Thursday, April 30, 2009

Waiting & The System

I wish I had a fabulous update from the school, but alas I have not heard back. However, given our last email communication, I am waiting as patiently and optimistically as I possibly can. That was fairly easy to do until today when I realized that tomorrow will be one week with no word. I'll keep you all posted!

Next off...our system sucks. Which system you ask? Well, all of them, frankly. The bureaucracy, paperwork and wait times are completely insane and unnecessary. (well, most of it, that is)
We began the process of getting services from our regional center last November. Once you have the initial meeting with them, they have 120 days to have you assessed by their doctors. Now, granted I did put them off two months when I fully thought we were going to move back to the mother ship, but if you don't count those two months, it has taken us four months to get a social worker assigned to us, and it will take another 45 days for any service we'd like to be considered for. Okay, that's doable, but there is a catch...based on our salary, we would be responsible for 100% of the cost of said services based on the family cost share benefits chart the regional center supplies you. Well, clearly this wouldn't make sense to us since, well, where's the benefit? And let me add here that I am all for paying my share. My family is blessed in many ways; but that doesn't mean that even we have tons of expendable cash for respite, special needs camps, adaptive equipment, etc. (oh, and private autism schools at $76k/year!)
So...we have another option that sounds rosy on the surface (which means I need to ask other parents who have been there, done that about it); Medi-cal. M has enough of the criteria to qualify for this benefit, which would act as a secondary health insurance in the case that our provider through the other half's employer didn't cover something. When applying for Medi-cal, you do not have to provide your W-2 information. Once accepted, your child is what they call 'institutionally deemed.' Why the hell they have to call it something that has such a negative connotation, I can't possibly understand. It sounds like he will become a warden of the state, or that I might lose some of my parental rights. The social worker assured me that this was not so. So if there aren't any loopholes that I'm missing, we will be applying for Medi-cal, which will then allow us get the full benefit (no cost sharing whatsoever) of the regional center's services that M qualifies for. Ahh...but wouldn't it be nice if this, too, could be done in the aforementioned 45 days?? HAHAHA! That would be too freaking easy, people...this is the state of California for pete's sake! It takes three months to qualify for medi-cal and then I can start said services. If they tell me that it's another 45 days on top of that to start, I may have to bite someone. (which may then get me some services as well!)
The other messed up thing is that once you're in the medi-cal system, you have to reapply every single year. And what is worse, the social worker said that much of the time they 'forget' to send you the application, so you have to remember what time of year you first applied. Oh my gosh, shoot me now...I can't even remember if I took my vitamins each day!
So we are getting somewhere, and yet nowhere at all, it would seem. By the time we find out we can go to the school we want to, or start the services we are entitled to (and I don't take entitlement lightly, mind you) we'll probably find out we're being transferred. Oi vey!


little miss mel said...

I have a girlfriend whose daughter uses Medi-cal. If you need her info, I'd be glad to send it along to you. She's been using it for awhile now.

Hang in there. Your persistence will pay off!

Loved B's encouraging words to M. So sweet.

Mandy said...


Might I just say that God carefully chooses each mommy for each child and he CERTAINLY did the right thing in giving sweet M to you! You're so wonderful to be persistent despite all this jumping through hoops crap!! Ok, so when you apply, put it on your blog. Then when you need to know you can search your blog for the date in the search blog box. Also, maybe you can link it with some holiday, birthday, etc. so you know when you get close to that, reapply. Yes, it's CRAPPY, but we know you're brilliant and you'll come up smelling like roses. I'm going to be praying hard that M gets into that school and that they find some wonderful scholarship $$ for his sweet heart. Hugs to you!