Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A new BBC piece and I am refused even a collar

I am back blogging for the BBC’s disability section Ouch; I just put up a prose piece entitled Wheelchair. I hope you enjoy it (since I worked long enough on it - like weeks).

I had my interview over the phone this morning for whether I would be ALLOWED to apply for disability status and did not pass the requirements for Welfare because Linda and I make more than $1000-$1500 a month combined. I misunderstood originally and said, “Do we spend over $1000 on medical costs a month, no problem!” Oh, you meant total earnings? Yeah, we aren’t $10,000 below the poverty line yet so, it turns out that I cannot be a person with a disability.

They did say that because of my exceptional costs and my rapid progression, they would ask their supervisor if I could be referred to the medical exception interview (which would either pay for some medical equipment or reduce my prescription costs, I’m not sure which). I haven’t heard back from them. So maybe the supervisor didn’t approve it. They did not find it funny when I asked them if they would at least send me a collar and leash, with a tag: Elizabeth: if found please return to owner Linda. Of course they wouldn’t, I am sure they are all about preserving human dignity.

Many other things happened today but because of an incoming heavy brain fog, I can’t remember what they were, which is really too bad because most of them occurred on the phone and I didn’t write down any notes that I can find. Our “case manager” did call Linda to give her a fax number where she could forward medical information to be considered by her, the case manager, to refer to the VIHA nursing assessment which will determine what to tell the home care company. I called my GP to find out if the “case manager” had called him to return any of his phone calls (in his desire to give her this very information). No. Nor does it appear that she has yet approved me to have a shower (with assistance). I have had many hours of erratic heart beats and spent much time staring at things.

This it seems, is my day.

11 comments:

Hermes said...

Great piece on the BBC site. Recovering from a Stroke I was in a wheelchair for months until intensive physio managed to make my legs work again. But your views seemed so right. Benefits seem a bit easier to obtain and comprehensive here in the UK - thank goodness.

Gaina said...

I like that piece too - if it was myspace I'd give it Kudos.

I wish I'd seen the woman's face when you asked about the collar and lead - what a hoot!

I'm luckier than you because although the benefits like income support and incapacity benefit take your earnings into account, we also have Disability Living Allowance, based on how disabled you are,not your earnings. There are also two parts to this - personal care and mobility - with higher, middle and lower rates for both which helps people who can generally look after their own personal care but need help to get around (my DLA pays for my car).

alphabitch said...

Excellent piece on the BBC site.

I can sort of see the practical wisdom of not letting just anybody decide that they are disabled & entitled to benefits, but I somehow don't think they need quite so much Kafka in the procedures.

Anonymous said...

Good grief, what do they expect people with disabilities to live off of? Invisible income, maybe. Your med. costs are as much as your income, but that doesn't qualify? Hope you get the exception.

Veralidaine said...

Sheesh! Well, maybe you'll soon win a big belt boxing, and you can have 'property of Linda' engraved on the buckle ;) Nice Ouch piece, too.

cheryl g. said...

I really liked the OUCH piece - beautifully written.

I know I shouldn't try to apply logic to the actions off bureaucracy but - why should you have to be qualified for welfare in order to be considered for disability status? That makes no sense at all. Not all disabled people have incomes below the poverty line but that makes them no less disabled.

Ridiculous...

zara said...

Indeed, your piece on Ouch! was an excellent depiction of all the misconceptions associated to the infamous wheelchair.

As for this business with "farewell", I am sorry to learn of the outcome but not surprised. Any excuse to not spend money, even on those who need it. But I agree that at the very least, your medical and disability-related expenses should be covered. This has been a long-standing demand from numerous disability organisations, that revenue not be accountable with regards to these costs, regardless of family or marital status. Unfortunately, in Canada anyway, this issue remains largely unanswered :(

Ms. Pet said...

You need to get yourself an Advocat. In case you aren't aware, there's a pretty general "unwritten" policy to deny disability benefits the first time around to just about everyone.

If you can at least get on medical that will cover your meds, or most of them. That should make things easier a bit. But seriously, that's how the game is played here in BC. Even if you financially qualified like me, you'd still be denied first time around. It's like the insurance business, they know alot of people don't have the time, energy, strength or knowledge to refile or protest, and they count on this. *hugs* BC Coalition for People with Disabilities has Advocats although, I'm not sure if they have an office out your way. They could probably connect you up however. *hugs*

lilwatchergirl said...

I second the comment about advocates. I was refused the right level of disability benefits for months until I appealled with the help of my advocate and was given the highest possible rates. Although it is clearly a bit less difficult to get disability benefits in this country than than in Canada or the US, it's still tricky, and there's still a 'refuse first time' policy. Which makes me angry, because so many people think 'officials know best - I must not be entitled' or don't have the energy/resources to fight for what they deserve. It's the most deserving people who often don't get what they should.

Great piece at the BBC. I've been trying to write something similar at Through Myself for ages. I can't put my experience into words that a non-physically-impaired person will relate to, though. Must work on it.

Marla said...

Awesome on the BBC site! Very good! You should be proud. I hope you get the exception for disability. The income thing never makes sense to me. That is why we are denied too.

em said...

I'm back and I'm still in one piece. It is good to read you, even if what I read makes me worry about you guys.

Your collar statement was great. Right in their face, I say.