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the reason i do what i do

so the last few weeks have been rough at work and i've been trying to stay positive but it's been hard. Some staff issues, and some work load issues...i felt myself draining of energy and will to go on..ok, not really, but it was hard. i'll give an example of the frustrations that i deal with on a regular basis..

so. i work with adults who have mental illness. and as one might figure, money is always an issue with people who have a disorder that makes it difficult to have a stable mood, or weed through auditory/visual hallucinations and try to hold on to a semblance of reality. some of these adults have families that help provide for them, some are receiving Social Security benefits due to their mental illness . Some are older, and some are younger and some are still applying for these benefits. But just as one might expect, the government doesn't want to give money away to any Joe Shmoe that claims they need it, especially if that person is a young twenty-something who 'looks' like they should be able to hold a job and might 'just be lazy'. and for most cases i don't disagree with that. we do work with some people that have been denied benefits for good reason. However, some of our most troubled members are young and can't focus enough to sit for 15 mintues without responding to constant internal stimuli. The government, however, wants to make sure that these younger applicants are truly 'sick' and in need of the monetary assistance, and often decline applicants just because they're young. the process of applying is long enough, then you put appealing the denial and possibly starting back from scratch and you end up feeling like the process will never end. what often happens also, is that because things take so long, staff forget about it, or sometimes don't get paperwork back in time, and their application will be closed and they have to start all over again anyways. SOOO Frustrating.

enter me: starting in July on a new team with a new caseload, including one of these young, mentally unhealthy adults who had applied for benefits and had been denied due to insufficient information ('our' fault) and had already reapplied. it was as good as, let's put this file on the shelf and forget about it. slowly, i'd get requests for more paperwork in the mail, one says he needs info from his current psychiatrist, then a few months later they say they need him to go see one of their psychiatrists, then later some medical information. sometimes it seems worthless to go on, and in the mean time, he's living on less than $50 a month out of our account fund, in an apartment that we have available for free through one grant, we got him glasses through another agency that gives opthomological appts and glasses for free, and with government food stamps that the state graciously approved to provide for him. the good thing is, if someone is approved, they will get retro-active pay from the date the application was filed...a small incentive to keep going and hope for the best!!

today, 9 months after i took over his case, and over a year since his application was filed, i got another letter. This letter states that they need him to go into the office for more information, but they need him because they need to know who his Representative Payee is going to be and where to...wait for it...SEND THE CHECK. OMG he got approved!!!!!

this is the reason i do what i do. not to get people money, but to provide opportunity for people and give them hope about their future. This will allow for him to improve his living situation. It will allow him to purchase new clothes and have a few items that are completely his own and that he can be proud of. It might just give him a reason to work on his recovery, to get better, and to improve his life. This is actually the second person we've gotten benefits for who was on their second or third application since i've been on the team, we have a few more, but i'm seriously so excited for this guy!! and the only credit i can take for this is making sure that paperwork was collected and sent in on time. i certainly didn't pay anyone off or convince anyone...except by providing appropriate psych and progress notes, and not letting things fall through the cracks, which really should be the way things run anyways...but overall, this is crazy exciting!

i worked really late came home and cleaned my apartment, instead of leaving work at 4:30, coming home and vegging on the couch...guess i got another boost to keep going just as much as he will:)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are... wait for it... :)... amazing. really. truly. thanks so much for all you do... from all of us:)
-yer sis

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I just second that-please!?!


11:35 AM  

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