I mentioned wanting to move out of Texas as soon as the chance availed us (which would quite likely be my dad, and only surviving parent,’s death as there are a lot of things that I do not want to inherit for a lot of reasons that I know I will have to refuse, or disinherit, as the only legal heir… but the political climate could get even more worse than it already is, so I mean, we shall see), and people are already being extremely helpful making that doable! As I mentioned a few posts back, I can only hope that there continue to be these same — or similarly minded — good people in the world, and that people continue to be as helpful as they have been. I’ll continue to mention it in here, as will I make the occasional errant post about it to keep people updated, particularly those who are being as helpful as they are. I would be writing more in here, but I had a seizure in my sleep that I’m guessing didn’t wake me up — not a major one, but none of them are minor — and it’s been fun recuperating from that. It usually takes me a few days to fully recuperate, but I manage to.
I put in everything that my family needs to renew our SNAP benefits at the start of… was it this month?
I’m pretty sure it was the start of this month. I know this song and dance well, because it’s taken my state’s HHSC longer and longer to renew our benefits the past… what, six years now? But now it’s getting to the point where they are ignoring my inquiries on their Facebook and Twitter pages, and they put more effort into sending me copied and pasted drivel when I file complaints with the HHSC ombudsman (which is ironically what I’ve been told to do in the past when it takes them longer and longer, or monumental stretches of time, to look at our benefits cases)… so they’re willing to put more effort into not doing their jobs than they are the simple process of renewing benefits where circumstances have not changed. I don’t understand them and I never will, but it makes me hate this state even more. Dealing with anything bureaucratic in this state, or anything that has to do with this state at all, has become more and more of a nightmare as the years have gone on, and it’s only gotten worse, not better. I guess these people want to paint their nails, play on their phones, or play on their computers all day instead of doing their actual jobs… and then the state benefits website has the gall to state that the state is trying to hire state workers to do these jobs. The workers that they already have hired don’t seem like they’re willing to do the jobs that they have. I’ll just contact my state’s Legal Aid if our benefits lapse for any reason, which I don’t want to have to do but will do if circumstances warrant it because being disabled (and having disabled family members) and advocating for benefits and services that one is entitled to is literally like a full-time job. I’m getting used to it.
Someone came into the child support office on a Saturday, or logged into their child support… whatever on a Saturday, to close both of the boys’ child support cases out because this has been happening since 2014 and should not be at risk of happening or actually happening each time we get our benefits renewed. The “chief ombudsman” of the child support office, Stephanie Neely, (job term used loosely, of course, because if her supervisor had to investigate her when she refused to close my youngest son’s case out at the beginning of the year in spite of repeated good cause waivers being approved until Legal Aid and the National Child Support Agency began to get involved and both HHSC and the OAG began to chicken out, she shouldn’t be in charge of anything and she should know that) e-mailed me to let me know that and apologized “for the stress that this may have put on me”. I shouldn’t have to beg for my children to remain safe while we access state benefits, especially because we take advantage of provisions that safely allow us to access state benefits. And as a matter of fact, as I have since perfectly made clear, I’m not going to beg. You’re going to do your job. If me making you do your job makes you more anxious to deal with me doing your job, you should have thought about that when you tried to make me beg for my youngest son’s safety in… what, December of last year? January of this year? You should have learned quick that the kind of hardball I’m willing to play to keep my children safe from harm isn’t the hardball that the state wants to play, and if that incites fear, again — maybe you should find a different job. As a matter of fact, I actually encourage you to do so. You should never have been put in a position that allowed your daily work to influence children’s lives.
I don’t mind if people come to fear me if it means that I make them do their jobs (or, even better, quit their jobs in some cases), and if it keeps my kids safe from harm, even better. My job as a parent is not to have you like me. My job as a parent is to be my children’s parent, and as it seems in this state, their protector.
When I found out that the boys’ child support cases were in the process of being opened by HHSC on Thursday (“with good cause claims upheld”, as I later found out), I filed complaints with the HHSC ombudsman, the child support office, and the National Child Support Agency… and I think it was that last one that managed to get my case attention on a Saturday. I didn’t go to all of the trouble of getting two good cause waivers, one for each of their child support cases, for the state to refuse to allow us to access benefits safely… and as for the reason that Bub’s child support case has a good cause waiver, it’s actually in my medical files even though I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here yet. At any rate, committing to filing those complaints daily until the state resolved this issue really seemed to do the trick, as I was e-mailed — by the “chief ombudsman”, who I had to unblock for purposes of this — letting me know that the cases were closed, the good cause claims were both upheld, and that everything should be back in non-enforcement sitting there by Monday. I should stop comparing my advocacy to Barret Wallace and Katniss Everdeen and just start calling myself a honey badger at this point, because I’m becoming less kind getting done what needs to get done… for the sake of my kids, but also myself. But especially for the sake of my kids. I should still be contacted by the HHSC Ombudsman on Monday, which I expect, because I want to talk about another issue that I’ve been having with the state — it’s the one that has to do with the state manual requiring (or “requiring”) something that is codified nowhere in Texas law because it does not exist in Texas law.
At any rate, I absolutely hate when this happens. It is significantly stressful.
But at least this time it has a good ending… this problem, anyway. I’ll take that. For now.