Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Working from home

Well, here I am "working from home" this morning waiting for the exterminator to come and massacre our ants again. They sure are feisty little buggers, those ants. The exterminator is quite effective when he comes for them, but every eight weeks or so they’re back! So here is my chance to post on our blog during the workday. In case you haven’t noticed, my job doesn’t really lend itself to spending much time on the blog or personal email during the work day. Actually, it is more that when I am at work I am usually completely engaged in whatever I am doing and trying to get it done (although many projects I work on seem to never quite get done). That is really a great thing about my job. It isn’t slow. It isn’t boring. It is one crazy challenge after another. Crazy challenge in that bureaucratic nightmare kind of way, that is.

Let me provide an example… we are trying to become rep payee for a particular client so that we will receive her Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and use it to pay her rent at the Community Residence Facility (CRF) where she lives – stick with me here, those are the only three acronyms I will use, I promise. Let’s call her Ms. X. Ms. X used to live in one CRF and the CRF operator was her payee. The CRF went out of business and Ms. X moved to a new CRF. That’s when we were asked to become the payee. When we first went to the Social Security Administration to apply to become payee, we did not have any documentation that proved that the old CRF closed and that they were not able or willing to continue as payee. Our application was put on hold. Eventually, the old CRF confirmed for Social Security that they would no longer be payee for Ms. X – however, some how this got translated in the Social Security computer system into “Ms. X is dead”. Once Social Security saw this, they returned our payee application to us—dead folks don’t need payees. If Social Security thinks you are dead (or half dead—oddly enough, it is only her SSI record that says she is dead, not her SSDI record), you must go to a Social Security Office with two forms of ID to prove that you are still alive. (I wonder if they take your pulse or something?) Ms. X has done this. Twice. However, she could go to Social Security ten times with five forms of ID and until someone actually changes the record in the computer she will continue to be dead. And as long as she is dead, we can’t become her payee. Meanwhile, Ms. X is being evicted from her new CRF because she cannot pay the rent. This means that she now needs to move for the second time in three months and there will be a third CRF operator clamoring for money. Let’s just hope that processing a second address change doesn’t crash the whole Social Security system or have some equally dire consequence.

So now you see exactly the type of exciting work that keeps me from blogging on a work day. Amazing, no? Guess you have to be me to really appreciate it. Can you appreciate this graphic?

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