Thursday, October 09, 2008

Disability Canada: Federally determined worthless

Thank you for all your help and support regarding my post on memory, mood and brain damage.

Today I had a long and convoluted conversation for the government representative, a “higher authority” who said things like this for almost 90 minutes: "Whether you are completely immobile and unable to consistently breath much less work is irrelevant in determination of whether you met the compliance of the CPP code, which does not indicate that you have reached compliance of the Federal Revenue laws or other Federal determinations, and while I cannot say that you have or have not been medical adjudicated, there is no current agreement with the UK and if there was in the future it would be placed in the paper, but since that would occur after your 90 days where you are allowed to make an appeal, it would fall outside the limits of the law regarding CPP pension regulations."

Yeah, it was kinda of like having your brain as a sponge soaking in vinegar. So I am in shock. I waited nine months to hear this.

After six months (and requesting additional medical materials) the Canadian Federal Government has determined that I am not disabled that I am ‘severely disabled’ and with a “prolonged” disability which means that I have such a level of disability that (from the letter I was sent) “your disability is likely to be long term AND of indefinite duration or (“or” bolded in the letter) is likely to result in death). Also that I do not have any independent means of support.

However, though I worked constantly in the UK until I went on disability there, and WAS determined to be severely disabled (for something else I talked about earlier in this blog), so have a continuity of payment into pension and social insurance in both countries.....

Of all the EU countries, the one Canada does not have an agreement with is the UK, so while I can prove I was contributing, and that I was paying my Canadian Taxes (because there IS an agreement regarding taxes), to the Canadian Pension Plan and Social Benefits on a National Level, they refuse to acknowledge this due to no agreement (the reality of what occurred is secondary to the acceptable paperwork of what occurred!).

(sorry, yeah, it's a guy, Yaoi again!)

If Canada and the UK do reach an agreement it will be listed in the newpaper, but there are no current negotiations.

I only have 90 days to appeal and if they reach an agreement after the 90 days which does include my UK contributions because I have already applied and been “determined ineligible” I cannot reapply.

I am a person who has no means of support, who is, after a careful examination of all medical documents determined BY a medical judicatory to be unable to support or even find income in my lifetime and have no current income or support.
And because I moved from the UK to Canada, I will not now or ever receive any assistance from Canada (the person suggest I think about moving back to the UK – which is what I guess people with severe disabilities and no income do, move internationally!).

So I am pondering how in pretty much anywhere in the world, from Mexico to Japan, from Germany to China, if you are a citizen of the country, and you are a resident of the country and you are determined by no fault of your own to be completely incapable of work due to disability, SOME small modicum of help is given by the government. While in Canada, we have to PAY the doctors to fill out sick notes and the forms (14 pages) to be examined by a medical judicatory. And how, though I have worked at many jobs all my life, am now, in a country, known for social safety net, which is quite happy and has no option, according to the paperwork but let me die, unless someone ELSE comes in to help me.

This has not made me very cheery.

I am a person who the state has determined cannot help themselves and dying but because of paperwork, will not be assisted in any way: I am a Canadian!


yanub said...

Maybe it's time to change the name of your blog. How's "Screw Canada" sound to you? Seriously, you would be at least as well off in the US if that is their attitude. At least here, we know how to raise money for medical bills.

What about Linda, and the fact that you are married to her, and that she is a Canadian paying into the Canadian system? Does that count for nothing?

Whatever the case, you are not the one that is worthless. Canada, on the other hand, is not looking so good.

Lisa Moon said...

I am soooo angry right now all I can manage is semi-intelligible, profuse swearing. Screw Canada, indeed.

Can we - and I mean all your awesome readers and my humble yet awesome few - start our own country??! It will be mind-bogglingly accessible, of course. I'd like to suggest a name: Disablopia©. Just a (2 am with not enough sleep the night before) thought.

Yeah, I'd pick something more 'positive'...

thea said...

Bloody hell! Er, do you want to look at being a refugee somewhere? I have been working with some refugee families here and they are cared for medically and socially. And mostly respectfully, although improvements are possible.

I am disgusted; and actually I thought one of the points of being part of the Commonwealth was exactly that, common (shared) resources at least to a nominal degree. I know New Zealand, for instance, also has arrangement with UK regarding pensions, work visas, all sorts of civic arrangements... but so not Canada?

I am sorry that you, and presumably others in some semblance of a similar situation, have to go through this travesty of human services denial.

OneSick said...

(as they say where I come from)

I am struck dumb! (Hands work OK though). This is just so wrong on so many levels. I thought the US was bad for ridiculous bureauocracy and red tape, but this takes the cake! It takes the entire fridge, actually, with the dishwasher and microwave thrown in for good measure. And a few spoons.

Can you appeal to any Powers that be in the UK? Hows about a disability rights advocacy group or ...I don't know ...a charity or SOMEONE who can take up you case?

Or...: How about a local news station?

Because this is unfair and just plain immoral and it needs to be fought and the red-tapers shamed, preferably in a very high-profile manner.

One Sick Mother

Anna said...

What????? I don't understand. Or comprehend those statements from governement. And I am supposed to be reasonably smart. What

Lene Andersen said...

Sigh. I don't get it - we're part of the Commonwealth, the Queen is our head of state, so what's the problem?

OK, so CPP won't help you. What about provincial-level disability payments? I can't see you not qualifying for those. Let me rephrase that: if you lived in Ontario, you'd likely qualify for ODSP (I think it stands for Ontario Disability Support Payments). I say likely because the amount you get may be affected by you living with your partner. Or you might have to call Linda a roommate, as they tend to believe that once you're hitched, your partner takes over financial responsibility. Stupid. But there's a possibility...

Abi said...

*Makes incoherent noises*

How is that even possible? It's not ethical or kind. They are supposed to make sure you don't starve, and stuff.

Yes, let's start a new country. Once we get going, our healthcare system will be the best in the world!

wendryn said...

This is completely unreasonable. This makes me angry. I could deal with starting out own country. The ones we live in seem to be run by complete idiots.

I'm pretty damn close to speechless, and that doesn't happen often.

I'm sorry, I can't say much today other than GRRR! which, I know, isn't actually helpful.

Hang in there. Something will work out.

Dawn Allenbach said...

Oh Canada, you great bunch of jackasses!

I'm with Lisa Moon -- let's start our own, perfectly accessible country.

cheryl g said...

Canada, an amazing country. If you can pay you are a welcome citizen. If you are poor or marginalized then please hurry up and die - you're making us look bad.

Does the above pretty much sum up the government philosophy? I have been researching on-line to try and find a loop hole.

Perpetual Beginner said...



Screw Canada sounds just about right. When you make SSI sound reasonable and caring, you're doing something very, very wrong.

Canada? Stop being so smug about your superior caring - it doesn't count if it includes superiorly ignoring those you don't want to care about.

rachelcreative said...

That, is utterly sh!t. Shocking.

Veralidaine said...

I third, fourth, fifth, whatever the "SCREW CANADA!"

This makes me so angry. What about going to the media with this? "Canadian citizen, Canadian Book Award winner, with three doctorates, who worked her hardest until she could not work anymore, is now terminally ill-- and the government won't give her a dime."

If it bleeds it leads, and I think you've bled from about every orifice as well as the checkbook so far, right?

thea said...

Actually that is a good point. You are presumably still a subject of the Queen.

So write to the Queen!

Kathz said...

I've only just read this. I'm speechless.

thea said...

Nice intro line veralidaine, I would love to see this supporting Elizabeth's case.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Yanub: well, let's just say that I am not feeling the LOVE of Canada recently - they might LOVE paperwork but the fact I worked many jobs right until I was disabled and that is recorded doesn't matter (wasn't on the blue form in triplicate - almost a joke, not!)

Lisa: Yes, but aren't you going through the same run around with WCB and the provincial help as well - they interviewed me on the phone and won't even ALLOW me to apply for disability assistance becuase......I'm not already on welfare, when I AM on welfare, then I can come back. Huh?

Thea: Yes, maybe I can apply the US for refugee status, no, since they don't like HIV people going to the USA (not allowed in case they get sick) - probably won't work. What if I appeal Canada to be a medical refugee from an oppressive uncaring state....Canada?

One Sick: the joke used to be that Canada was TRYING to prove that the west can have MORE paperwork and odd rules than the Soviet Union but then they fell and now Canada is the number one country for onerous paperwork that makes no sense! Woo hoo! We're number one!

Anna: Don't worry, I thought I was smart too until the person on the phone told me in was MY responsiblity to know all the current exchange treaties Canada has will all member nations before I moved (wha?). I thought I did, I knew the tax and the student abroad and the other treaties, but missed the CPP treaty - darn it - seriously this is ludicrous, I am afraid I don't know the treaty Canada has with your country regarding dairy imports so I probably will be further penalized!

Lene: unfortunately BC sees "Disability" as "doesn't really want to work" and thus tries to lower the amount and make it impossible to claim for benefits - actually Rick Hansen, is NOT counted as "disabled" in BC, becuase he can't meet the criteria.

Abi: Yes, let's start a new country - well I used to complain about the UK (except for the postal system) - but now, all those flagstones on wheelchairs aren't looking so bad.

Wendryn: Well, if it is any consolation, I seem to be getting the same treatment as many veterns and I haven't exactly sacrificed myself for Canada. But yeah, GRRRRR! for me and GRRRR! for disability injustice!

Dawn: Yeah, it is really messed up, becuase actually if I die, I can get medical treatment authorized that I can't while I am alive (becuase the death indicates the severity of the disease and thus the need for treatment) - "O Canada, we love catch 22!"

Cheryl: If you can find a loop hole let me know, I tried before and couldn't, and apparently that a Federal Service Agent told me I WAS qualified doesn't mean I was qualified, becuase that was overridden by the medical ajudicator. Wha?

Perpetual Beginner: Yes, I agree - and I paid into SSI for 8 years too! But I get nothing there either I think. The irritating thing is that Canada act SO smug becuase "we aren't Americans" - well in MY province, the last gay hate crime, the person got 6 years (3.5 with probation for killing). In Vancouver a serial killer, the most prolific serial killer in North AMerica HISTORY killed for 10 years before the police warned anyone becuase he was killing native america women and drug users. One of Vancouvers more famous "gay panic" murders had over 140 knife blows. In victoria they are knocking down the disability put up a unit for the homeless, which the disabled and then allowed to apply to. The Respite center I go to has a homeless housing unit above it, which means that the fire alarm goes off 5 times a day, until it was turned off - so there is a locked unit of caregiving (for dementia) without a working fire alarm. We have not much to be proud of, because we have shown that while americans can shoot each other we can stab, while americans may ignore vets they at LEAST have a federal mandate to hire them in federal jobs - our government has a requirement to hire minority groups like disabled and aboriginal but in the last five years has been eliminating the programs which give those groups access to jobs (like in the RCMP for example) - so yeah, as I told the woman on the phone, "I wish I lived somewhere else, where people gave a damn about each other, not Canada!).

I am feeling a wee reactive!

Rachelcreative: errr - can't disagree, don't even want to!

I have to go sleep, Linda says there is a surprise when I wake up!

Queen Slug said...

Absolutely mind boggling. What the fuck is wrong with Canada? Are they just that hateful?

Neil said...

Here's your loophole dear: You can't die until the paperwork is properly filled out.

I hope it's a good surprise; you deserve one.

We had to pay $800 today for health care for our cat. He has been diagnosed with diabetes and liver damage. We'll find out tomorrow (if he live the night) whether or not he might live another 7 or 8 years with twice-daily insulin shots. We may end up having him euthanized if his health won't allow him any life.

With that in mind, I hope you'll forgive me if I'm not here tomorrow.

Zen hugs,

Kate J said...

The whole situation re your benefits sounds like a bad joke. And we all know that Canada is not noted for its brilliant humour. Seriously, if anyone but you were telling me about this disability benefit Catch 22 then I wouldn't believe them. But I DO believe you, Beth, I do.
Like all your other friends, if there's anything I can do (write to the Queen, chain myself to a railing at the tax office...)you name it.
Love & peace.

Neil said...

Hey Kate j, I'm afraid I have to correct you (gently!!) on the Canadian sense of humour: We supplied Leslie Neilson, Jim Carrey, Bob & Doug McKenzie, John Candy, Dan Ackroyd, SCTV, Red Green (did that series make it to the States, or Britain, or outside Canada?), Michael J Fox, Mike Myers (Austin Powers), Wayne & Schuster, etc, ad nauseum. (Wait a minute; some of them aren't funny..)

Kate, your comedy comment obviously rubbed me the wrong way, but friends can have disagreements, can't we?

ON THE OTHER HAND, Canadian bureaucracy as a joke is in very poor taste. I've had a small sample of it, and I'm frustrated. Need to replace citizenship and Social Insurance cards. I need B to replace A, but if I don't have B, I just show A to get a replacement... Ohhh-kay. Ah, show us your birth certificate? It's hiding in the same lost envelope as A and B.

And our doctors do seem to have a strange sense of humour when it's time to treat people. An example from my Beloved: get sent to a specialist for a wart under a thumbnail; 4 weeks later, specialist looks and says "It's a wart, make an appointment on your way out;" then after another 6 weeks, specialist begins removing wart and says, "This would have come out more easily if you had come to me earlier." Beloved holds tongue, since she doesn't want to get arrested for playfully beating doctor to death with speculum, and sweetly says, "Would ten weeks ago have been early enough? That's when I was referred to you." Doctor carefully fails to hear her.

So in general, Kate, you're right. I just took minor offense at the comedy comment.

Yanub, I just glanced at your comment beside the one I'm writing and saw two words which my brain changed to "Canadian Plaything..." Of the medical system?

Love and hugs, especially to KateJ,