Homeless woman proves the U.S. government owes her $100,000


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/08/23/homeless-woman-proves-the-u-s.html


#2

I just read this elsewhere, what a sad story! Even with a good ending, imagine the years of abuse and humiliation she endured. She should sue to get ten years back.


#3

Homeless woman proves the U.S. government owes her $100,000

Honestly, withholding that last dollar just seems spiteful.


#4

IRS checks can’t go over $9,999. If you’re entitled to more, you get multiple checks. It’s probably hard-coded to limit theft or something.


#5

The withholding of the dollar was deliberate to expedite getting the money to her. If they were to cut a check for $100k it would have delayed the process because of the limit of what they’re allowed to cut.


#6

I read this article yesterday elsewhere and what strikes me is that everyone she dealt with over the years either dismissed her outright (and referred her to seeking mental health help) or just shrugged and said they wish they could help her but never tried to actually do their job. Seemed that her situation was also exacerbated by her personality, where she’s very direct and stand offish so i think people were less willing to take the time to help.
Still the whole situation reeks of red tape and frustrating circumstances. She’s was also victim of people being unwilling to give a career to her when she wasn’t homeless because of her age, which i understand but it’s kind of bullshit.


#7

Who wanted an unsmiling woman on her way to 70 who still carried herself like a machinist in their office?

Sounds ideal to me!


#8

This will be resolved and forgotten. We will blame the faceless beurocracy and proclaim this to be ‘one of those things’ and allow the system to continue to operate as it always has. It’s beyond our control we are told.


#9

More like, hard-coded to limit the effort the fortran coder had to put in.


#10

Hey! You take that ba

catastrophic error: Token too long, max is 7194. Last token on line -4611686018407622524


#11

There needs to be a way to fire bureaucrats who don’t do their job.


#12

There needs to be a way to make being a bureaucrat in the U.S. less like being in hell. The agency I worked for was underfunded (kept getting cuts in real dollars), underpaid (despite being a PhD engineer), micromanaged by congress (“modernization” acts that cut our authority), and basically vilified for 36 years thanks to Reagan and his band of rogues.

It was made intentionally difficult to fire federal employees in order to make sure politicians can’t order outright purges of people they consider enemies (like I would have been by shrub for example, for performing my regulatory job too well – that is, had I been noticed).

But the idea that federal employees can’t be fired is not true. It’s just long and difficult.

I have other objections to the “fire the bureaucrats” but I’ve flamed enough for one afternoon.


#13

Actually, the article says she got a check for $999 in June and a payment of $1,464 last week. Her lawyer says she should be getting $99,999 in the next few days, but she’s still waiting for it:

[quote]August 22, 2016 | Last Updated: Aug 23 10:42 AM ET […]

Witter should be getting her check from Social Security for $99,999 in the next few days, said her new attorney, Daniela de la Piedra, who specializes in Social Security disputes. That’s the largest amount that the Social Security Administration can cut to get her the money fast. She might be owed even more, which would be paid out later, once all the paperwork is done.[…]

In June, a Social Security official finally acknowledged the severity of her case and wrote Witter a check for $999 – the maximum allowed if it’s written on the spot, de la Piedra said.[…]

The first full payment – the amount Witter was truly owed after all those years in the machine shop and, before that, behind a grocery store cash register – finally arrived last week. She got $1,464.[…]

She won’t buy a window unit air conditioner or a hot plate or anything more indulgent than that pillow and some necessities. She still has a hard time believing that the $100,000 will come.[/quote]


#14

There’s a typo either in Mark’s writeup or the WaPo article, because the article says $999.


#15

It does!

In June, a Social Security official finally acknowledged the severity of her case and wrote Witter a check for $999 – the maximum allowed if it’s written on the spot, de la Piedra said

It also says:

Witter should be getting her check from Social Security for $99,999 in the next few days, said her new attorney, Daniela de la Piedra, who specializes in Social Security disputes. That’s the largest amount that the Social Security Administration can cut to get her the money fast. She might be owed even more, which would be paid out later, once all the paperwork is done.


#16

COBOL.

I am not allowed to use all caps.


#17

It’s kinda curious to me that the article doesn’t explain what the problem was, or what her proof was. It’s also a little confusing in one place; was she entitled to support - which she didn’t receive - [I]while[/I] she was working “all those years in the machine shop and, before that, behind a grocery store cash register.” The article implies she is, but it isn’t really clear.

My perspective is; I’m happy she is finally getting what she is entitled to. I am also really interested in what went wrong, and how it went wrong. At the beginning, I mean. Not during the 16 years she was trying to get someone to listen. That failure seems reasonably clear.


#18

Sweet jebus, she was an experienced, professional machinist and she could neither find work nor make herself something to earn money with?

Perhaps they mean something different by “machinist”?

Around here, being a certified machinist means that a person can make an engineer’s blueprint into real stuff using any number of machines/tools.
It is a highly skilled profession, and highly sought after with many applications.


#19

WHY NOT? YOU SHOULD TRY HARDER.

<hee hee!>


#20

Is “around here” in Washington DC? Because that’s where she is. And, frankly, she might have been interested in finding a new career.