“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

I got a letter from FEMA today.

The letter informed me that now, after OVER A YEAR, they could not verify my identity, and unless I could prove that I do, indeed, hold my social security number, that I will have to give all the aid they gave me back. 

All the aid they gave me amounts to a total of $3,200.  Which sounds like a lot until you realize that rent on a fully-furnished 1-bedroom apartment is over $1000 a month.  And I had to have it fully furnished – sheets, towels, the works – because I lost everything and was prohibited by FEMA regulations from purchasing replacement goods with Rental Assistance money.  I lived four months in evacuation.  You do the math.

Oh, and I can’t send them a copy of my social security card.  Because that isn’t good enough proof. 

I can send employment records.  And how does my employer get my social security number?  From the card.

I can send them bank records.   And how does my bank get my social security number?  From the card.

I can send them my tax return.  And who fills out that number?  That would be me.

Now, virtually all my paperwork prior to September of 2005 was destroyed in Katrina.  Thankfully, I ordered copies of my Tax Returns from the IRS (which, ironically, was the only consistently helpful government entity during the disaster), so that I have an old tax return connecting my name, my number AND my address in Louisiana.  Because folks?  If I had to order these things, 30 days would not have cut it.  When was the last time you got a replacement document, other than a driver’s license, in less than 30 days?

Now, just think a minute.  I ordered my tax returns from the IRS.  From the Federal Government.  In Washington.

FEMA is an agency of the Federal Government.  In Washington.

And that employer, who could have verified my identity quickly and easily?  The US Department of Agriculture.  An agency of the Federal Government.  In Washington.

Do you see a pattern emerging here?

Your tax dollars at work, folks.  Remember what I said about Big Brother?

I rest my case.

October 25th, 2006 at 11:32 am
2 Responses to “Just another testament to government “competence””
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    Tracey Says:

    Okay, now that just sucks. (I know, I usually try to be more eloquent in what I say and write, but it won’t do any good to try and be all swanky in this case.) This is just outrageous.

    My opinion: I think that Big Brother is too busy filling out quizzes on MySpace to be bothered to do his job anymore.

  2. 2

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