Janet's Jargon

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Frustration beyond degree

To say that I am upset is grossly understating what I am feeling right now. My late husband served in the Korean War, proudly, on the front lines. He was, thankfully, not injured in service, but when he was disabled at the age of 64, he was able to draw a disability from both Social Security and the VA.
He passed away in January 2008. While I was able to draw on both his SS and his VA, the amount was cut in half. Now anybody with half a brain knows that two people can’t live as cheaply as one, nor can one live on half what two can live on. My rent, utilities, etc. went on as before. About the only thing that was reduced was clothing, food, his shaving gear, etc. However, I was grateful for what I received from both agencies.
For the entire time since he died up until Dec. last year, the amount SS charged for Medicare Part B was automatically deducted from my SS each month. Last Dec. when I applied for energy assistance in Marinette Co., WI, the case worker was surprised that I was being charged for the Medicare coverage. Due to my low income, she informed me, I should be eligible for a waiver so it would not be deducted. It was approved. However, a short time later I received a notice from the VA office in St. Paul MN that they were now going to reduce my monthly benefits in the same amount as the SS was adding.
I am a Christian woman. I have been a missionary all my life. It’s not often I feel like swearing, but this has me at the point where I am about ready to do so.
I just got off the phone with a man from the St. Paul VA office who was trying to explain why they were reducing my payments each month and that there was no way that the request for a waiver, based on hardship, would be approved. He said, “I understand how hard it is…” I said (pardon my French), “The hell you do! Could you live on $600 a month? I’d like to see you try it.” He said, “Well, there is nothing I can do about it.”

So, I am appealing to anybody that will listen here to see if you have any suggestions of how to get around this? Meanwhile, the cost of living goes up and my income goes back down. This is “the land of the free”? It sure doesn’t feel like Liberty to me right now.

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