I applied for Medicaid in mid-December. At the time I turned in the application, I was very straightforward with the receptionist: “I’m mentally ill–I’ve been in a mental hospital. Would you like a copy of my hospital records?”

“Oh, no. You’ll get time to prove your case.”

At the beginning of this month (near my birthday, even), I received a letter from DHS saying that I’d been denied. Not only were they not enrolling, but I wasn’t blind, pregnant, taking care of someone who needed health care or disabled.

I was cheesed and I told my food assistance caseworker as much. (Only I went down the “this is what you’re going to do to my life” path, instead of the “you piss me off” path.) She said the best thing to do was to come in, reapply and this time check the “disabled” box. I don’t remember if she said to bring my proofs with me this time, but you’d better believe I did.

  • Personal Statement: A letter from me, saying (in essence), “In case you don’t care to meet with me like my caseworker says you will, this is who I am. This is the life I’ve made for myself. This is what you’re taking away from me if you don’t help me.”
  • Summary of Treatment: A who-knows-how-long of a letter from my therapist, telling them exactly what I’ve gone through since she met me around age twelve, what approaches she’s taken to treat me, etc. (I have no idea what this says, because Melody asked me not to read it.)
  • Paperwork from Pine Rest: Another treatment summary (I think), detailing what all they did for me while I was in the mental hospital. I’ve had sealed copies of this in my hands twice, but I complied with Melody’s wishes both times and have never read it. (This and the summary of treatment might make me cry, anyway.)
  • Records from HGB: from when I went to the ER with a panic attack before Pine Rest. That I felt safe in reading. I understood maybe a quarter of it, but there was a lot there that I haven’t received enough medical training to interpret.
  • Record from my doctor: from my visit in June, indicating that she had treated me for depression and anxiety (not otherwise specified).

The paperwork I got from Melody was all in a sealed manila envelope, so I put my statement and the physical health records in another envelope, sealed it, labeled them both as to who they were from and what the contents were and took them both with me to DHS. I filled it out, took it all to the counter and the receptionist says,

“Did they ask for this? Do you already have an open case?”

“No. When I applied last time, I was told that I would have time to prove my case. And they denied me without giving me the chance to prove my case. So I talked to my food assistance caseworker and she said to come armed this time.” (Okay, I’m not sure if Marilou actually said that, but my therapist thought it was a good idea, and so did my parents.) So I hope they choke on all that fucking paperwork after reducing me to tears making me paranoid about what my life will be like when I can no longer get my medications.

Deny me once, shame on me for failing to provide adequate documentation. Deny me twice, shame on you–you’re an asshole.

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