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Off topic, but please bear with me

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  • Janet Elaine Smith
    To say that I am upset is grossly understating what I am feeling right now. My late husband served in the Korean War, proudly, on the front lines. He was,
    Message 1 of 21 , Jul 1, 2011
      To say that I am upset is grossly understating what I am feeling right now. My late husband served in the Korean War, proudly, on the front lines. He was, thankfully, not injured in service, but when he was disabled at the age of 64, he was able to draw a disability from both Social Security and the VA.

      He passed away in January 2008. While I was able to draw on both his SS and his VA, the amount was cut in half. Now anybody with half a brain knows that two people can't live as cheaply as one, nor can one live on half what two can live on. My rent, utilities, etc. went on as before. About the only thing that was reduced was clothing, food, his shaving gear, etc. However, I was grateful for what I received from both agencies.

      For the entire time since he died up until Dec. last year, the amount SS charged for Medicare Part B was automatically deducted from my SS each month. Last Dec. when I applied for energy assistance in Marinette Co., WI, the case worker was surprised that I was being charged for the Medicare coverage. Due to my low income, she informed me, I should be eligible for a waiver so it would not be deducted. It was approved. However, a short time later I received a notice from the VA office in St. Paul MN that they were now going to reduce my monthly benefits in the same amount as the SS was adding.

      I am a Christian woman. I have been a missionary all my life. It's not often I feel like swearing, but this has me at the point where I am about ready to do so.

      I just got off the phone with a man from the St. Paul VA office who was trying to explain why they were reducing my payments each month and that there was no way that the request for a waiver, based on hardship, would be approved. He said, "I understand how hard it is…" I said (pardon my French), "The hell you do! Could you live on $600 a month? I'd like to see you try it." He said, "Well, there is nothing I can do about it."

      So, I am appealing to anybody that will listen here to see if you have any suggestions of how to get around this? Meanwhile, the cost of living goes up and my income goes back down. This is "the land of the free"? It sure doesn't feel like Liberty to me right now.
    • Celia Hayes
      I am so sorry, Janet -- at my house, we re a little freaked out this evening also, as my daughter draws a small VA disability payment, which has always come
      Message 2 of 21 , Jul 1, 2011
        I am so sorry, Janet -- at my house, we're a little freaked out this evening also, as my daughter draws a small VA disability payment, which has always come without fail on the 1st of the month. Today - no check at all. She is freaked out about this - it's not a large amount, but she counts on it, as she counts on the sun rising in the morning. And it's the start of a holiday weekend, so of course there is no bureaucratic support available. (Although it's been my experience WRT the VA that sometimes it's rather hard to tell.)

         
        Celia Hayes
        Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
         


        --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

        From: Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...>
        Subject: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
        To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:47 PM

         
        To say that I am upset is grossly understating what I am feeling right now. My late husband served in the Korean War, proudly, on the front lines. He was, thankfully, not injured in service, but when he was disabled at the age of 64, he was able to draw a disability from both Social Security and the VA.

        He passed away in January 2008. While I was able to draw on both his SS and his VA, the amount was cut in half. Now anybody with half a brain knows that two people can't live as cheaply as one, nor can one live on half what two can live on. My rent, utilities, etc. went on as before. About the only thing that was reduced was clothing, food, his shaving gear, etc. However, I was grateful for what I received from both agencies.

        For the entire time since he died up until Dec. last year, the amount SS charged for Medicare Part B was automatically deducted from my SS each month. Last Dec. when I applied for energy assistance in Marinette Co., WI, the case worker was surprised that I was being charged for the Medicare coverage. Due to my low income, she informed me, I should be eligible for a waiver so it would not be deducted. It was approved. However, a short time later I received a notice from the VA office in St. Paul MN that they were now going to reduce my monthly benefits in the same amount as the SS was adding.

        I am a Christian woman. I have been a missionary all my life. It's not often I feel like swearing, but this has me at the point where I am about ready to do so.

        I just got off the phone with a man from the St. Paul VA office who was trying to explain why they were reducing my payments each month and that there was no way that the request for a waiver, based on hardship, would be approved. He said, "I understand how hard it is…" I said (pardon my French), "The hell you do! Could you live on $600 a month? I'd like to see you try it." He said, "Well, there is nothing I can do about it."

        So, I am appealing to anybody that will listen here to see if you have any suggestions of how to get around this? Meanwhile, the cost of living goes up and my income goes back down. This is "the land of the free"? It sure doesn't feel like Liberty to me right now.

      • janetelaine smith
        I completely understand that last statement. I hope she can get it figured out. I was surprised that somebody called on a Fri. afternoon before a holiday
        Message 3 of 21 , Jul 1, 2011
          I completely understand that last statement. I hope she can get it figured out. I was surprised that somebody called on a Fri. afternoon before a holiday weekend--after waiting since Jan. with no response of any kind. I knew better than to ask for anybody who knew anything that would actually be working today. But look out on Tuesday!!!!
          Janet

          Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
          Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
          Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
          Check out videos here
           
           
           


          --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

          From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
          Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
          To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:23 PM



          I am so sorry, Janet -- at my house, we're a little freaked out this evening also, as my daughter draws a small VA disability payment, which has always come without fail on the 1st of the month. Today - no check at all. She is freaked out about this - it's not a large amount, but she counts on it, as she counts on the sun rising in the morning. And it's the start of a holiday weekend, so of course there is no bureaucratic support available. (Although it's been my experience WRT the VA that sometimes it's rather hard to tell.)

           
          Celia Hayes
          Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
           


          --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

          From: Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...>
          Subject: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
          To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:47 PM

           
          To say that I am upset is grossly understating what I am feeling right now. My late husband served in the Korean War, proudly, on the front lines. He was, thankfully, not injured in service, but when he was disabled at the age of 64, he was able to draw a disability from both Social Security and the VA.

          He passed away in January 2008. While I was able to draw on both his SS and his VA, the amount was cut in half. Now anybody with half a brain knows that two people can't live as cheaply as one, nor can one live on half what two can live on. My rent, utilities, etc. went on as before. About the only thing that was reduced was clothing, food, his shaving gear, etc. However, I was grateful for what I received from both agencies.

          For the entire time since he died up until Dec. last year, the amount SS charged for Medicare Part B was automatically deducted from my SS each month. Last Dec. when I applied for energy assistance in Marinette Co., WI, the case worker was surprised that I was being charged for the Medicare coverage. Due to my low income, she informed me, I should be eligible for a waiver so it would not be deducted. It was approved. However, a short time later I received a notice from the VA office in St. Paul MN that they were now going to reduce my monthly benefits in the same amount as the SS was adding.

          I am a Christian woman. I have been a missionary all my life. It's not often I feel like swearing, but this has me at the point where I am about ready to do so.

          I just got off the phone with a man from the St. Paul VA office who was trying to explain why they were reducing my payments each month and that there was no way that the request for a waiver, based on hardship, would be approved. He said, "I understand how hard it is…" I said (pardon my French), "The hell you do! Could you live on $600 a month? I'd like to see you try it." He said, "Well, there is nothing I can do about it."

          So, I am appealing to anybody that will listen here to see if you have any suggestions of how to get around this? Meanwhile, the cost of living goes up and my income goes back down. This is "the land of the free"? It sure doesn't feel like Liberty to me right now.



        • Celia Hayes
          Go get em, Janet! (My daughter will probably take care of the leftovers!) I am betting that there was some kind of mix-up at the post office, and with luck
          Message 4 of 21 , Jul 1, 2011
            Go get 'em, Janet! (My daughter will probably take care of the leftovers!) I am betting that there was some kind of mix-up at the post office, and with luck the check will show up tomorrow. Oh and the ironical part? I spent an hour and a half of my working day, helping her open a bank account, so that she could get that VA payment via direct deposit. They aren't going to send paper checks any more.
            Really, lately I am beginning to wonder if the USPS is just a conduit for junk mail and magazines. Just about anything important these days seems to come by UPS...

            Celia Hayes
            Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
             


            --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

            From: janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...>
            Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
            To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:29 PM

             
            I completely understand that last statement. I hope she can get it figured out. I was surprised that somebody called on a Fri. afternoon before a holiday weekend--after waiting since Jan. with no response of any kind. I knew better than to ask for anybody who knew anything that would actually be working today. But look out on Tuesday!!!!
            Janet

            Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
            Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
            Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
            Check out videos here
             
             
             


            --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

            From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
            Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
            To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:23 PM



            I am so sorry, Janet -- at my house, we're a little freaked out this evening also, as my daughter draws a small VA disability payment, which has always come without fail on the 1st of the month. Today - no check at all. She is freaked out about this - it's not a large amount, but she counts on it, as she counts on the sun rising in the morning. And it's the start of a holiday weekend, so of course there is no bureaucratic support available. (Although it's been my experience WRT the VA that sometimes it's rather hard to tell.)

             
            Celia Hayes
            Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
             


            --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

            From: Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...>
            Subject: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
            To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:47 PM

             
            To say that I am upset is grossly understating what I am feeling right now. My late husband served in the Korean War, proudly, on the front lines. He was, thankfully, not injured in service, but when he was disabled at the age of 64, he was able to draw a disability from both Social Security and the VA.

            He passed away in January 2008. While I was able to draw on both his SS and his VA, the amount was cut in half. Now anybody with half a brain knows that two people can't live as cheaply as one, nor can one live on half what two can live on. My rent, utilities, etc. went on as before. About the only thing that was reduced was clothing, food, his shaving gear, etc. However, I was grateful for what I received from both agencies.

            For the entire time since he died up until Dec. last year, the amount SS charged for Medicare Part B was automatically deducted from my SS each month. Last Dec. when I applied for energy assistance in Marinette Co., WI, the case worker was surprised that I was being charged for the Medicare coverage. Due to my low income, she informed me, I should be eligible for a waiver so it would not be deducted. It was approved. However, a short time later I received a notice from the VA office in St. Paul MN that they were now going to reduce my monthly benefits in the same amount as the SS was adding.

            I am a Christian woman. I have been a missionary all my life. It's not often I feel like swearing, but this has me at the point where I am about ready to do so.

            I just got off the phone with a man from the St. Paul VA office who was trying to explain why they were reducing my payments each month and that there was no way that the request for a waiver, based on hardship, would be approved. He said, "I understand how hard it is…" I said (pardon my French), "The hell you do! Could you live on $600 a month? I'd like to see you try it." He said, "Well, there is nothing I can do about it."

            So, I am appealing to anybody that will listen here to see if you have any suggestions of how to get around this? Meanwhile, the cost of living goes up and my income goes back down. This is "the land of the free"? It sure doesn't feel like Liberty to me right now.



          • janetelaine smith
            I can t say for sure, but I m guessing the mixup for your daughter might be in changing it from a paper check to an e-check. Is there a way you can check
            Message 5 of 21 , Jul 1, 2011
              I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing the mixup for your daughter might be in changing it from a paper check to an e-check. Is there a way you can check online at the bank to see if maybe it was deposited there? Just a goofy thought--which I have more than enough of today!
              Janet

              Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
              Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
              Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
              Check out videos here
               
               
               


              --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

              From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
              Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
              To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:41 PM



              Go get 'em, Janet! (My daughter will probably take care of the leftovers!) I am betting that there was some kind of mix-up at the post office, and with luck the check will show up tomorrow. Oh and the ironical part? I spent an hour and a half of my working day, helping her open a bank account, so that she could get that VA payment via direct deposit. They aren't going to send paper checks any more.
              Really, lately I am beginning to wonder if the USPS is just a conduit for junk mail and magazines. Just about anything important these days seems to come by UPS...

              Celia Hayes
              Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
               


              --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

              From: janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...>
              Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
              To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:29 PM

               
              I completely understand that last statement. I hope she can get it figured out. I was surprised that somebody called on a Fri. afternoon before a holiday weekend--after waiting since Jan. with no response of any kind. I knew better than to ask for anybody who knew anything that would actually be working today. But look out on Tuesday!!!!
              Janet

              Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
              Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
              Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
              Check out videos here
               
               
               


              --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

              From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
              Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
              To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:23 PM



              I am so sorry, Janet -- at my house, we're a little freaked out this evening also, as my daughter draws a small VA disability payment, which has always come without fail on the 1st of the month. Today - no check at all. She is freaked out about this - it's not a large amount, but she counts on it, as she counts on the sun rising in the morning. And it's the start of a holiday weekend, so of course there is no bureaucratic support available. (Although it's been my experience WRT the VA that sometimes it's rather hard to tell.)

               
              Celia Hayes
              Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
               


              --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

              From: Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...>
              Subject: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
              To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:47 PM

               
              To say that I am upset is grossly understating what I am feeling right now. My late husband served in the Korean War, proudly, on the front lines. He was, thankfully, not injured in service, but when he was disabled at the age of 64, he was able to draw a disability from both Social Security and the VA.

              He passed away in January 2008. While I was able to draw on both his SS and his VA, the amount was cut in half. Now anybody with half a brain knows that two people can't live as cheaply as one, nor can one live on half what two can live on. My rent, utilities, etc. went on as before. About the only thing that was reduced was clothing, food, his shaving gear, etc. However, I was grateful for what I received from both agencies.

              For the entire time since he died up until Dec. last year, the amount SS charged for Medicare Part B was automatically deducted from my SS each month. Last Dec. when I applied for energy assistance in Marinette Co., WI, the case worker was surprised that I was being charged for the Medicare coverage. Due to my low income, she informed me, I should be eligible for a waiver so it would not be deducted. It was approved. However, a short time later I received a notice from the VA office in St. Paul MN that they were now going to reduce my monthly benefits in the same amount as the SS was adding.

              I am a Christian woman. I have been a missionary all my life. It's not often I feel like swearing, but this has me at the point where I am about ready to do so.

              I just got off the phone with a man from the St. Paul VA office who was trying to explain why they were reducing my payments each month and that there was no way that the request for a waiver, based on hardship, would be approved. He said, "I understand how hard it is…" I said (pardon my French), "The hell you do! Could you live on $600 a month? I'd like to see you try it." He said, "Well, there is nothing I can do about it."

              So, I am appealing to anybody that will listen here to see if you have any suggestions of how to get around this? Meanwhile, the cost of living goes up and my income goes back down. This is "the land of the free"? It sure doesn't feel like Liberty to me right now.





            • Celia Hayes
              She just opened the account today, and didn t even have a chance to notify the VA of the rounting number and account.   Is there a prize for most off-topic
              Message 6 of 21 , Jul 1, 2011
                She just opened the account today, and didn't even have a chance to notify the VA of the rounting number and account.
                 
                Is there a prize for most off-topic discussion in an IAG thread?
                 
                OTO, I did have a pleasant surprise, when I checked the Amazon author sales figures this morning (they update them every Thursday aft/Friday morn) and To Truckee's Trail had an awesome 25 copies sold over the last week. I have no idea what brought that on, as it usually maintains a steady 3-4 copies and about the same in Kindle. I hardly do anything to market it, these days -- and yet it goes steadily chugging away. 

                Celia Hayes
                Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
                 


                --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                From: janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:45 PM

                 
                I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing the mixup for your daughter might be in changing it from a paper check to an e-check. Is there a way you can check online at the bank to see if maybe it was deposited there? Just a goofy thought--which I have more than enough of today!
                Janet

                Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
                Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                Check out videos here
                 
                 
                 


                --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:41 PM



                Go get 'em, Janet! (My daughter will probably take care of the leftovers!) I am betting that there was some kind of mix-up at the post office, and with luck the check will show up tomorrow. Oh and the ironical part? I spent an hour and a half of my working day, helping her open a bank account, so that she could get that VA payment via direct deposit. They aren't going to send paper checks any more.
                Really, lately I am beginning to wonder if the USPS is just a conduit for junk mail and magazines. Just about anything important these days seems to come by UPS...

                Celia Hayes
                Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
                 


                --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                From: janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:29 PM

                 
                I completely understand that last statement. I hope she can get it figured out. I was surprised that somebody called on a Fri. afternoon before a holiday weekend--after waiting since Jan. with no response of any kind. I knew better than to ask for anybody who knew anything that would actually be working today. But look out on Tuesday!!!!
                Janet

                Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
                Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                Check out videos here
                 
                 
                 


                --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:23 PM



                I am so sorry, Janet -- at my house, we're a little freaked out this evening also, as my daughter draws a small VA disability payment, which has always come without fail on the 1st of the month. Today - no check at all. She is freaked out about this - it's not a large amount, but she counts on it, as she counts on the sun rising in the morning. And it's the start of a holiday weekend, so of course there is no bureaucratic support available. (Although it's been my experience WRT the VA that sometimes it's rather hard to tell.)

                 
                Celia Hayes
                Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
                 


                --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                From: Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                Subject: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:47 PM

                 
                To say that I am upset is grossly understating what I am feeling right now. My late husband served in the Korean War, proudly, on the front lines. He was, thankfully, not injured in service, but when he was disabled at the age of 64, he was able to draw a disability from both Social Security and the VA.

                He passed away in January 2008. While I was able to draw on both his SS and his VA, the amount was cut in half. Now anybody with half a brain knows that two people can't live as cheaply as one, nor can one live on half what two can live on. My rent, utilities, etc. went on as before. About the only thing that was reduced was clothing, food, his shaving gear, etc. However, I was grateful for what I received from both agencies.

                For the entire time since he died up until Dec. last year, the amount SS charged for Medicare Part B was automatically deducted from my SS each month. Last Dec. when I applied for energy assistance in Marinette Co., WI, the case worker was surprised that I was being charged for the Medicare coverage. Due to my low income, she informed me, I should be eligible for a waiver so it would not be deducted. It was approved. However, a short time later I received a notice from the VA office in St. Paul MN that they were now going to reduce my monthly benefits in the same amount as the SS was adding.

                I am a Christian woman. I have been a missionary all my life. It's not often I feel like swearing, but this has me at the point where I am about ready to do so.

                I just got off the phone with a man from the St. Paul VA office who was trying to explain why they were reducing my payments each month and that there was no way that the request for a waiver, based on hardship, would be approved. He said, "I understand how hard it is…" I said (pardon my French), "The hell you do! Could you live on $600 a month? I'd like to see you try it." He said, "Well, there is nothing I can do about it."

                So, I am appealing to anybody that will listen here to see if you have any suggestions of how to get around this? Meanwhile, the cost of living goes up and my income goes back down. This is "the land of the free"? It sure doesn't feel like Liberty to me right now.





              • Lloyd Lofthouse
                Janet,   I get a disability from the VA and the VA is my medical provider.  I do not go through the VA to get anything done. I go through a Veterans Service
                Message 7 of 21 , Jul 1, 2011
                  Janet,
                   
                  I get a disability from the VA and the VA is my medical provider.  I do not go through the VA to get anything done. I go through a Veterans Service Representative at a Veterans Service Office. These reps do not work for the VA.  They are paid by each state so mine is paid by California.
                   
                  As I understand it, due to the fact that the VA is about as confusing or more confusing than the IRS, the federal government mandated that the states provide funds for these Veterans Service Representatives so vets such as myself could go to them to get things done and get answers.  These reps are trained to do this.
                   
                  You may want to call the office I go to in Contra Costa Country and ask for some advice.  They will not be able to serve you but maybe they can connect you to a Veterans Service Representative in your state or who serves your state. I understand that states with smaller populations pool resources to fund these offices.
                   
                  Here is the number for the Contra Costa Country Veterans Service Office: 925-313-1481
                   
                  I have no idea if this will help or not but it is worth a try  I was told by my Veterans Service Rep to avoid solving problems with the VA through the VA as it would be a frustrating and fruitless endeavor and to go to them (the state funded Veterans Service Rep) to navigate through the VA bureaucracy.  That's what they are for.  They are the middle man between the vet and the VA so the vet gets the support he or she deserves.
                   
                   Sincerely,
                   Lloyd Lofthouse
                   


                  --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                  From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                  Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                  To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:07 PM

                   
                  She just opened the account today, and didn't even have a chance to notify the VA of the rounting number and account.
                   
                  Is there a prize for most off-topic discussion in an IAG thread?
                   
                  OTO, I did have a pleasant surprise, when I checked the Amazon author sales figures this morning (they update them every Thursday aft/Friday morn) and To Truckee's Trail had an awesome 25 copies sold over the last week. I have no idea what brought that on, as it usually maintains a steady 3-4 copies and about the same in Kindle. I hardly do anything to market it, these days -- and yet it goes steadily chugging away. 

                  Celia Hayes
                  Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
                   


                  --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                  From: janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                  Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                  To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:45 PM

                   
                  I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing the mixup for your daughter might be in changing it from a paper check to an e-check. Is there a way you can check online at the bank to see if maybe it was deposited there? Just a goofy thought--which I have more than enough of today!
                  Janet

                  Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
                  Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                  Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                  Check out videos here
                   
                   
                   


                  --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                  From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                  Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                  To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:41 PM



                  Go get 'em, Janet! (My daughter will probably take care of the leftovers!) I am betting that there was some kind of mix-up at the post office, and with luck the check will show up tomorrow. Oh and the ironical part? I spent an hour and a half of my working day, helping her open a bank account, so that she could get that VA payment via direct deposit. They aren't going to send paper checks any more.
                  Really, lately I am beginning to wonder if the USPS is just a conduit for junk mail and magazines. Just about anything important these days seems to come by UPS...

                  Celia Hayes
                  Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
                   


                  --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                  From: janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                  Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                  To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:29 PM

                   
                  I completely understand that last statement. I hope she can get it figured out. I was surprised that somebody called on a Fri. afternoon before a holiday weekend--after waiting since Jan. with no response of any kind. I knew better than to ask for anybody who knew anything that would actually be working today. But look out on Tuesday!!!!
                  Janet

                  Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
                  Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                  Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                  Check out videos here
                   
                   
                   


                  --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                  From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                  Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                  To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:23 PM



                  I am so sorry, Janet -- at my house, we're a little freaked out this evening also, as my daughter draws a small VA disability payment, which has always come without fail on the 1st of the month. Today - no check at all. She is freaked out about this - it's not a large amount, but she counts on it, as she counts on the sun rising in the morning. And it's the start of a holiday weekend, so of course there is no bureaucratic support available. (Although it's been my experience WRT the VA that sometimes it's rather hard to tell.)

                   
                  Celia Hayes
                  Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
                   


                  --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                  From: Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                  Subject: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                  To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:47 PM

                   
                  To say that I am upset is grossly understating what I am feeling right now. My late husband served in the Korean War, proudly, on the front lines. He was, thankfully, not injured in service, but when he was disabled at the age of 64, he was able to draw a disability from both Social Security and the VA.

                  He passed away in January 2008. While I was able to draw on both his SS and his VA, the amount was cut in half. Now anybody with half a brain knows that two people can't live as cheaply as one, nor can one live on half what two can live on. My rent, utilities, etc. went on as before. About the only thing that was reduced was clothing, food, his shaving gear, etc. However, I was grateful for what I received from both agencies.

                  For the entire time since he died up until Dec. last year, the amount SS charged for Medicare Part B was automatically deducted from my SS each month. Last Dec. when I applied for energy assistance in Marinette Co., WI, the case worker was surprised that I was being charged for the Medicare coverage. Due to my low income, she informed me, I should be eligible for a waiver so it would not be deducted. It was approved. However, a short time later I received a notice from the VA office in St. Paul MN that they were now going to reduce my monthly benefits in the same amount as the SS was adding.

                  I am a Christian woman. I have been a missionary all my life. It's not often I feel like swearing, but this has me at the point where I am about ready to do so.

                  I just got off the phone with a man from the St. Paul VA office who was trying to explain why they were reducing my payments each month and that there was no way that the request for a waiver, based on hardship, would be approved. He said, "I understand how hard it is…" I said (pardon my French), "The hell you do! Could you live on $600 a month? I'd like to see you try it." He said, "Well, there is nothing I can do about it."

                  So, I am appealing to anybody that will listen here to see if you have any suggestions of how to get around this? Meanwhile, the cost of living goes up and my income goes back down. This is "the land of the free"? It sure doesn't feel like Liberty to me right now.





                • Kris Jackson
                  I feel the frustration and the anger. Part of my problem is that I spent the day at my part-time job, driving around all day, listening to too much news. (On
                  Message 8 of 21 , Jul 1, 2011
                    I feel the frustration and the anger. Part of my problem is that I spent the day at my part-time job, driving around all day, listening to too much news. (On NPR, yet.) A lot of the time I feel like moving back to Europe. Everyone has health care there paid for by the state. It's like  the  fire  department in this  country: it's assumed that health care is a human right.

                    Iceland (my former home) is updating its constitution on the internet, and asking for comment from citizens on Facebook. (Yes, Facebook has emerged as a major tool of democracy; ask the Arabs.) The draft constitution looks like it was written by the far-left liberal wing of the Democratic Party, as a wish list of stuff they would like to see passed but know they could never get. The new constitution will enshrine, for example, high-speed internet access for all citizens as an inalienable right. A conversation akin to this thread would seem bizarre to them.

                    Off topic? Sure. But we're friends, and the economic travails of being a writer are worth discussing. (If I had just gone to truck driver school I wouldn't be in this position.)

                    --Kris Jackson
                    Author of Above the Fray, a Novel of the Union Balloon Corps
                    krisjacksondesign.com
                    774-276-0116

                    On Fri, 2011-07-01 at 16:55 -0700, Lloyd Lofthouse wrote:
                     
                    Janet,   I get a disability from the VA and the VA is my medical provider.  I do not go through the VA to get anything done. I go through a Veterans Service Representative at a Veterans Service Office. These reps do not work for the VA.  They are paid by each state so mine is paid by California.   As I understand it, due to the fact that the VA is about as confusing or more confusing than the IRS, the federal government mandated that the states provide funds for these Veterans Service Representatives so vets such as myself could go to them to get things done and get answers.  These reps are trained to do this.   You may want to call the office I go to in Contra Costa Country and ask for some advice.  They will not be able to serve you but maybe they can connect you to a Veterans Service Representative in your state or who serves your state. I understand that states with smaller populations pool resources to fund these offices.   Here is the number for the Contra Costa Country Veterans Service Office: 925-313-1481   I have no idea if this will help or not but it is worth a try  I was told by my Veterans Service Rep to avoid solving problems with the VA through the VA as it would be a frustrating and fruitless endeavor and to go to them (the state funded Veterans Service Rep) to navigate through the VA bureaucracy.  That's what they are for.  They are the middle man between the vet and the VA so the vet gets the support he or she deserves.    Sincerely,  Lloyd Lofthouse iLook China My Splendid Concubine Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine    

                    --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                    From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                    Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                    To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:07 PM

                     
                    She just opened the account today, and didn't even have a chance to notify the VA of the rounting number and account.   Is there a prize for most off-topic discussion in an IAG thread?   OTO, I did have a pleasant surprise, when I checked the Amazon author sales figures this morning (they update them every Thursday aft/Friday morn) and To Truckee's Trail had an awesome 25 copies sold over the last week. I have no idea what brought that on, as it usually maintains a steady 3-4 copies and about the same in Kindle. I hardly do anything to market it, these days -- and yet it goes steadily chugging away. 


                    Celia Hayes
                    Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy www.celiahayes.com  

                    --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                    From: janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                    Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                    To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:45 PM

                     
                    I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing the mixup for your daughter might be in changing it from a paper check to an e-check. Is there a way you can check online at the bank to see if maybe it was deposited there? Just a goofy thought--which I have more than enough of today! Janet


                    Keith Trilogy in Kindle now  Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ; Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause Check out videos here      

                    --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                    From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                    Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                    To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:41 PM



                    Go get 'em, Janet! (My daughter will probably take care of the leftovers!) I am betting that there was some kind of mix-up at the post office, and with luck the check will show up tomorrow. Oh and the ironical part? I spent an hour and a half of my working day, helping her open a bank account, so that she could get that VA payment via direct deposit. They aren't going to send paper checks any more. Really, lately I am beginning to wonder if the USPS is just a conduit for junk mail and magazines. Just about anything important these days seems to come by UPS...


                    Celia Hayes
                    Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy www.celiahayes.com  

                    --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                    From: janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                    Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                    To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:29 PM

                     
                    I completely understand that last statement. I hope she can get it figured out. I was surprised that somebody called on a Fri. afternoon before a holiday weekend--after waiting since Jan. with no response of any kind. I knew better than to ask for anybody who knew anything that would actually be working today. But look out on Tuesday!!!! Janet


                    Keith Trilogy in Kindle now  Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ; Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause Check out videos here      

                    --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                    From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                    Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                    To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:23 PM



                    I am so sorry, Janet -- at my house, we're a little freaked out this evening also, as my daughter draws a small VA disability payment, which has always come without fail on the 1st of the month. Today - no check at all. She is freaked out about this - it's not a large amount, but she counts on it, as she counts on the sun rising in the morning. And it's the start of a holiday weekend, so of course there is no bureaucratic support available. (Although it's been my experience WRT the VA that sometimes it's rather hard to tell.)
                      Celia Hayes
                    Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy www.celiahayes.com  

                    --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                    From: Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                    Subject: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                    To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:47 PM

                     
                    To say that I am upset is grossly understating what I am feeling right now. My late husband served in the Korean War, proudly, on the front lines. He was, thankfully, not injured in service, but when he was disabled at the age of 64, he was able to draw a disability from both Social Security and the VA.

                    He passed away in January 2008. While I was able to draw on both his SS and his VA, the amount was cut in half. Now anybody with half a brain knows that two people can't live as cheaply as one, nor can one live on half what two can live on. My rent, utilities, etc. went on as before. About the only thing that was reduced was clothing, food, his shaving gear, etc. However, I was grateful for what I received from both agencies.

                    For the entire time since he died up until Dec. last year, the amount SS charged for Medicare Part B was automatically deducted from my SS each month. Last Dec. when I applied for energy assistance in Marinette Co., WI, the case worker was surprised that I was being charged for the Medicare coverage. Due to my low income, she informed me, I should be eligible for a waiver so it would not be deducted. It was approved. However, a short time later I received a notice from the VA office in St. Paul MN that they were now going to reduce my monthly benefits in the same amount as the SS was adding.

                    I am a Christian woman. I have been a missionary all my life. It's not often I feel like swearing, but this has me at the point where I am about ready to do so.

                    I just got off the phone with a man from the St. Paul VA office who was trying to explain why they were reducing my payments each month and that there was no way that the request for a waiver, based on hardship, would be approved. He said, "I understand how hard it is…" I said (pardon my French), "The hell you do! Could you live on $600 a month? I'd like to see you try it." He said, "Well, there is nothing I can do about it."

                    So, I am appealing to anybody that will listen here to see if you have any suggestions of how to get around this? Meanwhile, the cost of living goes up and my income goes back down. This is "the land of the free"? It sure doesn't feel like Liberty to me right now.










                  • joanszechtman
                    Interesting letter supposedly from a senior citizen to Alan Simpson regarding changes in Social Security at Snopes
                    Message 9 of 21 , Jul 1, 2011
                      Interesting letter supposedly from a senior citizen to Alan Simpson regarding changes in Social Security at Snopes . :D Snopes couldn't confirm or deny that the letter is genuine, but it is on the mark.

                      Joan
                      ---
                      author of This Time and Loyalty Binds Me, novels about Richard III in the 21st-century
                      This Time was General Fiction Finalist of 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
                      website: http://www.joanszechtman.com/
                      blog: http://rtoaaa.blogspot.com/
                      ebook This Time: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/3935
                      ebook Loyalty Binds Me: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/61786

                      --- In IAG-members@yahoogroups.com, Kris Jackson <kris@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > I feel the frustration and the anger. Part of my problem is that I spent
                      > the day at my part-time job, driving around all day, listening to too
                      > much news. (On NPR, yet.) A lot of the time I feel like moving back to
                      > Europe. Everyone has health care there paid for by the state. It's like
                      > the fire department in this country: it's assumed that health care is
                      > a human right.
                      >
                      > Iceland (my former home) is updating its constitution on the internet,
                      > and asking for comment from citizens on Facebook. (Yes, Facebook has
                      > emerged as a major tool of democracy; ask the Arabs.) The draft
                      > constitution looks like it was written by the far-left liberal wing of
                      > the Democratic Party, as a wish list of stuff they would like to see
                      > passed but know they could never get. The new constitution will
                      > enshrine, for example, high-speed internet access for all citizens as an
                      > inalienable right. A conversation akin to this thread would seem bizarre
                      > to them.
                      >
                      > Off topic? Sure. But we're friends, and the economic travails of being a
                      > writer are worth discussing. (If I had just gone to truck driver school
                      > I wouldn't be in this position.)
                      >
                      > --Kris Jackson
                      > Author of Above the Fray, a Novel of the Union Balloon Corps
                      > krisjacksondesign.com
                      > 774-276-0116
                      >
                      > On Fri, 2011-07-01 at 16:55 -0700, Lloyd Lofthouse wrote:
                      >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Janet,
                      > >
                      > > I get a disability from the VA and the VA is my medical provider. I
                      > > do not go through the VA to get anything done. I go through a Veterans
                      > > Service Representative at a Veterans Service Office. These reps do not
                      > > work for the VA. They are paid by each state so mine is paid by
                      > > California.
                      > >
                      > > As I understand it, due to the fact that the VA is about as confusing
                      > > or more confusing than the IRS, the federal government mandated that
                      > > the states provide funds for these Veterans Service Representatives so
                      > > vets such as myself could go to them to get things done and get
                      > > answers. These reps are trained to do this.
                      > >
                      > > You may want to call the office I go to in Contra Costa Country and
                      > > ask for some advice. They will not be able to serve you but maybe
                      > > they can connect you to a Veterans Service Representative in your
                      > > state or who serves your state. I understand that states with smaller
                      > > populations pool resources to fund these offices.
                      > >
                      > > Here is the number for the Contra Costa Country Veterans Service
                      > > Office: 925-313-1481
                      > >
                      > > I have no idea if this will help or not but it is worth a try I was
                      > > told by my Veterans Service Rep to avoid solving problems with the VA
                      > > through the VA as it would be a frustrating and fruitless endeavor and
                      > > to go to them (the state funded Veterans Service Rep) to navigate
                      > > through the VA bureaucracy. That's what they are for. They are the
                      > > middle man between the vet and the VA so the vet gets the support he
                      > > or she deserves.
                      > >
                      > > Sincerely,
                      > > Lloyd Lofthouse
                      > > iLook China
                      > > My Splendid Concubine
                      > > Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes clyahayes@... wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > From: Celia Hayes clyahayes@...
                      > > Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                      > > To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:07 PM
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > She just opened the account today, and didn't even have a
                      > > chance to notify the VA of the rounting number and account.
                      > >
                      > > Is there a prize for most off-topic discussion in an IAG
                      > > thread?
                      > >
                      > > OTO, I did have a pleasant surprise, when I checked the Amazon
                      > > author sales figures this morning (they update them every
                      > > Thursday aft/Friday morn) and To Truckee's Trail had an
                      > > awesome 25 copies sold over the last week. I have no idea what
                      > > brought that on, as it usually maintains a steady 3-4 copies
                      > > and about the same in Kindle. I hardly do anything to market
                      > > it, these days -- and yet it goes steadily chugging away.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Celia Hayes
                      > > Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
                      > > www.celiahayes.com
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith
                      > > janetelainesmith@... wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > From: janetelaine smith janetelainesmith@...
                      > > Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear
                      > > with me
                      > > To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:45 PM
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing the mixup for
                      > > your daughter might be in changing it from a paper
                      > > check to an e-check. Is there a way you can check
                      > > online at the bank to see if maybe it was deposited
                      > > there? Just a goofy thought--which I have more than
                      > > enough of today!
                      > > Janet
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Keith Trilogy in Kindle now
                      > > Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                      > > Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                      > > Check out videos here
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes clyahayes@...
                      > > wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > From: Celia Hayes clyahayes@...
                      > > Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but
                      > > please bear with me
                      > > To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:41 PM
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Go get 'em, Janet! (My daughter will probably
                      > > take care of the leftovers!) I am betting that
                      > > there was some kind of mix-up at the post
                      > > office, and with luck the check will show up
                      > > tomorrow. Oh and the ironical part? I spent an
                      > > hour and a half of my working day, helping her
                      > > open a bank account, so that she could get
                      > > that VA payment via direct deposit. They
                      > > aren't going to send paper checks any more.
                      > > Really, lately I am beginning to wonder if the
                      > > USPS is just a conduit for junk mail and
                      > > magazines. Just about anything important these
                      > > days seems to come by UPS...
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Celia Hayes
                      > > Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein
                      > > Trilogy
                      > > www.celiahayes.com
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith
                      > > janetelainesmith@... wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > From: janetelaine smith
                      > > janetelainesmith@...
                      > > Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic,
                      > > but please bear with me
                      > > To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:29 PM
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > I completely understand that last
                      > > statement. I hope she can get it
                      > > figured out. I was surprised that
                      > > somebody called on a Fri. afternoon
                      > > before a holiday weekend--after
                      > > waiting since Jan. with no response of
                      > > any kind. I knew better than to ask
                      > > for anybody who knew anything that
                      > > would actually be working today. But
                      > > look out on Tuesday!!!!
                      > > Janet
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Keith Trilogy in Kindle now
                      > > Travel with JES to Venezuela and
                      > > back here ;
                      > > Just click on the cover of Rebel With
                      > > a Cause
                      > > Check out videos here
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes
                      > > clyahayes@... wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > From: Celia Hayes
                      > > clyahayes@...
                      > > Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off
                      > > topic, but please bear with me
                      > > To:
                      > > IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Date: Friday, July 1, 2011,
                      > > 5:23 PM
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > I am so sorry, Janet -- at my
                      > > house, we're a little freaked
                      > > out this evening also, as my
                      > > daughter draws a small VA
                      > > disability payment, which has
                      > > always come without fail on
                      > > the 1st of the month. Today -
                      > > no check at all. She is
                      > > freaked out about this - it's
                      > > not a large amount, but she
                      > > counts on it, as she counts on
                      > > the sun rising in the morning.
                      > > And it's the start of a
                      > > holiday weekend, so of course
                      > > there is no bureaucratic
                      > > support available. (Although
                      > > it's been my experience WRT
                      > > the VA that sometimes it's
                      > > rather hard to tell.)
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Celia Hayes
                      > > Author: Daughter of Texas &
                      > > The Adelsverein Trilogy
                      > > www.celiahayes.com
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Janet
                      > > Elaine Smith
                      > > janetelainesmith@...
                      > > wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > From: Janet Elaine
                      > > Smith
                      > > janetelainesmith@...
                      > > Subject: [IAG-members]
                      > > Off topic, but please
                      > > bear with me
                      > > To:
                      > > IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Date: Friday, July 1,
                      > > 2011, 4:47 PM
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > To say that I am upset
                      > > is grossly
                      > > understating what I am
                      > > feeling right now. My
                      > > late husband served in
                      > > the Korean War,
                      > > proudly, on the front
                      > > lines. He was,
                      > > thankfully, not
                      > > injured in service,
                      > > but when he was
                      > > disabled at the age of
                      > > 64, he was able to
                      > > draw a disability from
                      > > both Social Security
                      > > and the VA.
                      > >
                      > > He passed away in
                      > > January 2008. While I
                      > > was able to draw on
                      > > both his SS and his
                      > > VA, the amount was cut
                      > > in half. Now anybody
                      > > with half a brain
                      > > knows that two people
                      > > can't live as cheaply
                      > > as one, nor can one
                      > > live on half what two
                      > > can live on. My rent,
                      > > utilities, etc. went
                      > > on as before. About
                      > > the only thing that
                      > > was reduced was
                      > > clothing, food, his
                      > > shaving gear, etc.
                      > > However, I was
                      > > grateful for what I
                      > > received from both
                      > > agencies.
                      > >
                      > > For the entire time
                      > > since he died up until
                      > > Dec. last year, the
                      > > amount SS charged for
                      > > Medicare Part B was
                      > > automatically deducted
                      > > from my SS each month.
                      > > Last Dec. when I
                      > > applied for energy
                      > > assistance in
                      > > Marinette Co., WI, the
                      > > case worker was
                      > > surprised that I was
                      > > being charged for the
                      > > Medicare coverage. Due
                      > > to my low income, she
                      > > informed me, I should
                      > > be eligible for a
                      > > waiver so it would not
                      > > be deducted. It was
                      > > approved. However, a
                      > > short time later I
                      > > received a notice from
                      > > the VA office in St.
                      > > Paul MN that they were
                      > > now going to reduce my
                      > > monthly benefits in
                      > > the same amount as the
                      > > SS was adding.
                      > >
                      > > I am a Christian
                      > > woman. I have been a
                      > > missionary all my
                      > > life. It's not often I
                      > > feel like swearing,
                      > > but this has me at the
                      > > point where I am about
                      > > ready to do so.
                      > >
                      > > I just got off the
                      > > phone with a man from
                      > > the St. Paul VA office
                      > > who was trying to
                      > > explain why they were
                      > > reducing my payments
                      > > each month and that
                      > > there was no way that
                      > > the request for a
                      > > waiver, based on
                      > > hardship, would be
                      > > approved. He said, "I
                      > > understand how hard it
                      > > is…" I said (pardon my
                      > > French), "The hell you
                      > > do! Could you live on
                      > > $600 a month? I'd like
                      > > to see you try it." He
                      > > said, "Well, there is
                      > > nothing I can do about
                      > > it."
                      > >
                      > > So, I am appealing to
                      > > anybody that will
                      > > listen here to see if
                      > > you have any
                      > > suggestions of how to
                      > > get around this?
                      > > Meanwhile, the cost of
                      > > living goes up and my
                      > > income goes back down.
                      > > This is "the land of
                      > > the free"? It sure
                      > > doesn't feel like
                      > > Liberty to me right
                      > > now.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • Kris Jackson
                      One last little thing before signing off for the night: I currently claim only one veteran s benefit, and that s the ability to be sanctimonious as ALL HELL
                      Message 10 of 21 , Jul 1, 2011
                        One last little thing before signing off for the night: I currently claim only one veteran's benefit, and that's the ability to be sanctimonious as ALL HELL when discussing our current quagmires. G'night.

                        --Kris Jackson
                        Author of Above the Fray, a Novel of the Union Balloon Corps
                        krisjacksondesign.com
                        774-276-0116

                        On Fri, 2011-07-01 at 21:10 -0400, Kris Jackson wrote:
                         
                        I feel the frustration and the anger. Part of my problem is that I spent the day at my part-time job, driving around all day, listening to too much news. (On NPR, yet.) A lot of the time I feel like moving back to Europe. Everyone has health care there paid for by the state. It's like  the  fire  department in this  country: it's assumed that health care is a human right.

                        Iceland (my former home) is updating its constitution on the internet, and asking for comment from citizens on Facebook. (Yes, Facebook has emerged as a major tool of democracy; ask the Arabs.) The draft constitution looks like it was written by the far-left liberal wing of the Democratic Party, as a wish list of stuff they would like to see passed but know they could never get. The new constitution will enshrine, for example, high-speed internet access for all citizens as an inalienable right. A conversation akin to this thread would seem bizarre to them.

                        Off topic? Sure. But we're friends, and the economic travails of being a writer are worth discussing. (If I had just gone to truck driver school I wouldn't be in this position.)

                        --Kris Jackson
                        Author of Above the Fray, a Novel of the Union Balloon Corps
                        krisjacksondesign.com
                        774-276-0116


                        On Fri, 2011-07-01 at 16:55 -0700, Lloyd Lofthouse wrote:


                         
                        Janet,   I get a disability from the VA and the VA is my medical provider.  I do not go through the VA to get anything done. I go through a Veterans Service Representative at a Veterans Service Office. These reps do not work for the VA.  They are paid by each state so mine is paid by California.   As I understand it, due to the fact that the VA is about as confusing or more confusing than the IRS, the federal government mandated that the states provide funds for these Veterans Service Representatives so vets such as myself could go to them to get things done and get answers.  These reps are trained to do this.   You may want to call the office I go to in Contra Costa Country and ask for some advice.  They will not be able to serve you but maybe they can connect you to a Veterans Service Representative in your state or who serves your state. I understand that states with smaller populations pool resources to fund these offices.   Here is the number for the Contra Costa Country Veterans Service Office: 925-313-1481   I have no idea if this will help or not but it is worth a try  I was told by my Veterans Service Rep to avoid solving problems with the VA through the VA as it would be a frustrating and fruitless endeavor and to go to them (the state funded Veterans Service Rep) to navigate through the VA bureaucracy.  That's what they are for.  They are the middle man between the vet and the VA so the vet gets the support he or she deserves.    Sincerely,  Lloyd Lofthouse iLook China My Splendid Concubine Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine    

                        --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                        From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                        Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                        To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:07 PM

                         
                        She just opened the account today, and didn't even have a chance to notify the VA of the rounting number and account.   Is there a prize for most off-topic discussion in an IAG thread?   OTO, I did have a pleasant surprise, when I checked the Amazon author sales figures this morning (they update them every Thursday aft/Friday morn) and To Truckee's Trail had an awesome 25 copies sold over the last week. I have no idea what brought that on, as it usually maintains a steady 3-4 copies and about the same in Kindle. I hardly do anything to market it, these days -- and yet it goes steadily chugging away. 


                        Celia Hayes
                        Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy www.celiahayes.com  

                        --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                        From: janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                        Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                        To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:45 PM

                         
                        I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing the mixup for your daughter might be in changing it from a paper check to an e-check. Is there a way you can check online at the bank to see if maybe it was deposited there? Just a goofy thought--which I have more than enough of today! Janet


                        Keith Trilogy in Kindle now  Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ; Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause Check out videos here      

                        --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                        From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                        Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                        To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:41 PM



                        Go get 'em, Janet! (My daughter will probably take care of the leftovers!) I am betting that there was some kind of mix-up at the post office, and with luck the check will show up tomorrow. Oh and the ironical part? I spent an hour and a half of my working day, helping her open a bank account, so that she could get that VA payment via direct deposit. They aren't going to send paper checks any more. Really, lately I am beginning to wonder if the USPS is just a conduit for junk mail and magazines. Just about anything important these days seems to come by UPS...


                        Celia Hayes
                        Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy www.celiahayes.com  

                        --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                        From: janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                        Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                        To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:29 PM

                         
                        I completely understand that last statement. I hope she can get it figured out. I was surprised that somebody called on a Fri. afternoon before a holiday weekend--after waiting since Jan. with no response of any kind. I knew better than to ask for anybody who knew anything that would actually be working today. But look out on Tuesday!!!! Janet


                        Keith Trilogy in Kindle now  Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ; Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause Check out videos here      

                        --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                        From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                        Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                        To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:23 PM



                        I am so sorry, Janet -- at my house, we're a little freaked out this evening also, as my daughter draws a small VA disability payment, which has always come without fail on the 1st of the month. Today - no check at all. She is freaked out about this - it's not a large amount, but she counts on it, as she counts on the sun rising in the morning. And it's the start of a holiday weekend, so of course there is no bureaucratic support available. (Although it's been my experience WRT the VA that sometimes it's rather hard to tell.)
                          Celia Hayes
                        Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy www.celiahayes.com  

                        --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                        From: Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                        Subject: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                        To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:47 PM

                         
                        To say that I am upset is grossly understating what I am feeling right now. My late husband served in the Korean War, proudly, on the front lines. He was, thankfully, not injured in service, but when he was disabled at the age of 64, he was able to draw a disability from both Social Security and the VA.

                        He passed away in January 2008. While I was able to draw on both his SS and his VA, the amount was cut in half. Now anybody with half a brain knows that two people can't live as cheaply as one, nor can one live on half what two can live on. My rent, utilities, etc. went on as before. About the only thing that was reduced was clothing, food, his shaving gear, etc. However, I was grateful for what I received from both agencies.

                        For the entire time since he died up until Dec. last year, the amount SS charged for Medicare Part B was automatically deducted from my SS each month. Last Dec. when I applied for energy assistance in Marinette Co., WI, the case worker was surprised that I was being charged for the Medicare coverage. Due to my low income, she informed me, I should be eligible for a waiver so it would not be deducted. It was approved. However, a short time later I received a notice from the VA office in St. Paul MN that they were now going to reduce my monthly benefits in the same amount as the SS was adding.

                        I am a Christian woman. I have been a missionary all my life. It's not often I feel like swearing, but this has me at the point where I am about ready to do so.

                        I just got off the phone with a man from the St. Paul VA office who was trying to explain why they were reducing my payments each month and that there was no way that the request for a waiver, based on hardship, would be approved. He said, "I understand how hard it is…" I said (pardon my French), "The hell you do! Could you live on $600 a month? I'd like to see you try it." He said, "Well, there is nothing I can do about it."

                        So, I am appealing to anybody that will listen here to see if you have any suggestions of how to get around this? Meanwhile, the cost of living goes up and my income goes back down. This is "the land of the free"? It sure doesn't feel like Liberty to me right now.












                      • janetelaine smith
                        Thanks. I know there is one in Marinette Co. as I had to give them all of the info. I had on Ivan s file when I moved from ND to WI. Part of the problem comes
                        Message 11 of 21 , Jul 2, 2011
                          Thanks. I know there is one in Marinette Co. as I had to give them all of the info. I had on Ivan's file when I moved from ND to WI. Part of the problem comes with having applied in ND, then moving to WI, but I will sure give them a try on Tues. I don't know why I didn't think of them. They were helpful at the onset of the whole thing; it only took 6 months to get everything transferred so I could start getting the widow's pension I was due. Again, thanks.
                          Janet
                           
                          Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
                          Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                          Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                          Check out videos here
                           
                           
                           


                          --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Lloyd Lofthouse <lflwriter@...> wrote:

                          From: Lloyd Lofthouse <lflwriter@...>
                          Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                          To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 6:55 PM



                          Janet,
                           
                          I get a disability from the VA and the VA is my medical provider.  I do not go through the VA to get anything done. I go through a Veterans Service Representative at a Veterans Service Office. These reps do not work for the VA.  They are paid by each state so mine is paid by California.
                           
                          As I understand it, due to the fact that the VA is about as confusing or more confusing than the IRS, the federal government mandated that the states provide funds for these Veterans Service Representatives so vets such as myself could go to them to get things done and get answers.  These reps are trained to do this.
                           
                          You may want to call the office I go to in Contra Costa Country and ask for some advice.  They will not be able to serve you but maybe they can connect you to a Veterans Service Representative in your state or who serves your state. I understand that states with smaller populations pool resources to fund these offices.
                           
                          Here is the number for the Contra Costa Country Veterans Service Office: 925-313-1481
                           
                          I have no idea if this will help or not but it is worth a try  I was told by my Veterans Service Rep to avoid solving problems with the VA through the VA as it would be a frustrating and fruitless endeavor and to go to them (the state funded Veterans Service Rep) to navigate through the VA bureaucracy.  That's what they are for.  They are the middle man between the vet and the VA so the vet gets the support he or she deserves.
                           
                           Sincerely,
                           Lloyd Lofthouse
                           


                          --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                          From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                          Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                          To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:07 PM

                           
                          She just opened the account today, and didn't even have a chance to notify the VA of the rounting number and account.
                           
                          Is there a prize for most off-topic discussion in an IAG thread?
                           
                          OTO, I did have a pleasant surprise, when I checked the Amazon author sales figures this morning (they update them every Thursday aft/Friday morn) and To Truckee's Trail had an awesome 25 copies sold over the last week. I have no idea what brought that on, as it usually maintains a steady 3-4 copies and about the same in Kindle. I hardly do anything to market it, these days -- and yet it goes steadily chugging away. 

                          Celia Hayes
                          Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
                           


                          --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                          From: janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                          Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                          To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:45 PM

                           
                          I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing the mixup for your daughter might be in changing it from a paper check to an e-check. Is there a way you can check online at the bank to see if maybe it was deposited there? Just a goofy thought--which I have more than enough of today!
                          Janet

                          Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
                          Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                          Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                          Check out videos here
                           
                           
                           


                          --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                          From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                          Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                          To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:41 PM



                          Go get 'em, Janet! (My daughter will probably take care of the leftovers!) I am betting that there was some kind of mix-up at the post office, and with luck the check will show up tomorrow. Oh and the ironical part? I spent an hour and a half of my working day, helping her open a bank account, so that she could get that VA payment via direct deposit. They aren't going to send paper checks any more.
                          Really, lately I am beginning to wonder if the USPS is just a conduit for junk mail and magazines. Just about anything important these days seems to come by UPS...

                          Celia Hayes
                          Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
                           


                          --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                          From: janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                          Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                          To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:29 PM

                           
                          I completely understand that last statement. I hope she can get it figured out. I was surprised that somebody called on a Fri. afternoon before a holiday weekend--after waiting since Jan. with no response of any kind. I knew better than to ask for anybody who knew anything that would actually be working today. But look out on Tuesday!!!!
                          Janet

                          Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
                          Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                          Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                          Check out videos here
                           
                           
                           


                          --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                          From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                          Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                          To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:23 PM



                          I am so sorry, Janet -- at my house, we're a little freaked out this evening also, as my daughter draws a small VA disability payment, which has always come without fail on the 1st of the month. Today - no check at all. She is freaked out about this - it's not a large amount, but she counts on it, as she counts on the sun rising in the morning. And it's the start of a holiday weekend, so of course there is no bureaucratic support available. (Although it's been my experience WRT the VA that sometimes it's rather hard to tell.)

                           
                          Celia Hayes
                          Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
                           


                          --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                          From: Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                          Subject: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                          To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:47 PM

                           
                          To say that I am upset is grossly understating what I am feeling right now. My late husband served in the Korean War, proudly, on the front lines. He was, thankfully, not injured in service, but when he was disabled at the age of 64, he was able to draw a disability from both Social Security and the VA.

                          He passed away in January 2008. While I was able to draw on both his SS and his VA, the amount was cut in half. Now anybody with half a brain knows that two people can't live as cheaply as one, nor can one live on half what two can live on. My rent, utilities, etc. went on as before. About the only thing that was reduced was clothing, food, his shaving gear, etc. However, I was grateful for what I received from both agencies.

                          For the entire time since he died up until Dec. last year, the amount SS charged for Medicare Part B was automatically deducted from my SS each month. Last Dec. when I applied for energy assistance in Marinette Co., WI, the case worker was surprised that I was being charged for the Medicare coverage. Due to my low income, she informed me, I should be eligible for a waiver so it would not be deducted. It was approved. However, a short time later I received a notice from the VA office in St. Paul MN that they were now going to reduce my monthly benefits in the same amount as the SS was adding.

                          I am a Christian woman. I have been a missionary all my life. It's not often I feel like swearing, but this has me at the point where I am about ready to do so.

                          I just got off the phone with a man from the St. Paul VA office who was trying to explain why they were reducing my payments each month and that there was no way that the request for a waiver, based on hardship, would be approved. He said, "I understand how hard it is…" I said (pardon my French), "The hell you do! Could you live on $600 a month? I'd like to see you try it." He said, "Well, there is nothing I can do about it."

                          So, I am appealing to anybody that will listen here to see if you have any suggestions of how to get around this? Meanwhile, the cost of living goes up and my income goes back down. This is "the land of the free"? It sure doesn't feel like Liberty to me right now.







                        • janetelaine smith
                          Then that s not possible. Good luck on it, and please let me know what happens with her too. Of course, like a toothache, things always happen on a Friday to
                          Message 12 of 21 , Jul 2, 2011
                            Then that's not possible. Good luck on it, and please let me know what happens with her too. Of course, like a toothache, things always happen on a Friday to screw with our lives.
                             
                            Sorry to interject an off-topic issue onto the group. I was just so doggone irate, and that doesn't happen to me often. My apologies to the group.
                            Janet

                            Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
                            Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                            Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                            Check out videos here
                             
                             
                             


                            --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                            From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                            Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                            To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 6:07 PM



                            She just opened the account today, and didn't even have a chance to notify the VA of the rounting number and account.
                             
                            Is there a prize for most off-topic discussion in an IAG thread?
                             
                            OTO, I did have a pleasant surprise, when I checked the Amazon author sales figures this morning (they update them every Thursday aft/Friday morn) and To Truckee's Trail had an awesome 25 copies sold over the last week. I have no idea what brought that on, as it usually maintains a steady 3-4 copies and about the same in Kindle. I hardly do anything to market it, these days -- and yet it goes steadily chugging away. 

                            Celia Hayes
                            Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
                             


                            --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                            From: janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                            Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                            To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:45 PM

                             
                            I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing the mixup for your daughter might be in changing it from a paper check to an e-check. Is there a way you can check online at the bank to see if maybe it was deposited there? Just a goofy thought--which I have more than enough of today!
                            Janet

                            Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
                            Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                            Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                            Check out videos here
                             
                             
                             


                            --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                            From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                            Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                            To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:41 PM



                            Go get 'em, Janet! (My daughter will probably take care of the leftovers!) I am betting that there was some kind of mix-up at the post office, and with luck the check will show up tomorrow. Oh and the ironical part? I spent an hour and a half of my working day, helping her open a bank account, so that she could get that VA payment via direct deposit. They aren't going to send paper checks any more.
                            Really, lately I am beginning to wonder if the USPS is just a conduit for junk mail and magazines. Just about anything important these days seems to come by UPS...

                            Celia Hayes
                            Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
                             


                            --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                            From: janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                            Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                            To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:29 PM

                             
                            I completely understand that last statement. I hope she can get it figured out. I was surprised that somebody called on a Fri. afternoon before a holiday weekend--after waiting since Jan. with no response of any kind. I knew better than to ask for anybody who knew anything that would actually be working today. But look out on Tuesday!!!!
                            Janet

                            Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
                            Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                            Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                            Check out videos here
                             
                             
                             


                            --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                            From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                            Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                            To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:23 PM



                            I am so sorry, Janet -- at my house, we're a little freaked out this evening also, as my daughter draws a small VA disability payment, which has always come without fail on the 1st of the month. Today - no check at all. She is freaked out about this - it's not a large amount, but she counts on it, as she counts on the sun rising in the morning. And it's the start of a holiday weekend, so of course there is no bureaucratic support available. (Although it's been my experience WRT the VA that sometimes it's rather hard to tell.)

                             
                            Celia Hayes
                            Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
                             


                            --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                            From: Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                            Subject: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                            To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:47 PM

                             
                            To say that I am upset is grossly understating what I am feeling right now. My late husband served in the Korean War, proudly, on the front lines. He was, thankfully, not injured in service, but when he was disabled at the age of 64, he was able to draw a disability from both Social Security and the VA.

                            He passed away in January 2008. While I was able to draw on both his SS and his VA, the amount was cut in half. Now anybody with half a brain knows that two people can't live as cheaply as one, nor can one live on half what two can live on. My rent, utilities, etc. went on as before. About the only thing that was reduced was clothing, food, his shaving gear, etc. However, I was grateful for what I received from both agencies.

                            For the entire time since he died up until Dec. last year, the amount SS charged for Medicare Part B was automatically deducted from my SS each month. Last Dec. when I applied for energy assistance in Marinette Co., WI, the case worker was surprised that I was being charged for the Medicare coverage. Due to my low income, she informed me, I should be eligible for a waiver so it would not be deducted. It was approved. However, a short time later I received a notice from the VA office in St. Paul MN that they were now going to reduce my monthly benefits in the same amount as the SS was adding.

                            I am a Christian woman. I have been a missionary all my life. It's not often I feel like swearing, but this has me at the point where I am about ready to do so.

                            I just got off the phone with a man from the St. Paul VA office who was trying to explain why they were reducing my payments each month and that there was no way that the request for a waiver, based on hardship, would be approved. He said, "I understand how hard it is…" I said (pardon my French), "The hell you do! Could you live on $600 a month? I'd like to see you try it." He said, "Well, there is nothing I can do about it."

                            So, I am appealing to anybody that will listen here to see if you have any suggestions of how to get around this? Meanwhile, the cost of living goes up and my income goes back down. This is "the land of the free"? It sure doesn't feel like Liberty to me right now.







                          • janetelaine smith
                            Well put. As Mary Higgins Clark once asked me (with her tongue firmly planted in her cheek), With your ability to express yourself, have you ever considered
                            Message 13 of 21 , Jul 2, 2011
                              Well put. As Mary Higgins Clark once asked me (with her tongue firmly planted in her cheek), "With your ability to express yourself, have you ever considered becoming a writer?"
                              Janet

                              Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
                              Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                              Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                              Check out videos here
                               
                               
                               


                              --- On Sat, 7/2/11, Kris Jackson <kris@...> wrote:

                              From: Kris Jackson <kris@...>
                              Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                              To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Saturday, July 2, 2011, 12:14 AM



                              One last little thing before signing off for the night: I currently claim only one veteran's benefit, and that's the ability to be sanctimonious as ALL HELL when discussing our current quagmires. G'night.

                              --Kris Jackson
                              Author of Above the Fray, a Novel of the Union Balloon Corps
                              krisjacksondesign.com
                              774-276-0116

                              On Fri, 2011-07-01 at 21:10 -0400, Kris Jackson wrote:
                               
                              I feel the frustration and the anger. Part of my problem is that I spent the day at my part-time job, driving around all day, listening to too much news. (On NPR, yet.) A lot of the time I feel like moving back to Europe. Everyone has health care there paid for by the state. It's like  the  fire  department in this  country: it's assumed that health care is a human right.

                              Iceland (my former home) is updating its constitution on the internet, and asking for comment from citizens on Facebook. (Yes, Facebook has emerged as a major tool of democracy; ask the Arabs.) The draft constitution looks like it was written by the far-left liberal wing of the Democratic Party, as a wish list of stuff they would like to see passed but know they could never get. The new constitution will enshrine, for example, high-speed internet access for all citizens as an inalienable right. A conversation akin to this thread would seem bizarre to them.

                              Off topic? Sure. But we're friends, and the economic travails of being a writer are worth discussing. (If I had just gone to truck driver school I wouldn't be in this position.)

                              --Kris Jackson
                              Author of Above the Fray, a Novel of the Union Balloon Corps
                              krisjacksondesign.com
                              774-276-0116


                              On Fri, 2011-07-01 at 16:55 -0700, Lloyd Lofthouse wrote:


                               
                              Janet,   I get a disability from the VA and the VA is my medical provider.  I do not go through the VA to get anything done. I go through a Veterans Service Representative at a Veterans Service Office. These reps do not work for the VA.  They are paid by each state so mine is paid by California.   As I understand it, due to the fact that the VA is about as confusing or more confusing than the IRS, the federal government mandated that the states provide funds for these Veterans Service Representatives so vets such as myself could go to them to get things done and get answers.  These reps are trained to do this.   You may want to call the office I go to in Contra Costa Country and ask for some advice.  They will not be able to serve you but maybe they can connect you to a Veterans Service Representative in your state or who serves your state. I understand that states with smaller populations pool resources to fund these offices.   Here is the number for the Contra Costa Country Veterans Service Office: 925-313-1481   I have no idea if this will help or not but it is worth a try  I was told by my Veterans Service Rep to avoid solving problems with the VA through the VA as it would be a frustrating and fruitless endeavor and to go to them (the state funded Veterans Service Rep) to navigate through the VA bureaucracy.  That's what they are for.  They are the middle man between the vet and the VA so the vet gets the support he or she deserves.    Sincerely,  Lloyd Lofthouse iLook China My Splendid Concubine Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine    

                              --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                              From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                              Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                              To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:07 PM

                               
                              She just opened the account today, and didn't even have a chance to notify the VA of the rounting number and account.   Is there a prize for most off-topic discussion in an IAG thread?   OTO, I did have a pleasant surprise, when I checked the Amazon author sales figures this morning (they update them every Thursday aft/Friday morn) and To Truckee's Trail had an awesome 25 copies sold over the last week. I have no idea what brought that on, as it usually maintains a steady 3-4 copies and about the same in Kindle. I hardly do anything to market it, these days -- and yet it goes steadily chugging away. 


                              Celia Hayes
                              Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy www.celiahayes.com  

                              --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                              From: janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                              Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                              To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:45 PM

                               
                              I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing the mixup for your daughter might be in changing it from a paper check to an e-check. Is there a way you can check online at the bank to see if maybe it was deposited there? Just a goofy thought--which I have more than enough of today! Janet


                              Keith Trilogy in Kindle now  Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ; Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause Check out videos here      

                              --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                              From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                              Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                              To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:41 PM



                              Go get 'em, Janet! (My daughter will probably take care of the leftovers!) I am betting that there was some kind of mix-up at the post office, and with luck the check will show up tomorrow. Oh and the ironical part? I spent an hour and a half of my working day, helping her open a bank account, so that she could get that VA payment via direct deposit. They aren't going to send paper checks any more. Really, lately I am beginning to wonder if the USPS is just a conduit for junk mail and magazines. Just about anything important these days seems to come by UPS...


                              Celia Hayes
                              Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy www.celiahayes.com  

                              --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                              From: janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                              Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                              To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:29 PM

                               
                              I completely understand that last statement. I hope she can get it figured out. I was surprised that somebody called on a Fri. afternoon before a holiday weekend--after waiting since Jan. with no response of any kind. I knew better than to ask for anybody who knew anything that would actually be working today. But look out on Tuesday!!!! Janet


                              Keith Trilogy in Kindle now  Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ; Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause Check out videos here      

                              --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...> wrote:

                              From: Celia Hayes <clyahayes@...>
                              Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                              To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:23 PM



                              I am so sorry, Janet -- at my house, we're a little freaked out this evening also, as my daughter draws a small VA disability payment, which has always come without fail on the 1st of the month. Today - no check at all. She is freaked out about this - it's not a large amount, but she counts on it, as she counts on the sun rising in the morning. And it's the start of a holiday weekend, so of course there is no bureaucratic support available. (Although it's been my experience WRT the VA that sometimes it's rather hard to tell.)
                                Celia Hayes
                              Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy www.celiahayes.com  

                              --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                              From: Janet Elaine Smith <janetelainesmith@...>
                              Subject: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                              To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:47 PM

                               
                              To say that I am upset is grossly understating what I am feeling right now. My late husband served in the Korean War, proudly, on the front lines. He was, thankfully, not injured in service, but when he was disabled at the age of 64, he was able to draw a disability from both Social Security and the VA.

                              He passed away in January 2008. While I was able to draw on both his SS and his VA, the amount was cut in half. Now anybody with half a brain knows that two people can't live as cheaply as one, nor can one live on half what two can live on. My rent, utilities, etc. went on as before. About the only thing that was reduced was clothing, food, his shaving gear, etc. However, I was grateful for what I received from both agencies.

                              For the entire time since he died up until Dec. last year, the amount SS charged for Medicare Part B was automatically deducted from my SS each month. Last Dec. when I applied for energy assistance in Marinette Co., WI, the case worker was surprised that I was being charged for the Medicare coverage. Due to my low income, she informed me, I should be eligible for a waiver so it would not be deducted. It was approved. However, a short time later I received a notice from the VA office in St. Paul MN that they were now going to reduce my monthly benefits in the same amount as the SS was adding.

                              I am a Christian woman. I have been a missionary all my life. It's not often I feel like swearing, but this has me at the point where I am about ready to do so.

                              I just got off the phone with a man from the St. Paul VA office who was trying to explain why they were reducing my payments each month and that there was no way that the request for a waiver, based on hardship, would be approved. He said, "I understand how hard it is…" I said (pardon my French), "The hell you do! Could you live on $600 a month? I'd like to see you try it." He said, "Well, there is nothing I can do about it."

                              So, I am appealing to anybody that will listen here to see if you have any suggestions of how to get around this? Meanwhile, the cost of living goes up and my income goes back down. This is "the land of the free"? It sure doesn't feel like Liberty to me right now.














                            • janetelaine smith
                              Thanks, Joan. I ll check it out. Janet Keith Trilogy in Kindle now  Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ; Just click on the cover of Rebel With a
                              Message 14 of 21 , Jul 2, 2011
                                Thanks, Joan. I'll check it out.
                                Janet

                                Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
                                Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                                Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                                Check out videos here
                                 
                                 
                                 


                                --- On Sat, 7/2/11, joanszechtman <u2nohoo@...> wrote:

                                From: joanszechtman <u2nohoo@...>
                                Subject: [IAG-members] Re: Off topic, but please bear with me
                                To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                                Date: Saturday, July 2, 2011, 12:12 AM



                                Interesting letter supposedly from a senior citizen to Alan Simpson regarding changes in Social Security at Snopes . :D Snopes couldn't confirm or deny that the letter is genuine, but it is on the mark.

                                Joan
                                ---
                                author of This Time and Loyalty Binds Me, novels about Richard III in the 21st-century
                                This Time was General Fiction Finalist of 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
                                website: http://www.joanszechtman.com/
                                blog: http://rtoaaa.blogspot.com/
                                ebook This Time: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/3935
                                ebook Loyalty Binds Me: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/61786

                                --- In IAG-members@yahoogroups.com, Kris Jackson <kris@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > I feel the frustration and the anger. Part of my problem is that I spent
                                > the day at my part-time job, driving around all day, listening to too
                                > much news. (On NPR, yet.) A lot of the time I feel like moving back to
                                > Europe. Everyone has health care there paid for by the state. It's like
                                > the fire department in this country: it's assumed that health care is
                                > a human right.
                                >
                                > Iceland (my former home) is updating its constitution on the internet,
                                > and asking for comment from citizens on Facebook. (Yes, Facebook has
                                > emerged as a major tool of democracy; ask the Arabs.) The draft
                                > constitution looks like it was written by the far-left liberal wing of
                                > the Democratic Party, as a wish list of stuff they would like to see
                                > passed but know they could never get. The new constitution will
                                > enshrine, for example, high-speed internet access for all citizens as an
                                > inalienable right. A conversation akin to this thread would seem bizarre
                                > to them.
                                >
                                > Off topic? Sure. But we're friends, and the economic travails of being a
                                > writer are worth discussing. (If I had just gone to truck driver school
                                > I wouldn't be in this position.)
                                >
                                > --Kris Jackson
                                > Author of Above the Fray, a Novel of the Union Balloon Corps
                                > krisjacksondesign.com
                                > 774-276-0116
                                >
                                > On Fri, 2011-07-01 at 16:55 -0700, Lloyd Lofthouse wrote:
                                >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Janet,
                                > >
                                > > I get a disability from the VA and the VA is my medical provider. I
                                > > do not go through the VA to get anything done. I go through a Veterans
                                > > Service Representative at a Veterans Service Office. These reps do not
                                > > work for the VA. They are paid by each state so mine is paid by
                                > > California.
                                > >
                                > > As I understand it, due to the fact that the VA is about as confusing
                                > > or more confusing than the IRS, the federal government mandated that
                                > > the states provide funds for these Veterans Service Representatives so
                                > > vets such as myself could go to them to get things done and get
                                > > answers. These reps are trained to do this.
                                > >
                                > > You may want to call the office I go to in Contra Costa Country and
                                > > ask for some advice. They will not be able to serve you but maybe
                                > > they can connect you to a Veterans Service Representative in your
                                > > state or who serves your state. I understand that states with smaller
                                > > populations pool resources to fund these offices.
                                > >
                                > > Here is the number for the Contra Costa Country Veterans Service
                                > > Office: 925-313-1481
                                > >
                                > > I have no idea if this will help or not but it is worth a try I was
                                > > told by my Veterans Service Rep to avoid solving problems with the VA
                                > > through the VA as it would be a frustrating and fruitless endeavor and
                                > > to go to them (the state funded Veterans Service Rep) to navigate
                                > > through the VA bureaucracy. That's what they are for. They are the
                                > > middle man between the vet and the VA so the vet gets the support he
                                > > or she deserves.
                                > >
                                > > Sincerely,
                                > > Lloyd Lofthouse
                                > > iLook China
                                > > My Splendid Concubine
                                > > Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes clyahayes@... wrote:
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > From: Celia Hayes clyahayes@...
                                > > Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear with me
                                > > To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                                > > Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 4:07 PM
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > She just opened the account today, and didn't even have a
                                > > chance to notify the VA of the rounting number and account.
                                > >
                                > > Is there a prize for most off-topic discussion in an IAG
                                > > thread?
                                > >
                                > > OTO, I did have a pleasant surprise, when I checked the Amazon
                                > > author sales figures this morning (they update them every
                                > > Thursday aft/Friday morn) and To Truckee's Trail had an
                                > > awesome 25 copies sold over the last week. I have no idea what
                                > > brought that on, as it usually maintains a steady 3-4 copies
                                > > and about the same in Kindle. I hardly do anything to market
                                > > it, these days -- and yet it goes steadily chugging away.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Celia Hayes
                                > > Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein Trilogy
                                > > www.celiahayes.com
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith
                                > > janetelainesmith@... wrote:
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > From: janetelaine smith janetelainesmith@...
                                > > Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but please bear
                                > > with me
                                > > To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                                > > Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:45 PM
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing the mixup for
                                > > your daughter might be in changing it from a paper
                                > > check to an e-check. Is there a way you can check
                                > > online at the bank to see if maybe it was deposited
                                > > there? Just a goofy thought--which I have more than
                                > > enough of today!
                                > > Janet
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Keith Trilogy in Kindle now
                                > > Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                                > > Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                                > > Check out videos here
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes clyahayes@...
                                > > wrote:
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > From: Celia Hayes clyahayes@...
                                > > Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic, but
                                > > please bear with me
                                > > To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                                > > Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:41 PM
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Go get 'em, Janet! (My daughter will probably
                                > > take care of the leftovers!) I am betting that
                                > > there was some kind of mix-up at the post
                                > > office, and with luck the check will show up
                                > > tomorrow. Oh and the ironical part? I spent an
                                > > hour and a half of my working day, helping her
                                > > open a bank account, so that she could get
                                > > that VA payment via direct deposit. They
                                > > aren't going to send paper checks any more.
                                > > Really, lately I am beginning to wonder if the
                                > > USPS is just a conduit for junk mail and
                                > > magazines. Just about anything important these
                                > > days seems to come by UPS...
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Celia Hayes
                                > > Author: Daughter of Texas & The Adelsverein
                                > > Trilogy
                                > > www.celiahayes.com
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > --- On Fri, 7/1/11, janetelaine smith
                                > > janetelainesmith@... wrote:
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > From: janetelaine smith
                                > > janetelainesmith@...
                                > > Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off topic,
                                > > but please bear with me
                                > > To: IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                                > > Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 5:29 PM
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > I completely understand that last
                                > > statement. I hope she can get it
                                > > figured out. I was surprised that
                                > > somebody called on a Fri. afternoon
                                > > before a holiday weekend--after
                                > > waiting since Jan. with no response of
                                > > any kind. I knew better than to ask
                                > > for anybody who knew anything that
                                > > would actually be working today. But
                                > > look out on Tuesday!!!!
                                > > Janet
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Keith Trilogy in Kindle now
                                > > Travel with JES to Venezuela and
                                > > back here ;
                                > > Just click on the cover of Rebel With
                                > > a Cause
                                > > Check out videos here
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Celia Hayes
                                > > clyahayes@... wrote:
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > From: Celia Hayes
                                > > clyahayes@...
                                > > Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Off
                                > > topic, but please bear with me
                                > > To:
                                > > IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                                > > Date: Friday, July 1, 2011,
                                > > 5:23 PM
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > I am so sorry, Janet -- at my
                                > > house, we're a little freaked
                                > > out this evening also, as my
                                > > daughter draws a small VA
                                > > disability payment, which has
                                > > always come without fail on
                                > > the 1st of the month. Today -
                                > > no check at all. She is
                                > > freaked out about this - it's
                                > > not a large amount, but she
                                > > counts on it, as she counts on
                                > > the sun rising in the morning.
                                > > And it's the start of a
                                > > holiday weekend, so of course
                                > > there is no bureaucratic
                                > > support available. (Although
                                > > it's been my experience WRT
                                > > the VA that sometimes it's
                                > > rather hard to tell.)
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Celia Hayes
                                > > Author: Daughter of Texas &
                                > > The Adelsverein Trilogy
                                > > www.celiahayes.com
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > --- On Fri, 7/1/11, Janet
                                > > Elaine Smith
                                > > janetelainesmith@...
                                > > wrote:
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > From: Janet Elaine
                                > > Smith
                                > > janetelainesmith@...
                                > > Subject: [IAG-members]
                                > > Off topic, but please
                                > > bear with me
                                > > To:
                                > > IAG-members@yahoogroups.com
                                > > Date: Friday, July 1,
                                > > 2011, 4:47 PM
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > To say that I am upset
                                > > is grossly
                                > > understating what I am
                                > > feeling right now. My
                                > > late husband served in
                                > > the Korean War,
                                > > proudly, on the front
                                > > lines. He was,
                                > > thankfully, not
                                > > injured in service,
                                > > but when he was
                                > > disabled at the age of
                                > > 64, he was able to
                                > > draw a disability from
                                > > both Social Security
                                > > and the VA.
                                > >
                                > > He passed away in
                                > > January 2008. While I
                                > > was able to draw on
                                > > both his SS and his
                                > > VA, the amount was cut
                                > > in half. Now anybody
                                > > with half a brain
                                > > knows that two people
                                > > can't live as cheaply
                                > > as one, nor can one
                                > > live on half what two
                                > > can live on. My rent,
                                > > utilities, etc. went
                                > > on as before. About
                                > > the only thing that
                                > > was reduced was
                                > > clothing, food, his
                                > > shaving gear, etc.
                                > > However, I was
                                > > grateful for what I
                                > > received from both
                                > > agencies.
                                > >
                                > > For the entire time
                                > > since he died up until
                                > > Dec. last year, the
                                > > amount SS charged for
                                > > Medicare Part B was
                                > > automatically deducted
                                > > from my SS each month.
                                > > Last Dec. when I
                                > > applied for energy
                                > > assistance in
                                > > Marinette Co., WI, the
                                > > case worker was
                                > > surprised that I was
                                > > being charged for the
                                > > Medicare coverage. Due
                                > > to my low income, she
                                > > informed me, I should
                                > > be eligible for a
                                > > waiver so it would not
                                > > be deducted. It was
                                > > approved. However, a
                                > > short time later I
                                > > received a notice from
                                > > the VA office in St.
                                > > Paul MN that they were
                                > > now going to reduce my
                                > > monthly benefits in
                                > > the same amount as the
                                > > SS was adding.
                                > >
                                > > I am a Christian
                                > > woman. I have been a
                                > > missionary all my
                                > > life. It's not often I
                                > > feel like swearing,
                                > > but this has me at the
                                > > point where I am about
                                > > ready to do so.
                                > >
                                > > I just got off the
                                > > phone with a man from
                                > > the St. Paul VA office
                                > > who was trying to
                                > > explain why they were
                                > > reducing my payments
                                > > each month and that
                                > > there was no way that
                                > > the request for a
                                > > waiver, based on
                                > > hardship, would be
                                > > approved. He said, "I
                                > > understand how hard it
                                > > is…" I said (pardon my
                                > > French), "The hell you
                                > > do! Could you live on
                                > > $600 a month? I'd like
                                > > to see you try it." He
                                > > said, "Well, there is
                                > > nothing I can do about
                                > > it."
                                > >
                                > > So, I am appealing to
                                > > anybody that will
                                > > listen here to see if
                                > > you have any
                                > > suggestions of how to
                                > > get around this?
                                > > Meanwhile, the cost of
                                > > living goes up and my
                                > > income goes back down.
                                > > This is "the land of
                                > > the free"? It sure
                                > > doesn't feel like
                                > > Liberty to me right
                                > > now.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
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                              • Nan Hawthorne
                                All I ask is that you reconsider killing the messenger, Janet. The guy you talked to can t change the situation. And all customer service people are trained
                                Message 15 of 21 , Jul 6, 2011
                                  All I ask is that you reconsider killing the messenger, Janet. The guy
                                  you talked to can't change the situation. And all customer service
                                  people are trained to say "I understand" because what else can they say?

                                  If you have an issue with a policy you gotta contact your elected
                                  offfccials. Whether or not they can or will do anything, they are at
                                  least conceivably able to.

                                  You have every reason to be angryt, but why make someone innocent feel bad?

                                  --
                                  Cordially,

                                  Nan Hawthorne, Historical Novelist
                                  www.nanhawthorne.com

                                  BELOVED PILGRIM, a woman dons her brother's armor and heads for the
                                  doomed Crusade of 1101
                                  AN INVOLUNTARY KING: A TALE OF ANGLO SAXON ENGLAND, a novel of love and
                                  war of Arthurian dimensions


                                  _______________________________________________________
                                  Unlimited Disk, Data Transfer, PHP/MySQL Domain Hosting
                                  http://www.doteasy.com
                                • joanszechtman
                                  Nan, lucky for me that I don t have to deal with this particular branch of the bureaucracy, but the CSR should have referred Janet to a manager who has more
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Jul 6, 2011
                                    Nan, lucky for me that I don't have to deal with this particular branch
                                    of the bureaucracy, but the CSR should have referred Janet to a manager
                                    who has more authority and so on up the chain of command until she got
                                    to the person who would have been able to help her. I do agree with you
                                    that barring any solution from the local office, contacting one's
                                    elected representative is the right thing to do.

                                    Joan
                                    ---
                                    author of This Time and Loyalty Binds Me, novels about Richard III in
                                    the 21st-century
                                    This Time was General Fiction Finalist of 2010 Next Generation Indie
                                    Book Awards
                                    website: http://www.joanszechtman.com/
                                    blog: http://rtoaaa.blogspot.com/
                                    ebook This Time: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/3935
                                    ebook Loyalty Binds Me: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/61786

                                    --- In IAG-members@yahoogroups.com, <hawthorne@...> (Nan Hawthorne
                                    <hawthorne%nanhawthorne.com>) wrote:
                                    >
                                    > All I ask is that you reconsider killing the messenger, Janet. The
                                    guy
                                    > you talked to can't change the situation. And all customer service
                                    > people are trained to say "I understand" because what else can they
                                    say?
                                    >
                                    > If you have an issue with a policy you gotta contact your elected
                                    > offfccials. Whether or not they can or will do anything, they are at
                                    > least conceivably able to.
                                    >
                                    > You have every reason to be angryt, but why make someone innocent feel
                                    bad?
                                    >
                                    > --
                                    > Cordially,
                                    >
                                    > Nan Hawthorne, Historical Novelist
                                    > www.nanhawthorne.com
                                    >
                                    > BELOVED PILGRIM, a woman dons her brother's armor and heads for the
                                    > doomed Crusade of 1101
                                    > AN INVOLUNTARY KING: A TALE OF ANGLO SAXON ENGLAND, a novel of love
                                    and
                                    > war of Arthurian dimensions
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > _______________________________________________________
                                    > Unlimited Disk, Data Transfer, PHP/MySQL Domain Hosting
                                    > http://www.doteasy.com
                                    >
                                  • janetelaine smith
                                    I know that, Nan (technically, anyway). I guess my only explanation is Because he was the only one handy. I did get a reply from one of the WI senators late
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Jul 7, 2011
                                      I know that, Nan (technically, anyway). I guess my only explanation is "Because he was the only one handy."
                                      I did get a reply from one of the WI senators late yesterday afternoon. I have to send him a release form and a letter detailing the entire situation. At least that one answered. I know, it was a holiday weekend, so I was surprised to even hear from one of them that soon. Time will tell. I'm not expecting miracles. I still believe in them, but I'm not sure the gov't. is included in them. <g>
                                      Janet

                                      Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
                                      Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                                      Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                                      Check out videos here
                                       
                                       
                                       


                                      --- On Wed, 7/6/11, hawthorne@... <hawthorne@...> wrote:

                                      From: hawthorne@... <hawthorne@...>
                                      Subject: [IAG-members] Re: Off topic, but please bear with me
                                      To: iag-members@yahoogroups.com
                                      Date: Wednesday, July 6, 2011, 1:22 PM

                                      All I ask is that you reconsider killing the messenger, Janet.  The guy
                                      you talked to can't change the situation.  And all customer service
                                      people are trained to say "I understand" because what else can they say?

                                      If you have an issue with a policy you gotta contact your elected
                                      offfccials.  Whether or not they can or will do anything, they are at
                                      least conceivably able to.

                                      You have every reason to be angryt, but why make someone innocent feel bad?

                                      --
                                      Cordially,

                                      Nan Hawthorne, Historical Novelist
                                      www.nanhawthorne.com

                                      BELOVED PILGRIM, a woman dons her brother's armor and heads for the
                                      doomed Crusade of 1101
                                      AN INVOLUNTARY KING: A TALE OF ANGLO SAXON ENGLAND, a novel of love and
                                      war of Arthurian dimensions


                                      _______________________________________________________
                                      Unlimited Disk, Data Transfer, PHP/MySQL Domain Hosting
                                                    http://www.doteasy.com


                                      ------------------------------------

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                                    • Kris Jackson
                                      Someone like you, articulate and with a lotta drive, has an advantage in a situation like this. Think of all the poor communicators who just get swept under
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Jul 7, 2011
                                        Someone like you, articulate and with a lotta drive, has an advantage in a situation like this. Think of all the poor communicators who just get swept under the rug. The bureaucrats always have the upper hand. (And the little guys have ... The lower hand?)



                                        -- Kris Jackson
                                        Author of "Above the Fray, a Novel of the Union Balloon Corps"

                                        On Jul 7, 2011 8:24 AM, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                                         

                                        I know that, Nan (technically, anyway). I guess my only explanation is "Because he was the only one handy."
                                        I did get a reply from one of the WI senators late yesterday afternoon. I have to send him a release form and a letter detailing the entire situation. At least that one answered. I know, it was a holiday weekend, so I was surprised to even hear from one of them that soon. Time will tell. I'm not expecting miracles. I still believe in them, but I'm not sure the gov't. is included in them. <g>
                                        Janet

                                        Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
                                        Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                                        Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                                        Check out videos here
                                         
                                         
                                         


                                        --- On Wed, 7/6/11, hawthorne@... <hawthorne@...> wrote:

                                        From: hawthorne@... <hawthorne@...>
                                        Subject: [IAG-members] Re: Off topic, but please bear with me
                                        To: iag-members@yahoogroups.com
                                        Date: Wednesday, July 6, 2011, 1:22 PM

                                        All I ask is that you reconsider killing the messenger, Janet.  The guy
                                        you talked to can't change the situation.  And all customer service
                                        people are trained to say "I understand" because what else can they say?

                                        If you have an issue with a policy you gotta contact your elected
                                        offfccials.  Whether or not they can or will do anything, they are at
                                        least conceivably able to.

                                        You have every reason to be angryt, but why make someone innocent feel bad?

                                        --
                                        Cordially,

                                        Nan Hawthorne, Historical Novelist
                                        www.nanhawthorne.com

                                        BELOVED PILGRIM, a woman dons her brother's armor and heads for the
                                        doomed Crusade of 1101
                                        AN INVOLUNTARY KING: A TALE OF ANGLO SAXON ENGLAND, a novel of love and
                                        war of Arthurian dimensions


                                        _______________________________________________________
                                        Unlimited Disk, Data Transfer, PHP/MySQL Domain Hosting
                                                      http://www.doteasy.com


                                        ------------------------------------

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                                      • Arlington
                                        You forgot the classic server response, No Problem. What? There might have been some kind of problem? I think that what you meant to say to my thank you was
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Jul 7, 2011
                                          You forgot the classic server response, "No Problem." What? There might have been some kind of problem? I think that what you meant to say to my thank you was actually "You're Welcome." Kids. Pffft.

                                          --- In IAG-members@yahoogroups.com, <hawthorne@...> (Nan Hawthorne <hawthorne%nanhawthorne.com>) wrote:
                                          >
                                          > All I ask is that you reconsider killing the messenger, Janet. The guy
                                          > you talked to can't change the situation. And all customer service
                                          > people are trained to say "I understand" because what else can they say?
                                          >
                                          > If you have an issue with a policy you gotta contact your elected
                                          > offfccials. Whether or not they can or will do anything, they are at
                                          > least conceivably able to.
                                          >
                                          > You have every reason to be angryt, but why make someone innocent feel bad?
                                          >
                                          > --
                                          > Cordially,
                                          >
                                          > Nan Hawthorne, Historical Novelist
                                          > www.nanhawthorne.com
                                          >
                                          > BELOVED PILGRIM, a woman dons her brother's armor and heads for the
                                          > doomed Crusade of 1101
                                          > AN INVOLUNTARY KING: A TALE OF ANGLO SAXON ENGLAND, a novel of love and
                                          > war of Arthurian dimensions
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > _______________________________________________________
                                          > Unlimited Disk, Data Transfer, PHP/MySQL Domain Hosting
                                          > http://www.doteasy.com
                                          >
                                        • janetelaine smith
                                          Having worked with troubled and under-privileged people most of my life, that is one of the most frustrating parts of it, Kris. I would love to be able to get
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Jul 7, 2011
                                            Having worked with troubled and under-privileged people most of my life, that is one of the most frustrating parts of it, Kris. I would love to be able to get this changed as a general policy, but I'm too much of a realist to think that might happen. However, if I can manage to buck the system even a bit, I will know how to direct the next person I hear of who has a similar problem.
                                            Janet

                                            Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
                                            Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                                            Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                                            Check out videos here
                                             
                                             
                                             


                                            --- On Thu, 7/7/11, Kris Jackson <kris@...> wrote:

                                            From: Kris Jackson <kris@...>
                                            Subject: Re: [IAG-members] Re: Off topic, but please bear with me
                                            To: "IAG-members@yahoogroups.com" <iag-members@yahoogroups.com>
                                            Date: Thursday, July 7, 2011, 7:44 AM



                                            Someone like you, articulate and with a lotta drive, has an advantage in a situation like this. Think of all the poor communicators who just get swept under the rug. The bureaucrats always have the upper hand. (And the little guys have ... The lower hand?)



                                            -- Kris Jackson
                                            Author of "Above the Fray, a Novel of the Union Balloon Corps"

                                            On Jul 7, 2011 8:24 AM, janetelaine smith <janetelainesmith@...> wrote:

                                             
                                            I know that, Nan (technically, anyway). I guess my only explanation is "Because he was the only one handy."
                                            I did get a reply from one of the WI senators late yesterday afternoon. I have to send him a release form and a letter detailing the entire situation. At least that one answered. I know, it was a holiday weekend, so I was surprised to even hear from one of them that soon. Time will tell. I'm not expecting miracles. I still believe in them, but I'm not sure the gov't. is included in them. <g>
                                            Janet

                                            Keith Trilogy in Kindle now 
                                            Travel with JES to Venezuela and back here ;
                                            Just click on the cover of Rebel With a Cause
                                            Check out videos here
                                             
                                             
                                             


                                            --- On Wed, 7/6/11, hawthorne@... <hawthorne@...> wrote:

                                            From: hawthorne@... <hawthorne@...>
                                            Subject: [IAG-members] Re: Off topic, but please bear with me
                                            To: iag-members@yahoogroups.com
                                            Date: Wednesday, July 6, 2011, 1:22 PM

                                            All I ask is that you reconsider killing the messenger, Janet.  The guy
                                            you talked to can't change the situation.  And all customer service
                                            people are trained to say "I understand" because what else can they say?

                                            If you have an issue with a policy you gotta contact your elected
                                            offfccials.  Whether or not they can or will do anything, they are at
                                            least conceivably able to.

                                            You have every reason to be angryt, but why make someone innocent feel bad?

                                            --
                                            Cordially,

                                            Nan Hawthorne, Historical Novelist
                                            www.nanhawthorne.com

                                            BELOVED PILGRIM, a woman dons her brother's armor and heads for the
                                            doomed Crusade of 1101
                                            AN INVOLUNTARY KING: A TALE OF ANGLO SAXON ENGLAND, a novel of love and
                                            war of Arthurian dimensions


                                            _______________________________________________________
                                            Unlimited Disk, Data Transfer, PHP/MySQL Domain Hosting
                                                          http://www.doteasy.com


                                            ------------------------------------

                                            + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ +  ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + + ~ + ~

                                            Read our monthly newsletter!

                                            http://www.independentauthorsguild.com/PublicationPage-IAG.htm
                                            News, reviews, all you can use.

                                            + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ Yahoo! Groups Links

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                                          • Kris Jackson
                                            Consarned whippersnappers. Anybody ever actually use either consarned or whippersnapper in a story? In my new book (which switched itself to first person and
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Jul 7, 2011
                                              Consarned whippersnappers. Anybody ever actually use either consarned or whippersnapper in a story? In my new book (which switched itself to first person and started writing itself last night) I intend to properly use shebang, caboodle, limelight and a coupla other things whose original meanings have been subsumed by the sands of time. Yeah, and I think I'll use subsume as well.



                                              -- Kris Jackson
                                              Author of "Above the Fray, a Novel of the Union Balloon Corps"

                                              On Jul 7, 2011 10:15 AM, Arlington <mnrancher@...> wrote:

                                               

                                              You forgot the classic server response, "No Problem." What? There might have been some kind of problem? I think that what you meant to say to my thank you was actually "You're Welcome." Kids. Pffft.

                                              --- In IAG-members@yahoogroups.com, <hawthorne@...> (Nan Hawthorne <hawthorne%nanhawthorne.com>) wrote:
                                              >
                                              > All I ask is that you reconsider killing the messenger, Janet. The guy
                                              > you talked to can't change the situation. And all customer service
                                              > people are trained to say "I understand" because what else can they say?
                                              >
                                              > If you have an issue with a policy you gotta contact your elected
                                              > offfccials. Whether or not they can or will do anything, they are at
                                              > least conceivably able to.
                                              >
                                              > You have every reason to be angryt, but why make someone innocent feel bad?
                                              >
                                              > --
                                              > Cordially,
                                              >
                                              > Nan Hawthorne, Historical Novelist
                                              > www.nanhawthorne.com
                                              >
                                              > BELOVED PILGRIM, a woman dons her brother's armor and heads for the
                                              > doomed Crusade of 1101
                                              > AN INVOLUNTARY KING: A TALE OF ANGLO SAXON ENGLAND, a novel of love and
                                              > war of Arthurian dimensions
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > _______________________________________________________
                                              > Unlimited Disk, Data Transfer, PHP/MySQL Domain Hosting
                                              > http://www.doteasy.com
                                              >

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