Singing Your Own Praises for Your Supper
While I still haven't been able to reach anyone or get my messages answered by this bloated and glacially slow bureaucracy, we got a sheaf of paperwork in the mail today. Apparently, the reason why they'd cut us off with two days' notice was because when we'd re-certified last month, they never sent us paperwork to fill out to enroll in a mandatory job search/training program.
Now, theoretically, I was also supposed to do this when I was on UI until April 2011. And that's fine. I'm all for people being given the chance to pick themselves up and that the social safety net for working age people should not foster, God help me for using this phrase, "a culture of dependency."
What I'm critical of is the fact that we'd gotten cut off from our one reliable lifeline, our EBT card, with little notice and no explanation because my incompetent case manager never sent us paperwork for a program we didn't even know existed much less one that was mandatory. We're paying the price for some low level bureaucrat's ineptitude and weren't given a fighting chance to hang on to our benefits.
This process could take weeks and is still subject to review. Under MA law, the first time you're rejected, you lose your SNAP benefits for three months. The 2nd time, six months. The 3rd time? A whole year. This could last for weeks or even months if they don't like what they see. Essentially, we have to provide evidence of job searches totaling 24 hours or so a month. The paperwork was photocopied with no back to fill out, Barb's first name misspelled and the "brochure" that looked as if it was mimeographed by Stevie Wonder. Seriously, these are the psychopaths I have to deal with on a regular basis.
About dozen and a half or so kind souls, mostly those making donations of $10-25, have responded to my plea for help but we're far from being out of the woods. Which is where wolves happen to live.
So, if you'd read the previous post and passed on helping while being able to, you might wish to reconsider this time because I'm plainly dealing with morons in a bureaucracy in which the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing.
(Note: A slightly expanded version of this can be found on Daily Kos.)