In early October, I received a form to redetermine eligibility for Group Residential Housing (“GRH”) benefits for my son. I completed the form and sent it, along with copies of all the documents it requests.
On November 25, I received a letter (dated November 16), telling me that his GRH benefits were being terminated as of December 1 because a) they did not receive the form and b) they did not receive the information they requested.
On that same day, I immediately called the phone number on the form to speak with the case worker. No answer – it just rang and rang.
I called again on the following Monday, November 28 and (after going through a long series of prompts on the phone to get to the case worker’s voicemail), I left a message. No return call.
On December 1, when I still had not received a return call from the case worker, I went online to file an appeal of the decision. The online appeal form seemed to indicate that I needed to file the appeal within 10 days of the date of the letter (November 16) – but I didn’t even receive the letter until November 25! I completed the form anyway, scanned and attached all the requested documents and submitted the appeal.
At the same time, I spoke with my son’s social worker and described the situation. She gave me a different phone number to call – a number she had access to that I was unable to find on my own. I called that number, immediately got through to someone, gave her my son’s case number, and she said, “Oh, yes, his form was processed on November 19, and he is already approved.”
Why didn’t someone tell me that before?
At this point, I have a) panicked because I thought I had missed something and my son was going to lose an important benefit, b) spent unnecessary time placing phone calls and filing an appeal, and c) created work for someone in the appeals division who handled the paperwork I filed, scheduled a hearing and will have to cancel that hearing because it’s no longer needed.
Worse yet . . . this has happened three years in a row. You would think I’d get used to it, but each year I don’t want to take any chances that I may have made a mistake and caused my son to lose benefits, so each year, I go through this same panic and process.