Homeless Issues Part 1

I have been writing about helping my nephew by providing a mailing address so I can monitor his status (medical and SSDI), making phone calls, attending meetings with him and his counselors and trying to keep communications timely and accurate. Recently, one of his counselors determined that he was receiving significantly less SSDI payments than he is qualified to receive and has been trying to assist him. As a result, forms have arrived at my mailing address c/o me and I have taken these forms to Aaron, helped him complete them and send them to the Social Security Administration.

The most recent form indicated that they don’t have accurate information about his status and he has 10 days to contact them and provide the information or his current benefits will be stopped. I do not have any legal status to act in his behalf, but I am persistent and his story is compelling enough to at least have the person on the phone listen and give me general advice. After a lot of calls, I have determined that there are two offices that are involved: Monmouth County because his mail is forwarded to me and Gloucester County because that was his last known official address. Essentially, they are going to stop his payment of $50 a month until they can determine if there is some kind of fraud and clarify all information.

Everything needs to be completed by mail because the offices are closed due to Covid and I can’t help him set up an on-line account because it is not legal to share information about your account with anyone. He can’t do this himself because he doesn’t know how to use a computer, doesn’t have a phone or a computer, doesn’t have an email address and doesn’t have an actual address. I am happy that he is drug free for several months and has help from his counselors, but I keep thinking about all the homeless people that are in a lesser position and do not have someone to make calls, follow up on information and can provide food and support.

Like a lot of homeless people and people that are drug dependent, Aaron is not very good at dealing with the frustrations of dealing with the workings of government agencies and their time lines. If you add in his bi-polar issues and figure that he might not be taking his medications, this problem gets a lot more complex and frustrating for him. The people and family members that are involved in an uncertain journey because he does not always

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I have a BA in Psychology and a teaching certificate as a Special Education teacher. I have a MA in Student Personnel Services and I recently retired from my position as a Guidance Counselor. I have been active on advisory boards concerning disability issues for over 25 years. I also have over 25 years of business experience in Human Resources and Operations Management.

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