Saturday, November 15, 2014

Who's Paying For That? Oh Yes -- You Are.

And so am I for that matter.

In the course of events I often do court appointed work as a Guardian Ad Litem.  This is mainly investigating as to whether a guardianship or conservatorship is appropriate as is being requested by the person filing the petition for the alleged incapacitated individual.

Sometime the determination is real easy.

Take Y, for instance. A 50-something female that looks like she's 70.  In hospital for an infection brought on by being homeless and a list of maladies a mile wide and a list of current medications a mile longer.

Oh, and Y's been a heroin addict for a good long time. 

When the hospital social worker notes Y has been a repeat customer and both she and the doc on the floor indicate she can't make any decisions for herself and badly needs a guardian, the determination is damn simple to make, and after talking with Y its even simpler.

Now, as to who's paying for this?  Well, Y's sole source of income is Social Security Disability.

Even better, Y's drug dealer apparently has direct access to her checking account.  This clearly helps his cash-flow situation and assures he gets paid, and it is interesting to see that ACH isn't just for law-abiding businesses anymore.  Until a guardian is appointed this apparently cannot be just shut off as Y has sole control of the account and the bank won't give the proposed guardian any info until they are appointed.

To put it plainly: the US Government is paying a drug dealer for heroin with your tax dollars, courtesy of SSDI.

The government is, of course, also footing her quite extensive and expensive medical bills with those lovely tax dollars as well.


Expatriate Owl said...

And who pays the Guardian Ad Litem's fee?

[I, too, have served on a number of occasions as a G-A-L. So don't fret too much, all you taxpayers out there; the G-A-L fees may pay a few bills, but are usually not very lucrative. And if the unlicensed pharmacist's access to the account is in fact shut down, then the taxpaying public does get a fair amount of bang for its buck.].

Aaron said...

Yep, generally it's the County that covers the GAL fee unless the estate of the incapacitated individual has funds and then it gets shifted to them. In this case obviously the county will be footing the bill.

The hours involved divided by the county determined fee results in a better payment than which would result by my asking "Do you want fries with that?", but not by too much.

Murphy's Law said...

re: drug dealers having direct access to an SSI-D reciepient's account...welcome to the subculture. They just got in line behind the bartenders and liquor store owners and the arabs who run the party stores and buy food stamps for thirty cents on the dollar. These games have been going on across the country for decades and fraud losses to the taxpayer run into the BILLIONS every year. But no one cares, least of all the government agencies that dole out the money, because more money out equals a higher budget next year. The government, unlike a private charity, has no reason to cut costs or ferret out fraud and waste; to the contrary, it benefits them.