Sorry, for the strong title. But I want it to catch the attention of whoever agrees with it.
Yesterday, I met with the Congressman. To prep, I spent five days sequestered at my desk pouring through documents, practicing possible questions, researching and putting together a binder that had a three-page, 1,000-word summation of events; letters from the LTD; social security info on us, correspondence, the policy, cases and a miscellaneous notes page.
Upon arrival, I met up with our Rabbi who came both to offer support and had a professional connection with the Congressman as well. <wink!> He and I continued to practice the debate until the meeting.
“Okay, Mrs. George. The Congressman will see you now.” (Heart don’t pound on me now!)
For 45 minutes (only 30 were scheduled), we discussed back and forth all that hubby and I had gone through with this LTD issue, the resulting situations and how we could get around it. During that time, every point that came up I was able to locate supporting document in my binder. At one point the Rabbi and I even took turns finishing sentences for each other.
The Congressman….I felt sorry for him. He had started the meeting with acknowledging that my/our experience with an LTD was not one he ever expected to encounter should he ever have to use his. And I understood he got his policy for the same reason we got ours…for that rainy day we hope never comes.
At the end of the meeting here is the bottom line:
The Congressman clearly understood that I’ve never had anyone in the (possible…) 100 or so contacts I reached out to for assistance sit down and actually listen to the problem, acknowledge its immorality and see if there was a way to fix the problem. He is also going to reach out to the state insurance commissioner and see what can be gleaned.
In the meantime, as the issue is over a contract that is not regulated by a federal agency and there may be no quick fix, we have to come up with another alternative. Here is where I need your help!
- My husband is disabled. He has SSDI and an LTD.
- Both myself and my daughter are healthy and get Social Security benefits (not income).
- The LTD is claiming that “ALL” funding coming into the home is considered to be my husband’s and thus that can offset the amount he gets from LTD.
- So my daughter and I are forbidden from bringing any funding, income, etc…into the home or we will be penalized.
Here’s another way to look at it:
Effectively immediately, now that your spouse is disabled…no more money can come into your family.
The only possible way around this (we think!) is for–on paper–my husband and I to divorce, daughter and I move out of the house and then have all the income go to the other address. (We still couldn’t stay in our own home because we don’t know if the LTD would come and videotape, document, etc…the events.) (Google it–it’s true!)
Here’s what I need from you, at the request of the Congressman I am working with:
We need any and all stories that have families with LTD’s in our situations, even if they’ve divorced or had to put their loved ones into a home unnecessarily. If you are not even sure if a story applies, send it on any way. I don’t know if anyone has ever documented this scenario, but part of the problem is that the commissioner’s office says they get this story all the time. If that’s the case, don’t they see anything wrong with this morally? Even if my husband is disabled both my daughter (when old enough) and I have the right to become working members of society. I don’t want to live off of the government. I don’t want to live in poverty because someone tells me that’s where I should live.
And (sorry Denise!!) Hell will freeze over before I divorce my husband of 26 years because the LTD doesn’t want us to progress in society!
Oh! How do I think the day went?? Change doesn’t come about unless discussion occurs. Not only was there a discussion yesterday, but the Congressman wants to see a change on my behalf: be it a correction or a law. At that moment I volunteered and told him, “Just tell me what you need and I’ll figure out a way to get it. This is a wrong situation and families across the US should not endure this. Just tell me what you need – I’m there!”
(PS. I also got a huge KUDOs from the Congressman for the binder (that I was working from) that I gave to him. He said it was the first time he’d ever seen anyone come into his office as well prepared for a concern as I was and the book was ‘beautiful’. “Keep going and don’t stop!’)
“Educate and Advocate”
“To fight for your beliefs, you must believe in your fights.
To succeed, you must get others to believe too.” – Laura George
AKA…The Roaring Mouse!