They Say I Owe Them What?

Well, after receiving a call on Thursday afternoon which induced panic (basically my schedule gets canceled if I don’t fork over $3000 by Wednesday), I practically ran to the Financial Aid office with as much paperwork as I could proving that I’m on Disability. I gave them bank statements, promising that within a couple of days I would receive my Proof of Income letter which proves that I am, in fact, on Social Security Disability. That afternoon, I came home to the letter being in my mailbox, as well as my 2008 1099. I can’t find my 1099 from 2007, but since I have said multiple times and written a signed letter swearing that I did not file taxes in 2008, I don’t see how that would be a problem. I understand my income went up a little bit over the past year (I think cost of living increases by 3-5% a year), but that’s just a few dollars on the check. I rushed to the Office today with my letters I had received Thursday, which the Proof of Income letter mentions what I was being paid in 2007. I come home and check the status of my Financial Aid online, which no one had ever pointed me to when I was getting ready to go to this school, and I see that my tax proof has been waived, but they’re still trying to review my worksheet that says that I received SSDI payments that were less than $2200 last year. It doesn’t say what I was paid in SSI, but as far as I know SSI payments can’t be factored into taxes, tuition, financial aid, because they are pretty much only given to people below the poverty line. Well, I check my FA status a few minutes ago, and it says that I need to prove my benefits from 2007 with a letter from Social Security now.

1. Didn’t I just prove that I’ve been receiving benefits since at least 2007 by giving them a Proof of Income letter which mentions that I was being paid monthly a certain amount in 2007?

2. Even if I could find a way to get Social Security to send me the information from 2007 about how much they paid me total, how am I supposed to get all of that information by Wednesday before 5pm in order to get the financial aid disbursed in time to keep me from being kicked from the system? Keep in mind that tomorrow and Sunday are off-limits because the Fed doesn’t do weekends, neither does the school. Then, Monday is off, too, because we have to pay respect to the late, great MLK that day in both venues. So I have Tuesday to ask the Federal government, which is notorious for taking its time, to send me information for the next day. Uh-huh. Like that will ever happen.

I could try to get SSA to send me a crapload of information for Wednesday, but it wouldn’t get here until MAYBE next Wednesday. (More than likely, it would be AT LEAST the NEXT Wednesday before they’d get it to me, as it took 9 business days to get the last Proof of Income letter, and you have to factor in things like mail problems and all the other crazy people who have to ask them to do little things like this.) And there is no way on the Proof on Income letter request form to ask for back information. Why would you need back information? Generally all you need is proof that this is your source of income. Of course, it didn’t suffice for the state government when I was trying to get a disability exemption on property tax either.

I don’t get why people ask for information and say that they want one thing, then don’t accept it when you give it to them. It’s like you feel like you’re being punished when you’re disabled. The first way of punishment is the disability because most people don’t feel like they DESERVE to feel like crap in whatever way they feel like crap. Then, you get the way people react when they hear you have a disability. Then, you get the way that people treat you when they realize that because you’re disabled that they can treat you a certain way and get away with it because there’s basically nothing you can do.

Oh, and in case you’re having trouble with the math, I was getting probably less than $200 a month. I get a little more now. Still, I have to pay my other bills, which takes up all my SSI. So, let’s say I still have SSDI to work with and that’s about $200. In order to pay the school for my $3000 tuition, I would have to work out to pay them every month for the next 15 months for my one semester’s tuition. Now, factor in that I have 5 more semesters at this school to go, and it would be seven and a half years of paying that way to pay for 3 years of education. This is when I have filled out a FAFSA and prominently told the government that I WOULD NOT be filing taxes. This is when I have told them that I’m on SSI and Food Stamps. This is clearly a person that cannot afford their tuition and they have told me that my EFC would be 0. Now, I can’t pull off subsidized student loans and grants, which I would receive at that designation, without this financial aid and I can’t get the aid without them processing the form. How am I supposed to pay for my education without them figuring out another way to process my forms? It’s way too late to get scholarships for this semester. I don’t want to drop out of school. I don’t want to be the girl who can never get a college degree because she can’t get the SSA to send the Department of Education people proof that she didn’t have to give the Department of the Treasury any information about the money that the SSA gives her because she’s already crazy before dealing with this crazy system!

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Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.

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