July 26, 2010

Answers to Questions....

In my comment from the last post, Yo Yo Mama asked a few questions, and I wanted to address her very valid questions before I move on. She asked:

What's keeping "dad" from returning Kent to you since you're still the legal guardian, aren't you?

Kent going to live with his dad was voluntary on both parties parts, so to speak. I love Kent, but he is no longer welcome to reside in our home, and he knows that. We have actually never had legal guardianship of Kent, we were his parent just like any other parents. In November when he attacked me, he had just turned 18 and at the urging of the adult protective services worker, we looked into getting declared his guardians due to the situation. We were told by our attorney that it would take months to go through the process, and once a judge saw how intelligent Kent was, he would most likely not grant our petition. The judges look at whether the child is competent to care for themselves, and in Kent's case, he is able, he just doesn't. Keith and I decided in the end that if we pushed the issue that it would just cause more hate and discontent with Kent, not to mention the legal implications it could have had for us had he hurt himself or someone else.

Have you checked with Medicare? He should definitely qualified and should have ages ago. It can take 18 mos from the beginning of the application process but the sooner you start it, the sooner he can start receiving benefits.

Kent was on Medicaid from the time he was placed into foster care, and it continued in part after we adopted him, our insurance became his primary while Medicaid became secondary. We were told by Virginia DSS that Kent was eligible for medicaid until he was 21 under a federal special needs adoption law. They told us that no matter where we lived in the US after we adopted him, that state had to abide by the adopting state's Medicaid law, that was not true. Each state is required to offer Medicaid, but they do not have to cover the same things that another state would cover. They also have the option to set an age cut off for the minors receiving coverage. In Virginia special needs kids are covered until 21, in North Carolina, it is only until 18. So, under North Carolina state Medicaid law, the day Kent turned 18 he had to reapply and meet the state income guidelines for disability medicaid. The problem with that rule is that once Kent turned 18, North Carolina began to consider the federal grant that we get monthly (Adoption Subsidy) Kent's income. Under that law, Kent "made" above the dollar amount level to re-qualify for medicaid. The check comes to me, and gets put into my bank account to cover all of Kent's medical needs not covered by medicaid, which were numerous, and to help with his living expenses. Kent had no job, so other then that money, he had no income. I plead to the Social Security Administration to declare him disabled, but I got the same story from them. I literally asked the woman at the SSA office if I had to make my son homeless and penniless to get him the help that he needed, and she looked me right in my face and said, "It won't be the first time I have seen a parent have to do it, and I am sure it won't be the last." So, even though Kent is permanently paralyzed, as long as we got that subsidy for him, it was his income, and the government did not consider him disabled because of the money he made. Trust me when I tell you that I was in total freaking disbelief when all this came out because it is just the dumbest shit I have ever heard of.

I fought hard, even going back to Virgina because they have the option to take him back as a Medicaid recipient if the state we live in would no longer cover him, but they wouldn't do it. I even gave them the federal statutes that I found online that stated they were able to exercise that option, but in the end we lost. North Carolina cancelled his Medicaid, and he had to come home. Honestly the really stupid thing about the whole thing is that Kent was already 18 when they agreed to pay for him to go to the rehab hospital in the first place, by 3 flipping months, and they waited until April to tell us they were pulling him.

Since he is no longer living here, we rescinded our subsidy and cancelled him off our insurance, so he can get back on Medicaid and now qualify for SSDI.

I hope this kinda helps you guys understand what I have gone through with the government, it is really sad to know that they force people to make decisions based on crap like this, full well knowing that they are screwing up lives, but they don't really care. Honestly this is part of the reason that I tell people adopting from foster care to be VERY careful and not to take anything the workers tell you at face value. They may not mean to mislead you intentionally, sometimes, but they do, and frankly the more homework you do on your own the better off you are.

I cannot say whether it would have made any difference in where we are at today because the simple fact is that Kent didn't live up to his end of the agreement that we had, but I can't help that it is part of the reason that things turned out the way they did. He was not anywhere near ready to come home from the hospital, and I honestly believe that had he stayed there longer, I wouldn't be sitting here without him nursing a broken heart.


Stacie said...

That is just ridiculous. All of it. It makes me sad when things like this happen to people...then it just makes me super pissed off. There is no reason for this kind of crap. There just isn't.

I am so sorry that things turned out this way for you and your family. You certainly did all you could to try to help make things better. Plus, it is clear that you love Kent. I only wish he could see that, too.

Sending love.

Kristin said...

That is a truly f'd up situation. My family (when I was young) went through a totally screwed up, almost adoption so I know a little about what dealing with the government can be like. I am so sorry hon.

Anonymous said...

What a complete and total joke our government "aid" is! It's like they purposely make it difficult for you so you'll give up.

I am sorry things turned out like this. We all know you love Kent. I hope he realizes it one day.

My Reality said...

It is sad that the buck is just passed by agency after agency. The poor kid needs help, yet they don't see it necessary.

I hope your heart is healing a little and Kent can get some help.

Anonymous said...

I am living a simular situation in NJ... my son is only 14 so its not a SSI issue however I tried for SSI for my son who has an IQ of 50s, developmentally delayed, mentally ill and Autistic. We were denied because of his subsidy which is barely $700 a month. My son was admitted this week into a mental health hospital. He has split personanlities, sees people who talk to him and tell him what to do, hears voices, ect... but NO ONE will diagnosis him with a mental illness, they keep blowing it off as behavioral issues. Seriously? The kid cant sleep at night because 'his ghost, person, man' whomever is telling him to do bad things and that isn't consider mentally ill? GOTTA LOVE IT! I fight day in and night like Kents mom has and I get no where almost feeling like I AM THE MENTAL ONE.. its crazy. I love my son... I am working my butt off to get him the right help...right medications so he can function at home. NO he will never be what we consider normal but with the right helps and meds mentally ill people CAN function...its just getting the idiot doctors who do not live with these ill patients to help them!

Hugs to you my friend


Susan said...

Fuckity fuck fuck.

Andrea said...

just checking to see how you are doing?