We've had quite a lesson in economics and the disparity between the haves, and the have nots this week. This isn't a post about politics because really, those guys are all the same to me and in my mind, they're all in bed together. This is more a post about the bureaucratic nonsense I've been dealing with in trying to make this transition with my daughter.
At the beginning of this month, Rachel's social worker came to visit with an agenda for me to accomplish in the coming month, beginning with applying for food stamps for her. In Michigan, it's called a Bridge Card. Outside of social security disability, my daughter has no income and needs to buy food once she is living on her own. Line by line, we went through the 20 (or so) page application and filled out only the requested information with dinner plate icons at the top of the section. This indicates the need for food stamp assistance. We wrote in depth notes on the back of the application to explain her change in status from living with mom and dad, to assisted living. I was told to take the completed application to the Department of
Inhuman Services (DHS) and hand deliver it to a worker. Being the good girl that I am, and full of guilt that I'm even asking for precious resources for her at a time like this, I did what I was told. A lovely woman at the desk, in what appeared to be a war zone full of refugees, took my app and told me that this case would be expedited and my daughter should be getting $25 a week for food in no time. And I, all smug now, walked out and checked the task off my list.
Fast forward one week to today. There I am in my jammies with barely one sip of coffee consumed, when the DHS worker from hell called me. She bitched me up one side and down the other, made me feel extreme guilt for even asking for these services, and told me "she doesn't meet criteria for expedited services because she won't be living on her own until April 4th." In the meantime, I was expected to provide her food for her. Duh. I was berated for failing to get her a State of Michigan photo ID and that she'll get nothing until I provide that. Rather than scream back at her, I started to cry. I am so overwhelmed that this wretched woman was easily able to send me over the edge. Having nobody to really lash out at, I bit my husbands head off and made him go take care of this.
My husband, who is at his own end of the rope trying to cope with my insanity (and fears my tears more than my sharp tongue), gathered the necessary documents including guardianship papers, school documentation and her MiHealth card. He picked Rachel up from school and went to deal with Michigan Secretary of State for a state ID. The non-verbal child with an IQ of 25 was of no assistance in establishing her identification for the strangers. They just weren't sure we had enough documentation to prove who we said she was. A conundrum for yet more bureaucrats. Rachel was asked to sign her signature on her ID paper or she wouldn't be able to get an ID. Please. Don't they read this blog? The only thing she does with paper is eat it. After this, it was time for the photo op. They redid this four times because she couldn't understand the instructions to stand still. There was lots of this chiding with repetitive instructions like, "young lady, stand still". After what seemed like hours, my husband returned with a new appreciation for the asses I've been dealing with almost daily.
So you see, this is the real economics lesson I've learned this week: Let's see how many hoops we can make the average person jump through for $25 dollars a week (like anyone can eat well on about $3 a day), while the rich just keep taking, and taking, and taking their seemingly never-ending millions. Makes me ill.
Dear God-please give me the wisdom to deal with all of this red tape and the fools I encounter. I seem to need an extra dose of wisdom for knowing how to cope with mean people. While we're at it, a six pack of beer and tonight's winning lotto numbers would help too. Amen.