Saturday, April 25, 2009

Poor People Have a Lot of Paperwork

In the past few years I decided that disabled people have a lot of paperwork. This is an understatement. This year I have decided that poor people have a lot of paperwork. I'm really not sure which paperwork is more, partly because some of it overlaps (vocational rehab, CHIP or Medicaid applications). I guess with the disability paperwork I'm not as disabled as many and don't require home health care, don't have Medicaid yet, etc. Or maybe I am that disabled since I can often only sit up a few hours a day. Suddenly I feel as if I am writing a Margaret Atwood novel, setting down one sentence and then contradicting it. But: there's lots of paperwork.

The upside is the kids are on free school breakfasts and lunches. I worried how they'd handle going in the cafeteria in the morning(especially my son, who gets confused with changes in routine, since my daughter had to veer off to choir practice) the first day and not knowing whom to go sit with. It can be uncomfortable near the end of the school year when everyone has their groups they normally sit with. But they do know friends who have been on the program and have sat with them. My son doesn't remember who he sat with on the first day, only that he likes the person.

My daughter has been accepted to the week-long Girl Scout camp she prefers and for free except the application fee and money for snacks/drinks. We bought a swimsuit a size larger last year for a couple of dollars, and I hope it fits her. I think that's about all she needs unless she outgrows her jeans. Thank goodness for these scholarship programs.

I've been worrying about how we'd afford my daughter moving to a full-size violin this year (our son will inherit her 3/4), and it just occurred to me today they finance instruments or rentals for families who can't otherwise afford them.

The insurance company is illegally forcing us and other families to pay the entire premium, $1250 per month, rather than the 1/3 we owe (government picks up 2/3). I don't even know who to complain to, but I can definitely say that's an extra $1600 (two months of premiums we've had to pay) we don't need out of the bank account right now, especially as we're still waiting on our sizeable tax refund. They said they'll reimburse us 30 days after the government pays them.

There's another camp I wish the kids could participate in through the school, but I don't think there's financial aid. I should call and see.

The appointment with the vocational rehab counselor went well. It seems that she'll be very helpful. Yesterday was a lengthy intake appointment only, so no services yet. Apparently they can probably can help with educational expenses (yay!) including a medical transcription course, which is an ideal occupation for me for a while (I type 90 words per minute). My sister says I can quickly work my way up to being a medical proofreader, which pays more. There are some part-time jobs I wouldn't mind applying for in the meantime, only everything feels so contingent on what my husband does and whether he gets work. If I *knew* what he would be doing and how much he'd be making, that would influence my decision makign greatly, as I would be choosing to greatly stress my body and health for some kinds of jobs that would pay more, though that's contingent on an interview and a lack of disablism.

Aside: it's not nice for kid 1 to yell, "I WON!" when her mother's sleeping. Game of Risk. That was the board game. But I'd say winning like that incurs another risk, aggravating the mama.

No comments: