Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New -- With Tornadic Activity!

We had some wild weather here in the 'Burgh this evening. It started out with just lots of lightening and thunder. Older Son and I sat out on the front porch and watched it. Then all the local emergency vehicles came screaming down our street and turned at our corner. Except for this big rig, which parked in front of our house for about 20 minutes. OS scampered up the street to see what was on fire (nothing this time -- but there was a fire up there somewhere yesterday) and came back to report that he thought it might be a downed tree or something and that it was really tight space-wise so he thought there just wasn't room for this truck. Eventually this and the other emergency vehicles all left. I was too shy to ask a fireman to hold a sock for me.

On a personal note I'm strangling in red tape. My dad was denied his VA benefit for Aid and Assistance (Geez, he can't feed himself, bathe himself, dress himself, or go to the bathroom unassisted. What do they think constitutes requiring Aid and Assistance??) The letter I got says that he has to be examined at the local Veteran's Affairs facility. Now, I had gotten a call from them a month ago (coincidentally on the day my dad fell and broke his hip) wanting to schedule an exam. I called them back and told them they could do any kind of exam they wanted, but they would have to come to him seeing as how he was in the hospital. They told me it wasn't necessary. Yesterday I got a letter saying that his request had been denied because the medical records didn't substantiate his claim (I'm also suspicious that either the doctor's office or the nursing facility he was in didn't send the records they said they did -- but the VA won't tell me what they have or don't have. Double ARRGH!). So I called them back. The conversation went like this:
Me: I got this letter denying my dad's claim, they say that he has to be examined at your facility.
VA Person: Yes, I see that we spoke on May 18th, and he broke his hip. You don't need to come in.
Me: You don't understand. I got this letter (reads letter) yesterday saying that his claim is denied unless it is substantiated by an exam from you.
VA Person: Well, he can make the claim based on the medical records...But wait, you're saying that the claim was denied with those...
Me: Yes. I need to know when the exam will be scheduled because I have to arrange a wheelchair transport and if the exam is going to require him to get out of the wheelchair you'll have to have someone there to get him in and out of it because I can't lift him.
VA Person: This sounds like it's a hardship...I don't think you need to come in.
Me (frantic): Well, if this is the only way to get this claim approved I'll get him there. I'll do whatever it takes.
VA Person: Well, I don't know what to do...I have to talk to my supervisor and get back to you.
ARRGH!! Needless to say she didn't call me back. I'm frantic. The expense of keeping him in the assisted living facility he's in is just over $1000 a month more than his monthly income. And guess who's on the hook for it all? The facility has been willing to wait for their money until his claim was processed, but what happens if it's denied? I feel like I was taken for a ride by the nursing facility who told me he "had" to go to an assisted living facility, and the director of the personal care home he's in, both of whom told me that there would be "no problem" with him getting this benefit. I can't take him out of the facility because as soon as he leaves that means he'll never get reimbursed for the money he's out so far. (It's taken almost 5 months to get to this point.)


Patricia said...

I'm sorry Laurie, pardom my French, but that just sucks! I would maybe try to call the state and talk to the governor's office:
Governor's Office
Paula Wilcox
Shelby Fennell
(717) 787-5330
Get them to do some dirty work for you!!! Rendel's staff should be able to call and inquire for you and hopefully straighten this mess out.

Celtic Queen said...

On the whole VA thing, they need someone to kick their @$$!!!

On the weather, well it is the 11 year anniversary of Tortado Tuesday.