Thursday, July 16, 2009

$3.49 Part Two

Earlier this year my 90-year-old aunt (above with my niece and my daughter) received a notice saying that she was making $3.49 a year too much to qualify for home care services. This excess, by the way, was the result of a cost of living increase to her social security, which is mandated by law.

For upwards of $1,000, we engaged a lawyer to defend her case at a fair hearing with the state, at which it was decided that the state would just bill my aunt for the $3.49 and she could maintain services (which she desperately cannot do without). Now the state is asking for another hearing in her home, which is apparently the law when a person is homebound and the decision in the case is not "fully favorable" (as in, they're going to make her pay the $3.49 a year).

The eldercare lawyer advises me to write a letter saying that she will simply pay as directed, rather than have him prepare for another hearing on her behalf, at $400 an hour. He says he suspects the home care agency will not even bother to bill her. I did not say, because I was too tired right then to entertain it, that this is going to come up again next spring, when the next social security increase kicks in.

I find I am dragging my feet in writing the letter. I realize I am so incensed at the lunacy of the state, at the lack of common sense, that I'm having a passive aggressive response. I wish the lawyer would just write the letter for me but that would be another $400. The state sure keeps eldercare attorneys doing a thriving business!

In related news, my son seems to be moving towards a future in some area of health care. He went to his college orientation last week and selected his classes. He's carrying a fairly heavy load for his first semester, which makes me worry since he has to maintain a B+ average. But he says he's totally stoked about his courses, two in particular: Anatomy and Physiology and Emergency Care for the Health Professional. The latter teaches hands on, in-the-field emergency techniques like splinting, etc. My husband said, when he heard his program, "Does he realize he's heading more and more in the direction of medicine?" Shhhh.


  1. the system is insane! best of luck.....

    and best of luck to your son! more later....the family is clammering for food right now.

  2. thank you mouse. i am finally, as we speak, writing that letter. thanks so much for visiting and commenting. hope your family enjoys dinner.