I did the same song and dance that I’ve done with HHSC since 2014, whereupon for some reason the boys’ child support cases would be referred to the child support office for enforcement in spite of the fact that Monster’s child support order has had a good cause waiver on it since custody was finalized, barring the two weeks in which enforcement efforts were taken because of a screw-up that probably got someone fired, and the fact that I was literally never told that I could request one in Bub’s case until 2014, which would have completely bypassed a custody, support, and visitation order being drawn up to begin with. (More to the point with Bub’s child support case and everything else related to it: I was told that if I “didn’t comply”, we would lose some of the benefits that our household gets. I was never informed that I could have claimed good cause since the start, continue to get those benefits, and not have to cooperate once it was approved.)
However, when told that Bub’s good cause waiver “wasn’t approved” by the chief ombudsman (although I had originally been told by a representative that both waivers were approved and quickly got the impression that this was not something I was supposed to know, that HHSC and the child support office were merely choosing not to honor my youngest son’s good cause waiver in attempts to enforce the child support case of his that never should have been drawn up to begin with), I began leaving comments on their social media pages. I began talking about what was going on, which ultimately drew the attention of HHSC because I was frequently using phrases like “endangering my child” and “endangering my family”. I decided that it would be worth my while to lodge a daily complaint on the child support website against the chief ombudsman who insisted on leaving a potentially unsafe case open for active enforcement, then going so far as to send messages over the child support website stating that I was no longer comfortable with her involvement in my children’s cases. I sent a few more internal e-mails about… why this was even happening to individuals working for HHSC that had helped out when this had happened in the past. Along with filing a formal complaint with the HHSC Ombudsman every single day, I filed a complaint about Bub’s case on the Federal Child Support Agency’s website (or whatever the specific name of it is). The squeaky wheel was going to get the grease or a lot more people were going to know about this. And I contacted Legal Aid again.
I made it clear that if I was going to have to litigate over this, unless I couldn’t (I did STEM prior to the onset of disability, not law) that I wanted to be compensated in the form of all of the arrears on Bub’s child support case or the maximum that you can get from a civil case. Maybe assigning a dollar value to it helped out…
At any rate, imagine my surprise yesterday afternoon when I get a call from someone at the HHSC Ombudsman’s office stating that Bub’s good cause waiver was being upheld, that enforcement would immediately cease on the case, and that we had nothing more to worry about as it related to HHSC and the OAG potentially jeopardizing us. (Now all I have to do is actually get disability for myself someday, don’t I?)