catalenamara (catalenamara) wrote,

Does anyone have any ideas on how to deal with bureacracy?

Over the past few months I've been spending a lot of time helping out my friend, “J”. I've known him and his wife, “K” for 18 years. We had keys to each others houses, did cat-sitting for each other, etc.

K died of a completely unexpected massive heart attack in August. Shortly prior to that, J, who has had diabetes since childhood, had to go on dialysis 3x a week. K had been in the process of getting him signed on for disability, but she died before she could get that really going.

It's been one bureaucratic hassle after another. J hadn't been able to drive for awhile, and his California drivers license had expired, and he hadn't renewed it, nor had he gotten a California ID card. So he didn't have any valid form of identification. To qualify for disability, he had to have a copy of his birth certificate. To get the birth certificate, he had to have a valid California ID.

Well, over the course of several weeks, he got the ID from DMV, he got the birth certificate from the State of Florida. But the birth certificate is in his birth name, which he hasn't used since he was two years old and his mother remarried. He has no idea if her second husband ever formally adopted him, but he has used that last name his entire life, and all of his ID is in that name. But since the birth certificate is in his birth name, Social Security is insisting he provide some other documentation he is actually that person. Can't blame them, but he has absolutely no documentation of that name; his parents passed away in the 80s, and we're not sure where to turn next.

I called the Social Security office today, and they said he needs to call his elementary, middle and high schools and colleges, if any, and get transcripts of his school records. I pointed out that all of that would be in his new name, not his old, but they said this would help to establish his identity.

I guess that's the next step. Sigh. In the meantime, he has no income and he is almost out of money. I have no idea what to do next. This process has been going on for four months now, and he’s no closer to getting on disability now than he was in August.

At least he qualified for a medvan to take him to dialysis!
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