My benefits are being cut.

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    • #270215
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,033

      I just got a letter in the mail informing me that my SSI benefits are being cut from 783 to 522 per month.  I did a phone interview last month where I answered all of their questions.  I was told my benefits would not be cut.  So naturally I’m confused.

      The letter gives the explanation that 271 dollars is being “provided” for me in food or housing.  Problem is, I live in a one bedroom home with my fiance and I pay her 350 a month just in rent.  Another 100 goes into the car.

      My lawyer is about as useless as they come and does not respond at all to emails or phone calls – I have left several messages with his secretary over the last few months about a related issue.

      So, I’ve got to call the social security administration to try to figure this out.  It’s funny, when my SSI benefit went from the initial 500 something to 771, my food stamps were cut from 90 to 15.

      My girlfriend asked me how they expect anyone to live that way.  They dont.  The powers that be expect us to die – they hope that we will, so they can spend what little they spend on us on more military toys or tax breaks for the rich.

      If this cut sticks, I’m really going to have to figure something else out.  Anyone know how to build a guillotine?  If cuts are needed…

    • #270217
      Mr. Mickeys Mom
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 5,742

      I’m truly not surprised with what is going on, DtheG, but it’s heartbreaking to hear it from you.

      I look forward to the explanation from SS admin.

      Hell, no... I'm not giving up...

    • #270319
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,033

      I didn’t realize until just now that today is Presidents day, I think.  How fricking ironic is it that this day honors Presidents, considering that the one in office right now is attempting to get people like me killed.


      @mrmickeysmom

      I’m looking forward to the explanation, too.  Last night I was so angry I couldn’t sleep for hours, just lying in bed tossing and turning.  It isn’t just about the politicians and the wealthy elite looking to cull people like me, it is that millions of Americans agree with them.  In other Countries, poverty is enough of a reason for assistance.  For example, the welfare system in Canada, in most of Europe, in most developed Nations there is a safety net stronger than the one that exists in the richest Nation on earth.

      I’ll have to get ahold of someone tomorrow, but chances are I’ll have to file an appeal in writing without support – the lawyer who represented my case initially is unresponsive – and I cannot afford to hire one.  Depending on how the phone call goes tomorrow, I’ll probably write an email to my Senators, too.  Maybe I’ll get the full amount back – if I can’t, chances are I’ll have to return to living with my parents, or my fiancé and I will have to give up our car.  I guess we can survive that – but it is going to mean a lot of changes.

      I just don’t get how so many people can vote for someone like Trump, or Clinton, or any of the elitist jerks currently running for office.  The few good choices we have… one in particular, appears to be uniting the DNC, media and establishment against him.  It is going to come down to whether or not the overall populace supports Bernie enough – and even if we do – we will have to watch out for DNC fuckery at every turn.  That is my hope though – that Bernie can win and that through his Presidency people like me and the millions that are worse off will have a chance at even surviving.

      Anger, sadness, frustration, despair – experiencing something of an emotional roller coaster right now – but it is mostly anger.  It took me so much to get the disability approved, it took so much to get to a place where I was starting to feel secure.  Now it is like a new surprise hits me every other month or so, if it’s not the SSI its the food stamps they are cutting, if not that, they are eliminating my Medicaid because I didn’t receive a letter about a review.  So far I’ve been able to handle what’s being thrown at me, but this reduction of my income is… a fourth?  A third?  Enough to cost the car and its use.

      Basically, the government as it exists today is in the business of trying to trip up the poorest and most vulnerable of us in any way they can – to say that we don’t deserve to live.  That we do not matter.  I say we – but there are so many in even worse condition than I am, who have no help, no home, no one to turn to, no resources.  The pittance that is spent on disability in comparison to many other things… it is just a number to them, a statistic to the federal bean counters.

      I wish I was younger and stronger, I would earn some money, buy some land and build myself a farm, somehow, I’d grow my own food.  This… this “system of society” in which we live has lost all respect for life and justice.

    • #270336
      Mr. Mickeys Mom
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 5,742

      … until it comes to the fact that I’d have to earn a living as a respiratory therapist now versus when I started out in the 70’s… This is why getting out the vote for all ages and speaking truth to the lies of neoliberal talking points is going to be necessary every damned day.

      Oh, the U.S. Post Office is closed, so e-mailing is the way to go today, my friend.

      Hell, no... I'm not giving up...

    • #270892
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,033

      I got to go through the “press this number” process, put on hold for about half an hour and when I did get through to someone it was a young lady – probably an American, but one with such a thick accent (inner city Boston?  Brooklyn maybe?) that I could barely understand her.  She was obviously annoyed – and just as obviously had no authority to do anything at all to help me or explain what happened or why.  I explained that I do not receive any actual financial assistance from anyone else, but was told that the income of anyone I lived with was applicable.  Now according to my lawyer (past tense, the prick never returns a call), all the research I did, my experience with the whole case, my understand is that it goes by household income.  As I pay rent and my own share of the expenses, my understanding was that I qualify as being my own household.

      So, they’re sending me the forms for an appeal, which I’ll fill out and mail in in a few days.  In the meantime, I’m going to write to my Senators to ask what the hell is going on with the SSA and why they have their heads so far up their asses.  I mean – I won’t put it quite like that – and I know the answer – they are severely understaffed and underfunded.  I’m just pissed.

    • #270898
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,033

      Why is it that these administrations never have anyone available who actually has the authority to assist you?  No one could explain to me the specifics of why my benefits were cut, I was told “they count everything” – and when I asked for more of an explanation was told they didn’t have that information, but I could file an appeal.  How do I appeal when I have no clue what I am appealing or why?  Fucking hell, I know it’s not the fault of the SSA, but it seems that every time I have to talk to anyone about Medicaid or disability I am left with people who were trained only to answer phones and read scripted responses.  It is… ridiculous.  Now they want to do this “review” every six months where, apparently, they will use anything they can to cut or eliminate benefits.

      Doing it every year is overkill, doing it every six months is a waste of time and resources – it is a witch hunt to find abuse that occurs so rarely that it is bizarre.  Believe me, very, very few people would have the dedication to go through two years of paperwork, medical documentation, diagnosis and so on and so forth if all they wanted was to screw the system out of well under a grand a month.  Yet, it is assumed.  It is also determined by some unknown person/s the amount that, apparently, according to them, is enough to survive.

      They tell you SSI can’t be your only income – then they tell you you can’t have more then 2k in benefits to qualify, if you live with someone (which anyone on fucking SSI HAS TO) they try to use their income to cut you off, whether that person can afford to support you or not.  So, I don’t get it, I’ve been doing everything I was told to do, playing by all their rules – and they can just do whatever the fuck they want.  Maybe I’ll represent myself in court, I don’t know.  I really need a punching bag.

    • #270899
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 20,590

      Fax or email them if you can, in addition to snail mail. Remember you have ZERO income, whether you do or not. So long as it’s not on a tax return or a W-2 or W-4, they’ll never know if you don’t tell them. Make it easier for the SSA hearing officer to restore your benefits, and she probably will.

      Take it from a government employee. If the paperwork says you got nothing, and there’s nothing to contradict that, the easy thing to do is to approve your full benefits. Bureaucrats always follow the path of least resistance for themselves.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #270908
      rampart
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 586

      just adding moral support and solidarity with previous replies. good luck with appeal.

    • #270928
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,033

      @ohiobarbarian
      I did send an email to Senator Collins office, we’ll see how long it takes to get a response to that.

      Looking up how to email them – apparently there isn’t a way to email the SSA regarding this, at least none that I can find.  Maybe I’ll take a ride down to the nearest office this week, roads and weather permitting.  Might not do any good to show up in person – but there is nothing on paper or otherwise that shows I have any kind of income aside from SSI and 18 bucks a month in food stamps.  My fiancé has an income, but it is something like 25K a year – and we each pay our own expenses.

      • #270968
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 20,590

        At least, it is with food stamps. Strange but true. Just say that. Really. I’m not sure about Social Security, but I think it applies as well. I wouldn’t even tell them she’s your fiance’. Just say you pay her rent. As far as they’re concerned, she’s your landlord, nothing more.

        If you can’t get down there, try to get a hold of someone ahead of time and get their direct email address or fax number. Then use that technology. In person is always the best, though. Best of luck, my friend. @davidthegnome

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

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