Sunday, July 31, 2011

Adventures in Welfare: CCAP Denial

I have been in the process of trying to get approved for the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), and it just hasn't been going well.

There was a small saga involved in finding the proper paperwork to complete in the first place, but it was really nothing compared to where we are today.

I knew when I went to orientation that I was going to be naughty and not have the girls immunizations since Adrianna needed her 18 month ones (and once I realized that, I did get her scheduled pronto), but I had been reassured I could fax those in later and it wouldn't be a problem. Sounds good to me!

But I was missing more than that.

One part was verification of employment. Usually they just have you bring in the last three pay stubs, but because I had just started I was given a form for my supervisor to complete. So I brought it to Target and asked my Team Leader to fill it out. He said he couldn't, and directed me to see one of the top HR people. She said she couldn't, and wrote down a phone number for the CCAP people to call to get it confidentially verified. I thought this was strange at the time, but then my mother told me that IBM had done the same thing for verifying my father's employment/wages when they were getting a mortgage, so I went with it as just being big corporation policy. And then the CCAP people said that the phone number didn't give them enough information, and told ME to fill it out and have it notarized. AND THEN, when I went to do that, the notary signed it instead of me (as she had no idea what they wanted on the form either) so it suddenly was wrong, which they so graciously informed me about after I turned it in the day it was due. So I got to play phone tag with my social worker to get her to email me another copy to fill out and notarize again and fax it in to her all in a few hours that afternoon.

But it gets even better!

You see, the other part I was missing (which I didn't know I would need before attending their delightful orientation) was verification of legal separation. Because Peter and I never filed anything with the courts! So now we had two weeks to also file for divorce, just so I could prove eligibility for the assistance program. And so, I went to work on that and did a consultation meeting with a lawyer who gave me the forms needed to file a joint petition for the dissolution of marriage. I filled them out as instructed, and mailed them off for Peter to sign and notarize and mail back. And then spent a week pestering him to get it done. Which he never did. So I got to fill them out again and take them to the court and file them by myself.

After the court house, I went to the offices for CCAP to drop off the paperwork I had been missing (including my hot off the presses divorce filing), hopeful to speak to someone who could assure me that everything was in order.

The front desk lady was less than helpful in this matter, and just told me to call my social worker and I ask her about it later. Which I did. Which was when I learned about the issue with the employment verification.

But I took care of that! The only other thing she mentioned was not being able to look up the provider numbers for the local preschools I put down for the girls, but that was a small detail and one which didn't even need to be done for the application to be approved.

Ok, I should be all set here, right??

Well, the following morning (after not hearing anything back from her after sending in the final verification of employment) I sent an email asking such.

And heard nothing back, until I opened my mail that night to find a simply charming letter detailing how my childcare assistance request had been denied.

Aw, thanks Tanya! You really stepped up there as my social worker and helped me through the whole process. I'm so glad I was assigned to someone as personable and understanding of people working incredibly hard to get everything just how you needed it by your immobile deadline. And because I really wanted you to know how much I appreciate all your hard work and assistance in my case, I sent you a brief email telling you as much!

[The actual email I sent my caseworker]

Hi Tanya,
Thanks so much for keeping me informed about this whole process! I know how hard it must be to respond to email inquiries like I sent this morning about such, so I thought getting the letter detailing how coverage was denied for me was just so thoughtful. I really liked how when I specifically called you after turning in my paperwork to make sure everything was correct and in by the due date that you didn't mention anything about my failure to verify my residency in the county. I mean, why would you have wanted to do that when I could have still faxed you whatever paperwork was needed to comply with it? I also just LOVED how I jumped through hoop after hoop after hoop to get my employment correctly verified for you before the end of the day, just to find out that you leave the office before the close of business and therefore didn't give a damn. It would have been really super for you to mention that you needed it by three during one of our phone calls or when you emailed me the form at 2, as I had been foolish and thought as long as I got by the notary and back home again to email AND fax it to you before 5 that it would be ok. I know, silly me! I also wanted to mention how awesome the part about my child being ineligible for childcare because I hadn't chosen a provider within 30 days when it has only been 15 was. It's so nice to have those little inaccurate extras thrown in! So, I just wanted to say thanks, it's just been wonderful working with you and I am greatly anticipating the joy I'm sure the appeals process will bring to all involved! Also, please call me, as I'm still under the probably mistaken impression that it's your job to help me and I would really love some help right now getting childcare assistance all set up. Thanks again, I hope you have a wonderful day! 

Admittedly, this *might* not be the best thing in the world to have done to improve the situation. But writing it did make me feel better, and as I didn't actually say anything inappropriate or hostile (well, unless you count the occasional moment of sarcasm as hostile), I don't think it was the worst way to go about things.

Now who wants to play GUESS THAT SARCASM! and take a stab at what I was really thinking!


  1. Ah...bureaucracy at it's finest. Ridiculous.

  2. Love the letter!

    I'll never understand why social workers go into social work if they don't actually want to HELP ppl. I have a friend in NE who has had a similar experience w/ her social worker, and I remember when my parents were foster parents, some of the kids' social workers were just abysmal. : (

    good luck w/ your appeal!!!

  3. Sucky situation but awesome response!