Let me explain the situation as best as I can;
I am a young mother who is also taking care of her 50 year old Veteran father. He recently (May 7th) had his leg amputated because of gangrene and diabetes complications.
Unfortunately, and because the government seems to LOVE to drag it's feet, we are waiting until November for his SSI, SSDI, and pension.
So, in the meantime we applied for Foodstamps and General Assistance for my father. According to the case worker we couldn't be the same case, so I was detached (As was my daughter) from my fathers case. She told him that anything the VA gave him saying he was disabled was not enough for DES guidelines, and sent him to their doctor.
We had no problems with this, until we had to go on the bus in 100 degree PLUS weather with a small child (14 months) to the doctors office that was NOT wheelchair acessible. After waiting over a month, we recieved my fathers first GA payment.
Recently (August 14, 2002) we recieved a notice saying that we had to attend a mandatory meeting with a case worker on Saturday the 17th. Being wary of DES and their proceedures as it was, I called on that Friday (the 16th) and spoke with a very rude and uninformative clerk or operator who gave me no information that the meeting was "Special" even when I inquired if we could reschedule as the notice told us we could.
When I called on Saturday to speak with someone, as it was a very hot day, and troublesome to get my baby and my father on a bus 2 hours in advance, I got the answering service saying the office was open Monday thru Friday only. Again, there was no notification that this meeting was "Special".
When I called on Monday, I was notified by Supervisor "Peggy Ellings" that it was a special appointment mandated by Phoenix, and that my fathers benefits for GA were cancelled immediately due to his absence from the meeting. She also informed me that 25 people had already told her their complaints about said meeting that day.
My father and I feel that this is a Now you see it, Now you don't system. When I explained my situation to Peggy Ellings, she showed some sympathy, but offered no assistance more than to tell me to refile for GA. I don't have the time, and now, I don't have the MONEY to bus my family downtown just fill out an application to reapply for something he was already approved for. And she also said that he would need to see another doctor to say his (not disabled this time) disability is caused by a TERMINAL ILLNESS. I really don't appreciate it that Phoenix can mandate some outrageous classification for people, send notice 3 days before the "special" meeting, fraud someone by saying you can resechedule (when I was told more than once that I couldn't, PERIOD.) and take your benefits because of inability to jump through hoops.
My father is more than frustrated, because they sent him to war in Vietnam, and he gets the perverbial shaft from the government he swore to protect. Ironically the DES message when you are on hold says "Assistance is a moment a way." I would like to have some help to find some reselve in this situation, as it is greatly affecting my family and our well being.