canary in a coal mine. Historically, state fuckery always starts with disabled folks. Abled folks need to recognize and address what’s happening before it starts to badly affect them too.
Right now, my family is okay. We have our needs met. What we don’t have is any kind of financial security if there’s a medical emergency. The health insurance we’re supposed to be able to access is inaccessible.
So, if you really want to know how you can help me and my family in the long run, here’s what you can do that will actually help: support universal healthcare and, if you have a hook up for a remote project manager position for Adam, hit me up.