Apparently Social Security thinks so. Every three years or so, they investigate individuals with intellectual disabilities to determine if they still have them.
Our daughter? Oh, you bet she does, and I have mountains of proof.
So imagine my surprise when, upon bureaucratic review, I’m notified that my 25-plus pages of government-required documentation is insufficient.
“We need more verification,” the reviewer tells me, “that her condition has not improved.”
Me: “Do you realize,” I ask calmly, “her condition is PERMANENT!”
Nice lady on the phone: “Yes,” she replies, “but we need to validate that she hasn’t gotten better.”
Me: “Are you familiar with the phrase ‘when pigs fly’? May I ask why you are checking to see if a disability that doesn’t go away has gone away?”
Nice lady: “Because it’s the rule.”
Me: “Do you realize it’s a preposterous rule?" (Suddenly, the voice in my head admonishes, “There you go again, thinking logically.”)
Nice lady: “I don’t make up the rules. I just follow them.”
Me: “Your rule is the very definition of insanity, unless you tell me you are on a secret mission to find a miracle. Then, I’m all in. Parents like me are always looking for a miracle.”
Nice lady: “I’m sorry, Ma’am.”
Me: “Is anyone assessing the intellectual aptitude of the people making up these rules?”
Nice lady: “I understand your frustration, I really do.”
Me: “Hey, I‘ve got an idea, would you like to FaceTime my daughter?”
Nice lady: “Pardon me?”
Me: “You could see for yourself in just a few minutes that she still has disabilities. Never mind, I already know the answer. Okay, I’ll snail mail more paperwork.”
Weeks later, turns out Noni’s lifetime of multifactored assessments still isn’t enough to satisfy doubters. My snarky self wishes they dug this deep looking for weapons of mass destruction.
Next step, we are summoned to a mandated appointment with yet another independent psychologist, lined up and paid for with tax dollars, for a one- to three-hour evaluation to decide if her unbudging diagnosis since toddlerhood has somehow disappeared, a tortuous waste of everyone’s time.
Millions of individuals with lifelong intellectual disabilities are thrust into this serial charade, while we pay millions of taxpayer dollars to government employees and psychologists to perform loony duty.
Just this week, our daughter got the news we were expecting: “After reviewing the evidence, we find that your disability is continuing.”
Dang! We were hoping for a miracle.