Writers aren't exactly people, they're a lot of people trying to be one person. F.Scott Fitzgerald

Saturday, March 10, 2012

SNAFU and Welcome to Health&Human Services

This is a military term and describes most government agencies perfectly.For those who are not familiar with the term it means "Situation Normal,All Fucked Up"!
Unfortunately,almost everyone has experienced the tedious paperwork associated with many Government agencies,passports,car registrations,social security benefits,marriage licenses,and probably the worst two offenders the IRS and Health and Human Service. At least we all know the difficulties facing us with all the agencies except Health and Human Services.
Right off the bat,the name is deceiving.What you see is not what you get.What you get is an agency designed to test your stamina and perseverance. On your arrival at the office you sign in and spend hours sitting in a hard chair waiting for someone to call your name.
When you name is finally called you are told you should have already filled out a form that you didn't know you needed to fill out before you can be seen. The long involved form would even challenge the expertise of a lawyer.
Once you have the form filled out you turn it in and continue to wait your turn to actually see your case worker.That could take several more hours. Eventually your name is called and you stand up(stiff from sitting so long) and off you go into the back room,through a warren of cubicles and finally reach your goal,your assigned case worker. if you are lucky she will be in a fairly friendly mood.I say she because most of the staff seem to be females.
She enters your info into her computer and then tells you what assistance you do and don't qualify for. That's it,you are done at least for this day.Unfortunately you may or may not have to make several of the trips to the office where you will sit and wait until someone calls your name again and if you are very lucky,you receive your CARD.
The Card entitles you to SNAPS benefits,formally known as food stamps.Hopefully that is it and you are done.Don't hold your breath though.You may have to repeat the entire process because they lost your paperwork or several other reasons only the State of Texas understands.
Let's say,just for grins that everything is official and you understand what you can and can not purchase with your card and you are over the embarrassment of needing to use your card at the local grocery store to buy the acceptable foods on the list.
Do not think that is the end of it. A year later a complicated form arrives in the mail for you to fill out and send back to Texas Health and Human Services in order to continue receiving those benefits.Woe is the person who does not fill out the form correctly and send back within the designated time period. That person will have to start over from the beginning as if this was their first time to apply even though their data is still in the files.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Texas Health and Human Services!