My brother had a son named Frank who is mentally retarded, and when Brother died last December I sort of “inherited” Frank.
Now Frank is on some form of SSI and gets a check every month. The cost of the home where he lives, and the cost of his medicines, slightly exceed the amount of his government check. But as the Jamaicans would say: Wha fe do! He's my blood.
When Brother died I became Frank’s Representative Payee, responsible for the custodianship of his gubmint check. Boy was I in for a real education in the workings of the imperial federal gubmint!
The first thing I discovered was that the old bank account with my brother’s name on it would NOT be merely transferred over to me. That account had to be CLOSED and the bank was directed to send those funds BACK to Social Security! So the first thing that I had to deal with was moving Frank from his home in Baldwin County GA to an assisted living facility here in NE Florida on my own nickel with no clear indications from Nanny that they would even give Frank his funds back! I won’t reveal the precise amount of funds stolen by Leviathan, but it was solidly in the five digit range.
Recovering those funds took two letters to my congressman (who did NOTHING), two letters to my Senator (who did nothing) and no less than five letters to SSA and dozens and dozens of ugly phone calls. One of those calls included being harangued by some woman at SSA with an almost indecipherable accent who told me that the funds weren’t Frank’s anyway… and maybe he would get them back and maybe he wouldn’t!
You cannot imagine the evil thoughts that ruled my mind when that tax-sucking leech told me that my retarded nephew might just be out all that money!
Long story made somewhat short: It took 115 days to recover the funds that the feds stole from Frank’s accounts.
Now the current outrage is that apparently a Representative Payee must annually report to Nanny how the funds were spent on behalf of their charge. All year long I have been getting forwarded letters from SSA in Milledgeville GA addressed to my dead brother, demanding that he make an accounting for 2009’s funds. And I have sent at least two letters back to that same SSA office telling them that Frank’s father lies at the bottom of a six-foot deep hole. Now note: James’s death was duly and timely reported to SSA by the funeral home at the time of his demise. This should be routine and brain-dead simple, for both cavemen AND gubmint employees!
Yesterday I get a letter saying that Frank’s check will be discontinued within ten days if they do not receive an accounting of Frank’s funds for the 2009 year. My brother was a very secretive soul and I couldn’t make such an accounting of his son’s monies if my life depended on it!
Naturally I get on the phone and call the Bozos at SSA to try and resolve this.
First I encounter the problem that the phone extension they list on the letter doesn’t work. So after half a dozen tries I finally get a human being (sic) on the line and begin to lay out the problem.
Oh but FIRST we must establish my identity.
“What’s Franks’ social security number?”
“What’s your social security number?”
“What’s his DOB?” then “What’s your DOB?”
“What’s your mother’s maiden name?”
“What’s his mother’s maiden name?”
“What’s your address?” and “What’s HIS address?”
“What’s your place of birth?”
“What’s his place of birth?”
Ma’am!! Surely we’ve established by now that I am who I say I am!!!!
“I’m just doing my job sir” she replied sharply.
When the only question remaining unanswered was the name of my first childhood pet – we got down to the problem at hand.
After explaining the situation, and being put on hold for ten minutes, the SSA drone returned to the line and said she had fixed the problem and I would receive no more letters demanding an accounting for 2009. But she did admonish me to be prepared to make an accounting for 2010.
How can she claim to have "fixed the problem"? Washington still exists doesn't it!
Is anyone willing to wager that I won’t get another demand letter for 2009’s accounting of funds? Frankly I’ll be surprised if Frank’s check comes in next month. That was just TOO easy.