Friday, August 22, 2014

Number 88

After three weeks of gathering pertinent information together to argue Thomas' case with SSI to get it reopened, Thomas and I finally went to the Social Security office yesterday to turn it in. We walked in and immediately stopped. The reasonably small waiting room was completely filled with people. All of the seats were taken and there were people standing everywhere in every corner and down the hallway. I thought to myself and commented to Thomas, "This is going to take a while, brace yourself."

Our number was 88 and they were on 72 so we settled in for a long wait. Thomas managed to find us some chairs way down the hallway but he and I began to get nervous that they'd call our number and we'd miss it and have to start all over again. Poor Thomas couldn't sit still in our little corner of Social Security. He wouldn't even play games or check his social media on his phone so I knew he was stressing out. He kept getting up to check the numbers and finally, after about a half an hour, he found us 2 chairs out in the waiting room.

We sat there for another hour and a half and I felt horrible for Thomas. He'd shift from sitting with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands to sitting bolt upright and resting his head on the wall behind him. I was playing slot machines on my phone so I could have sat there forever but I was painfully aware of Thomas' unrest.

After an excruciating (for Thomas) hour and a half our blessed number 88 was called. We went up to the window and I began my spiel as I unloaded my folder of it's contents which included the application to reopen his case and all of the receipts and his bank statement that I had collected. I knew how overworked and frustrated the Social Security lady was so I wanted to be on my game so she wouldn't have to riddle me with questions and fight with my lack of knowledge about what I was requesting. She had been doing that with people for the last hour and a half and I wanted to be THE ONE who got it right.

After laying everything out and finishing up my speech, she asked just one question then took everything to the back where some mystery person sits and makes the valuable determination on our case that we needed. I wanted so badly to see this mystery person just so I could make eye contact and show her/him my desire to get his case reopened but instead we stood at the window and waited for about 4 minutes.

When our lady came back, she handed me all of the things that I had given her and my heart fell before she ever got a word out. She proceeded to tell me that she took copies of everything and that she was returning my originals. I held my breath. Then...then she said,

"Okay, we have enough information and we will be reopening Thomas' case back to July 7th."

We did it!!! Yay!!!

So we put everything back in the folder and walked out of the building. I was overjoyed!!

So, Thomas' case is reopened and now we wait the 60-90 days she told us it would take. There hadn't been a medical determination made on his case and the lady was surprised we had been rejected so soon so I got the feeling that if we could get through the medical determination that we would be on our way.

I know. It's not going to be easy and there's a chance we'll be denied again but for right now I have hope.

It was totally worth being number 88 and waiting 2 hours in a cramped waiting room.

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