It was the first of August when I last updated you on my dealings with the government agencies. Ramblin Rose August 3 To be truthful I was so mad at the system that I pushed it all aside and decided to wait for a better day.
Luckily, time dims the memory and the first of September I contacted Matthew’s case worker again. Since he had offered that I could provide habilitation* services I decided to take him up on the offer.
Why do I torture myself like this? I know you are asking and there is only one reason. If I die tomorrow someone will need to be here and care for Matthew. Bob can’t drop everything and stop working. I know without hesitation that my parents would step in and do what is needed and yet, it would not be without a major change in lifestyle for all. So I continue to pursue getting these services for Matthew hoping that I can save someone else the grief.
So, following my phone call, the case worker comes for a visit to put the services into action. I am smart this time and set up the appointment when Bob can attend. It’s a good thing because he reins me in from complaining too much. The young case worker is pleasant enough. He apologizes that they denied coverage for the attendant care and I explain again that I’d like to get going with the habilitation services. “Let me make some phone calls and we’ll get this started,” he says with a grand gesture. (Bob tells me later that this guy reminds him of a used car salesman.)
Within two days I do receive a phone call from a gal who says, “There seems to be some question…yes, of course, you are ready for habilitation. Everything is in order.”
Well, I am pretty humbled and acknowledged that the case manager did his job. Until I send in a time sheet. Of course, another agency takes care of this part and sure enough I get a phone call. “We don’t have any authorization for these hours and we need a pay rate before we can process the time sheet.” I should have known.
A few phone calls and several days later I discover that there is one more agent who needs to make an assessment. After questioning the need for this “again” she looks at our file to find it’s been over a year since starting. This person is very gracious and apologetic. She manages to calm my frustration and we spend more than an hour going over Matthew’s needs once again. She finishes up and assures me that as soon as the central office receives this information they will be able to pay me to provide Habilitation for Matthew…oh wait, I am not certified for Habilitation; I am only certified for Attendant Care. I’ll need to take a class for the Habilitation… it’s deja vu all over again.
*FYI: People with special needs can qualify for services that are covered by each state. Services, number of hours allocated, and rate of pay depend on needs of the individual. Habilitation is working with the person to “learn” a particular skill. For example: Me brushing Matthew’s teeth would qualify under Attendant Care. Teaching Matthew how to brush and offering assistance and guidance would be Habilitation. Fixing lunch is also Attendant Care while hand over hand use to spread peanut butter on a slice of bread is Habilitation. Also included in Matthew’s services is Respite which is providing someone to make sure the individual is safe while allowing the caregiver a break.