Two things that make me angry

September 17, 2013 at 10:00 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

One personal one not, seem to have converged under “Background check consequences.”

I have a good friend whose medical status caused her to have to resign  her last position ( due to a painful, ongoing  disability) without notice. She has another job, but it’s part time no benefits. I firmly believe that when she applied for more than 100 jobs over the spring and summer, the reason she did not get a single one of  them has to do with her credit score and her last employers admission that she is not eligible for rehire. (to protect themselves, of course they do not go into *why* ) Was she an extremely competent, well liked and award winning employee at her last job? Yes she was. But all that goes out the window because she committed the unpardonable sin of leaving without notice.

She’s living in one room in a rooming house. Has been for two years, and she cannot even use the kitchen there because it is one floor above her (thank God she’s on the same floor as the shower and laundry)  She needs health insurance and at present cannot get it, and may not even be able to get anything affordable on the exchanges because there will be no Medicaid expansion in this state. Her car has died because she hadn’t the funds to repair it. She has type two diabetes, and uses busses and walks with crutches. She has lost the padding on the bottom of her feet for some reason and is literally skin and bone with every step. She also has severe diabetic neuropathy with no way to afford the Lyrica that would ameliorate that portion of her chronic pain.

Her disability claim was denied (!) so she keeps working, with the chronic pain that is constant and also keeps her dealing with insomnia, not to mention that fall and winter are coming and they will make bus travel extremely dangerous for her. Essentially, the consequences of a correctly run background check for her mean no chance to get a real apartment, a full time job, or healthcare at this time. All for the crime of leaving a job without notice because she was dealing with painful ongoing impairment.

Then there’s Aaron Alexis, the shooter in DC.
The consequences of the background check run on him for his contracting firm by another contracting firm, (Source: The Rachel Maddow Show), is that no one found or acted upon his history of mental health problems…so not only did he get to keep a job he never should have had access to without managing his mental health…the end result has been the deaths in DC.

Screw up with [your personal] money and leave a job too quickly and you never get a decent job again, apparently.

Have a visible ongoing record of mental health issues that made you a danger to yourself and others?

Work on, dude. Work on.

That’s fucking wrong. I don’t know how it can be fixed but it’s fucking wrong.

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Fend for yourself

December 1, 2010 at 2:07 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Six hundred dollars…after paying 535.00 for health insurance and about 300 towards the rent, that’s all the roommate and former PCA has left…she’s asked three docs to fax info to a long-term disability company…it was a third party policy offered by  her former employer…the disability company has denied the claim…she’s lawyering up (towards the third party disability company, )and will be chatting with one relative this week…

In early September she had a job…and now…she has nothing.  The suddenness of this…is really jolt to the gut terrifying…we’re experiencing, for different reasons,(the worsening of our disabilities…) what people affected directly by the economic downturn went through, are going through…

I feel like she, and to a lesser extent myself…are being punished.  Really. Punished for trying to do what the rest of you do.  Fend for ourselves.

See, it started out as a project of mine.  I have this bad habit.  I’m cheerfully pushy with other disabled people when I meet them if I think they can do better than they’re doing…Her, and one other friend, were people I thought I could help navigate through the world of working. (this other friend isn’t speaking to me now…doesn’t say much for my track record, does it…)

My friend and former PCA figured out how to work at places with phones and benefits, in part because I showed her how to do it, ’cause I was doing it at that time.

And I worked out of college because I have an old old conversation with a family member relentlessly running through my head…back from my teenage years:

I was thanking the familymember for helping me out with something, I don’t remember what…and they said, “Oh don’t ascribe any noble motives to this. I want you out of the house and functioning by the time you’re 18.” There was nothing evil meant here.  Adults worry even about able young people, and with good cause, that if their relations don’t get self sufficient…they’ll still be there when they’re unemployed, married, and 36 years old.

The way my brain ‘translated,’ that over the years was, “You’ve got handle it yourself. You have to stay ‘out of the house and functioning.’ That’s what ‘they’ want no matter how hard it gets…this one conversation somehow became a line between success and failure as an individual.  And, for a good while I got a great deal of benefit from trying to hoe the exact same row as the able bodied.  But I was never able bodied, and looking back, should never have tried to spend decades acting as if I was until 2004…especially because I am the most lousy about money person you will ever know.  Intelligent, funny, charismatic…and hideously unable to keep money or food from seriously screwing with my life. I am stupid about money.   My roommate is also less than brilliant about money.

And that ‘act like the able,’ way of doing was what I tried to impart to the roommate.

And I’m wondering now if I did my roommate a terrible  disservice.  Because…

She worked for three months and two months, and a year or so and nine months and eighteen months, and then got the job she would have for ten years.

I may have helped her figure out how to handle working, after a long troubled time in her life…but she was the one who cheerfully and methodically learned the job, and became good, better and then the bloody best at it.  She became an informal source for answers for years for bosses, trainers, directors, accountants and even the occasional VP.  She became a part-time trainer herself…won awards, was made much of….

But during much of that time, preexisting and new impairments dogged her…they worsened and worsened slowly and new stuff showed up and interacted badly with the existing stuff, and then *life threatening stuff* showed up…FMLA was a job saver for her…after years of being fine with any reasonable accommodation….they wouldn’t move her desk close to the fax because “that’s where the temps sit.”  Suddenly this May she was  as “not a team player,”   WTF? W.T.FFFFFFF” By September, standing up from her desk and walking on crutches to the fax made her grit her teeth and cry….

She can barely stand unassisted.  She cannot walk unassisted. At night she cries due to  pain, that even restricted medications take two hours to shut down enough so she can sleep. I hear it from the other room and just get sad.  And because they take that long, she’s really too medicated to think clearly about what she has to do next until about 2:00 in the afternoon. No driving  on this stuff.  Hell no.

And by 1/1/2011, she may have no place to live.

And, at that same moment I may have to move back east (not a bad thing at all.), and temporarily move in with my parents (a living arrangement that, putting it carefully, will be fraught with difficulty and complications.) I am on a waiting list for five accessible buildings, and the wait is *not* the three to five years that is the norm, but about eighteen months at the most, from what I understand.

I was trying to hold out here till March, till the end of the lease…and there is some great help coming from my family for me…but the uncertainty of this makes me feel like I’m sitting here with my head in a vise, and I cannot even really imagine what *she* is feeling.

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Allie’s Letter (on the Virtual March for Health Care Reform)

February 24, 2010 at 1:42 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Not going to link back because if you want to get involved via fax, phone, blog, Facebook and Twitter all you have to do is Google it.

It’s one of the working persons with disabilities, a group I believe I stayed in for as long as I could..who says it best, so I am linking back to her story: Allie, you rock:

Every health insurance policy should be required to have to have a two
warnings:

1.  All benefits are subject to your ability to fight for them.

2.  All benefits are subject to our ability to get away with denying them.

And:

Please Mr. President, give disabled people a chance to remain as productive
as possible for as long as possible. Let us use our energy to stay employed
instead of fighting with health insurance companies.  Stop the insurance
companies from denying care to the most vulnerable people

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The perfect answer

August 7, 2009 at 8:50 PM (Uncategorized) (, , )

I have doubts as to whether I will work conventionally again…but I have figured out the perfect interview answer, since while employers cannot bring up our disabilities, we certainly can…. so if anyone else interviewing wants to use it go ahead… “What makes you think you can do this?” “Well, a guy in a wheelchair ran the country for twelve years, I think I can handle a desk job

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When Insurance Holds People Hostage…

May 10, 2009 at 11:40 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

What if dating people aren’t ready for marriage, one has good insurance and the other gets gravely ill…they have to consider marrying for that spouse to get help (eventually after the preexisting condition waiting period is over…)

How many people can’t do what they’re good at, but stay at a job that isn’t a good fit because that’s where the benefits come through?

What would happen if we had our own insurance and could work at something we were good at?

And single payor isn’t exempt from ‘hostage taking’ much as I support it.

Couples have had to divorce, so that one spouse’s income didn’t prevent the other from getting life saving hospital care under Medicaid.

(A close family member had to go through this, and chose not to divorce, thus leaving a huge debt behind…)

Potential or present illness should not hold people hostage…

But it does

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