Tuesday, May 28, 2013

All Grown Up

I thought I had a pretty good idea about how things were going to change, about what things needed to be done when my children with disabilities turned 18.  I think I was wrong...

I knew that I had to get a power of attorney drawn up for both Ronnie and Ashley.  I remembered that from when Jessica turned 18.  What I don't remember is needing it as much as I have.  Hospitals, doctor's offices, even the day support program I am exploring for Ashley have all asked for it.  I'm really glad I started the process early or we might have been in a real bind.  (I chose not to go for guardianship because I believe my children are capable of making decisions, but sometimes they need help with those decisions.)

I started the process to get Social Security for Ashley, but haven't started it for Ronnie yet.  I went online and filled out the form titled 'Social Security Disability Application."  I got all the signatures done (needed two witnesses), and filled out information for about 15 different doctors and medical facilities.  Then two weeks after doing the form online, a real SSA person calls me to let me know that I filled out the wrong form.  I should have filled out the form for SSI not SSDI.  SSDI is for people for have previously worked and then become disabled, not someone who has been disabled since birth.  I was fortunate that the real person who called was very helpful and very well informed.  I think we might be on the right track now, and after I get signatures (witnessed) yet again, hopefully we will get a decision soon.

Then there are the things I haven't done yet - contacted the local Resources for Independent Living office to get Ronnie some help in passing his driver's test; pushed our state's Disability Resource agency to ensure both kids get the employment resources and help they need; and set up bank accounts for both Ronnie and Ashley so in the event they are approved for SSI, they will have a place for the money to be deposited.

I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff too.  If any of you have been through this adult services stuff, please share and let me know what else I need to do!

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