My daughter is in the final stages–which sounds remarkably like death throes–of filling out paperwork for state agency assistance. She turned 18 in December and we’ve been working on these for a while now. She’s filled out papers for the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and for Medicaid, but there are somehow FOUR different agencies for which we are applying.
Frankly, we’ve lost track of all of the agencies to whom we are applying, who wants what and when they want it. One agency has told us that before they can process our application to *them*, we have to have applied for services through a *different* agency first. It’s possible we’ve already applied for that agency, but they need documentation.
Another agency sent two different sets of paperwork for her to complete. They arrived separately. They are–apparently–for two different types of assistance, though there was nothing included in the envelopes that indicates why we received either one, what they’re for, or what part of the agency they should be returned to. I’m tempted to put them both in the same envelope and let the agency sort it out. I suspect, however, such insolence would be rewarded with denial of services.
But my FAVORITE part of this whole process is that every single piece of mail we receive from all of these agencies has the EXACT SAME NAME in the return address. Every. Single. One. I’ve been trying to let my daughter manage this process herself–since she’s 18 now and will be doing it from this point forward–but it’s impossible to walk away when the mountain of papers that needs to be filled out grows weekly. Plus, it’s confusing enough for adults who know how to navigate the system, but leaving a kid to do this on her own is just cruel. So we’re trying our best to teach her as she goes along, but these agencies do not make it easy.
The attached video expresses beautifully the frustration of dealing with bureaucracy. Her battle is about immigration, but the same frustrations exist. About 3:30 into the video, the singer loses it. I’ve totally been there.
Meg Currell is trying to resist the tractor beam of state agency hell.