Sunday, December 1, 2013

Why You Only Get Four Days Notice When You are Poor and Disabled

Two days ago, I got a letter informing me that in four days I have an appointment with the agency from which I get subsidized rent, for the purpose of verifying I am still eligible, along with a list of about 2,000 documents they want me to bring. In four days.

Do you know why people with disabilities on low incomes only get four days notice for things like this? Because it is assumed that since you are disabled and poor, you have no life. Therefore they do not need to give you more than four days notice. Surely you have nothing to do between now and then but track down all those documents. If you do have other things to do, just don't do them because they can't be important things, anyway. The people at the agency, now, they are real people with real lives and important things to do, so you should be happy to be at their beck and call. But you are poor and disabled, so you have no life and nothing important to do, ever.

Yeah, I'm angry.  It's just disrespectful.  I don't like being treated that way and I don't like the fact that I really have no choice.


  1. Ugh that sucks and I'm sorry to hear that. I was on food stamps for a year when Adrienne was a baby and I was a student and I remember being treated like garbage by the case worker who did the intake. I can't stand dealing with government bureaucrats. They forget that they are paid by taxpayer money and they answer to us, not vice versa. It's wrong for them to deny basic humanity and dignity to people who receive public services. I wish I could say this is limited to public assistance benefits (although it shouldn't happen at all) but I've gotten the same callous, impersonal, unreasonable treatment getting my license renewed at the DMV and dealing with the worker assigned to my child support and paternity case for my kid. I'm sure you notice it because you feel they are doing this with a view that you are poor and disabled but I suspect it has a broader impact than that. I remember getting notices in the mail requiring action on short notice for child support and it's like the letters were back dated so it looks like I had longer notice and preparation time than I actually did. Whatever the government bureaucrats get their hands on, they screw up and treat the beneficiaries of the services like purposeless animals without human rights. I hate to see what will happen once Obamacare is implemented. It will only get worse.

    It's wrong for bureaucracies to treat people like they have nothing better to do than gather papers without adequate time and treat them with disrespect. I don't know what the solution is but I'm sorry this happened to you.

    1. I think it's because there is no competition. What are you going to do, go to some other food stamp or child support place? No, there are no others. You're stuck with the government. If they were a business that had to make money, they'd have to provide better customer service. But they essentially have a monopoly so they can treat people as badly as they want. If you don't like it, you can choose to do without their services, which would be fine with them because that would be less work for them. But who applies for food stamps if they don't really need them anyway? So you really have no choice. Child support enforcement is really terrible to deal with, I know.