Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Clear!

Yesterday's MRI results came back: clear!  NO TUMOR!!  We will check again in three months.

We have an update on her Social Security case.  I posted the letter I sent to our local representatives earlier this month, detailing the trouble I have had getting her Supplemental Security Income (SSI) case approved.  SSI is federal payment to disabled persons, including permanently disabled children.  Scarlett qualifies, and we really needed the supplemental income to help cover expenses while I am not working.  After being denied twice, then being told it would be 6-8 months for our paperwork to be processed, I was done being Mrs. Nice Guy.  I wrote the letter to bring our local representatives attention to the ridiculous hoops that families like ours were bring made to jump through.

And it worked!  In less than a week, I had a call from Congressman Pete Stark's office, saying that they had received my letter and that our case would be handled by Senator Dianne Feinstein's office (since I wrote to both plus Senator Barbara Boxer, only one can take on a single case).  Less than TWO WEEKS later, I received a confirmation that her SSI had been approved!  I got the SSI confirmation before I even received the letter from Sen. Feinstein's office acknowledging their investigation.  As of December 1, Scarlett officially qualifies for SSI and we will get a very helpful check each month (until we have two steady incomes, when we will no longer financially qualify).

I wanted to share the progress on the issue, as well as how we handled it.  I feel very strongly that the "system" is set up to fail people who are not diligent and who push through the bureaucracy that blankets so many of these services.  It should not take months of reapplying (where, each and every time, I had to fill out 20+ pages of medical information, submit documentation and answer a slew of borderline-offensive questions) for a family in medical crisis to get the help they need.  I can only imagine the difficulty we would have encountered had we not spoken English, not been able to read the paperwork, or not had a reliable phone number to receive calls.

If you are ever faced with a situation where the government services are not doing what you need, I encourage you to reach out to your representatives (if you are in the US, of course).  It's their job, first and foremost, and it is something that they will give time to because a happy constituent means a possible vote for them.  This was not the first time I have written to them (they each got a pageful back when I got laid off, and most of them wrote back...though 20,000+ teachers and I still got laid off!).  Contact information is easy to find on the House of Representatives website, and tips on how to write this type of letter can be found here.

25 comments:

MC said...

2 great news in 1 day! Woot woot! So happy for you. Big hugs from PA

Tovi said...

So, so happy her MRI was clear! I had been sending good thoughts her way.

Rob said...

FANTASTIC on ALL accounts!!!!

tinkermouse said...

I can't imagine a better combination of wonderful news...I am SO happy for you guys.

sydnywde said...

Amazing news on both fronts!! So excited for the MRI results!! And glad to hear that the money will make just a little better! Woohoo!

Abby Rubin said...

YAYY!! super awesome news!! glad things are working out. hard work pays off especially when you write to the right people. ;) nice work.

Sarah said...

YAY!!!!

Jen D said...

OMG that is awesome. And again, kudos to you for taking that extra step and sending those letters.

jodi_96 said...

Wow!! I am celebrating and rejoicing with you for both pieces of good news!! Awesome!

V*P*A said...

So happy that the MRI is clear!

That does sound like a frustrating system and am glad your senator could help you with a work around so you could get the financial support you need!

Laura said...

I'm SO glad that Scarlett's MRI results came back clear!

Harlowe said...

Amazing news, I'm so happy for you all!

Robin said...

Praise God! I thought about Scarlett all day yesterday and the day before hoping you would come back with great news! God is Good! Congratulations on the SSI too! What a relief to know people do still care, and we can still voice or opinions and needs and have something done! You rock! Keep going, you're unstoppable!
Give Miss Scarlett a kiss from us!

Cheryl said...

Oh, I cannot agree with you more. The system fails each day. It is pathetic, I've seen it, grew up in it and have been heart broken by it many times. I am so happy you are strong enough to continue as most people would not. You go girl!!! Many blessings to your family and Miss Scarlett!

Kathi said...

This is amazing news!! What a beautiful and strong little girl you have. She must take after her momma!

Jennifer said...

Yay! I'm so happy I'm teary eyed.

I think you and your family are amazing and you're in my thoughts on a regular basis.

I am so glad that the SSI issue has been worked out and think it's wonderful that you wrote to your representatives -- that's what they're there for!

Jessica said...

I literally got chills when I read the first line of this post. I can't express how happy I am for your family. God has given you such an amazing gift! YAY!!

Heather said...

So glad to hear good news from the MRI!!!

T.J. said...

Fantastic news!

Mommy2CJ said...

WHAT AMAZING NEWS! So incredibly happy for you 3 on all accounts. Praise the Lord! What a relief for you! Enjoy your Christmas with JOY and THANKSGIVING in your hearts!

Shan said...

Amazing news on the tumor! I was thinking of your family the other day and hoping that this Thanksgiving was much better than last year's. Certainly looks like this Christmas will be!

I am not even a little surprised at the trouble you have had with Social Security. My dad's wife was labeled quadriplegic after a terrible car accident. Not just paralyzed, but she couldn't tolerate more than a 10 percent incline (slightly elevated head and upper body). SSDI initially declined her, too. Then put her case up for review between authorizing her and actually sending a payment. I think the organization values too highly the fact that they will pay retroactive to your application. Glad you found the help you needed to clear things up.

Heather said...

Please email me! I have a question about your blog! :) (I was sent here by Melissa from 'The Blind Ones'!

HeatherVonsj@gmail.com

Renaissance Woman said...

So awesome they finally got this going for you! Keep on fighting!

<3

Magnus said...

Two great news!!!
Also congratulation on going to a three month MRI schedule, it is showing great progress. Lily just started her 4 month MRI schedule and it feels great!

lovejoy_31 said...

Great news. I'm glad you guys got the help you so greatly needed.

SSDI is a great system with many failures. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that when people are denied with obvious serious health issues, then more than likely they were denied due to financial issues.