Posts Tagged ‘Fair Hearing’

I received a notice from Camp Medicaid late last week that my so-called “Fair Hearing” (filed 12/16/10) is scheduled for the afternoon of May 3, 2011. I cannot make it for various reasons, but also cannot get through on the phone number  the form directs me to call to request an adjournment to another day/time.

In the past, oh, seven months since I reapplied for Medicaid when the Roosevelt breast clinic refused to see me b/c my Medicaid lapsed, I have not been able to get a follow-up  breast exam or mammogram to make sure that everything from my breast biopsy is okay. This is the NYC public “assistance” at work, folks. The so-called social safety net.


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Rabbits Rabbits Rabbits, I hope 2011 brings good luck to all…

Meanwhile, over at Camp Medicaid, I received a notice in the mail yesterday evening screaming “THIS IS NOT A SCHEDULING NOTICE” letting me know my request for a fair hearing has been received and giving me a complimentary “CONFIRMATION OF AID STATUS”.  Medicaid CLAIMs two issues: 1) FAILURE TO VERIFY ANY FACTOR RELATING TO ELIGIBILITY and 2) FAILURE TO VERIFY ANY FACTOR RELATING TO ELIGIBILITY. Geniuses over there at the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, just brilliant!

Really they are total liars because as I’ve already mentioned, I show up with all requested documentation and was ready to provide more, if asked, but instead I was turned down because I didn’t give the Medicaid office materials they did not request. Again, people, geniuses. And, I also would like to point out that before I filed for a Fair Hearing, I also asked fora conciliation meeting–something far less expensive for the State of New York and likely to put an end to my case. Local, much easier to staff, but then they might actually have to award me Medicaid at the end of it. So rather than having to chance me getting Medicaid, they will convene a Fair Hearing that will drag on forever, tie up my time and use personnel and , eventually, lose anyhow because they are plain wrong.  The State of New York has a HUGE a bureaucracy to stall me for a very long time. I have behind me patience, the desire to prevail and not have to go off my much-needed meds). And, of course, justice for all…

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I showed up at 2 p.m. Friday for said “fair” hearing. The Administrative Las Judge was a really, really, REALLY smug guy in a pinstripe suit with gold jewelry who leaned WAY back in his chair the way smug male bullies do. He would not entertain my statement that the lack of response from the Bergen Street Food Stamp Center was a failure to give me my case record.  He sed I should have sent a letter. I told him they would have just thrown it in the garbage and he knows it! He smiled a smug authoritarian smile. Well, then let’s just proceed with this sham, I said.

There was a rep form Bergen Street there and she handed us both some papers. Seems I’ve been receiving food stamps and ostensibly public assistance all along from my original filing. I don’t know form Public Assistance, but why did Bergen Street say my case wuz closed if it wasn’t? HRA needs to get their shit together… WHAT A WASTE OF TIME on all accounts!!!

I voluntarily withdrew my case after making my point that HRA is utter bureaucratic resistance rather than public assistance. Another smug authoritarian smirk from the ALJ. The lady form Bergen Street just kept her head down.

I returned home to two letters in my mailbox from New York State. The first one was acknowledgement that they received my request for a fair hearing against HRA for closing my rental assistance case without notifying me. The other stating I MUST attend Mandatory Dispute Resolution on Wednesday to “resolve the issues regarding you requested Fair Hearing.” Pretty goddamn ironic that I will be meeting with the very same supervisor whom I have tried to make an appointment with for months. I called and called and even went down to the Linden Center to see her, Ms. Colletti, but reception told me didn’t have an appointment. I responded that I couldn’t get an appointment because she neither answers her phone nor returns messages. I had to file a Fair Hearing request to prove my point. This is your NYS/NYC tax dollars at work, folks!

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stone·wall // (stnwôl)

v. stone·walled, stone·wall·ing, stone·walls

1. Informal

a. To engage in delaying tactics; stall: “stonewalling for time in order to close the missile gap” (James Reston).
b. To refuse to answer or cooperate.
2. Sports To play defensively rather than trying to score in cricket.
v.tr. Informal

To refuse to answer or cooperate with; resist or rebuff: “I want you to stonewall it, let them plead the Fifth Amendment” (Richard M. Nixon).

>I’ve got a so-called Fair Hearing against the Forte Green Food Stamp Center tomorrow. That’s the joint that almost stole my x-mas by cutting off my food stamps just before the holidays. Well, I filed a request for a Fair Hearing , but it’s hardly fair to go before the same people who’ve made a  judgment against me.  And, I’ve been calling the Fort Greene Food Stamp Center (FS/20) for over two weeks since I got the notice that my hearing would be February 12th (tomorrow, Friday) to obtain the documents pertaining to my case. All to no avail. My voicemails go unanswered and when I do get a live person they are so eager to put me into a voice mailbox that is full or a number that rings to no one I haven’t been able to secure what I am they are legally bound to supply to me.

So, I have been assembling a recording of my the voicemails and messages I left, which I recorded cause I ain’t no dummy. Once a receptionist pretended to take a message for the supervisor, Ms. Cromwell, but I could tell she wasn’t even writing down my info. I called once because I was going to just go to the place and demand my documents, but Ms. Cromwell wasn’t in that day and I was told I can’t see anyone, let alone a supervisor without an appointment. I asked, clearly rhetorically how I might secure an appointment when Ms. Cromwell doesn’t answer her phone or return my phone calls.

I’m no techno geek and it’s been really difficult to translate my funky Skype recordings onto a CD.  So, I think I’m going to venture out today to get a brand new jump drive and just stick the recordings on that, bring my Netbook to the hearing and let the Administrative Law Judge hear why I don’ t have any information about my case: I have been stonewalled from day one.

Fair Hearings are a blemish on HRA Centers and Units. The city KNOWS HRA is spending way too much money their defending cases that have no merit and that they will surely lose. I have been receiving what is called “aid-continuing” during the time lapse between the official notice on December 19th of having my Food Stamps discontinued and now—it’s all part of the game. If they find that I don’t deserve them, then I have to pay them back. Apparently they believe that they can get blood from a stone.- I haven’t even paid February rent…<

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