So here's the deal with those extra refunds that my sister the ex-mayor's wife and I were getting on Mom's medicare premiums that were automatically taken out after she had died...
Sis fought that original refund battle with the SS folks, went to her local government reps, then all the way to Washington. She's tenacious, my sister the ex-mayor's wife! After almost a year and a half, we got that money back. When I wrote about it here, I mistakenly thought that money had been deposited in Mom's account that we had left open for that purpose. Nope. Sis had gotten a check for the full amount, and cashed it and gave me half, back in the middle of June. She did not, however, make a copy of that check, which came with no tear-off stub. Same as the one I got for half that amount a couple weeks ago. No tear-off stub. At least I made a copy.
So here's the problem. I waited for Sis to get HER new half so we could go together to turn in our new checks to the local Social Security office. No need to do hard time for fraud. I don't need to be on my feet all day breaking up boulders with a sledgehammer. And Hick is sure not astute enough to bake me a cake with a file in it.
Sitting at New Delly in my dark basement lair on Monday evening, I got a text from Sis. "I got the Medicare check today." After much back-and-forth, like trying to plan an outing with Mom, requiring just shy of the effort needed to mount the Allied Invasion of Normandy, we agreed on the time to meet to relinquish our ill-gotten gains. Then I got another text.
"Just opened my letter from the Social Security Administration, and there was no check. There was a letter that said it was returned to them??? Do you still want to go and I take this letter but make them give me something that shows I didn't get it?"
"I will still go, because I want to get rid of it."
THEN Sis sent me a picture of her letter. I have printed it and taken a closeup, because that ding-dang-donged new Office that I have doesn't let me crop pictures like the old one. It was a form with a letterhead and claim number that said:
We are writing to tell you that your payment of $XX.xx was returned to us. We need information below to reissue this payment.
Please indicate below whether the address shown above is your current mailing address. If it is not, please provide us with your current address.
Is the address show above your current address?
( ) yes ( ) no
If, NO, write your current address here:
Please sign and date this letter and return it in the enclosed envelope. Please mail your response to:
AND HERE'S WHERE MY SCAMMY SENSE WAS ACTIVATED
See that little problem there? I got right back on the phone and sent Sis another text.
"That looks bogus. The K in Kansas City is not capitalized at the bottom. Somebody might have scammed your check!"
"Well they sent it in a social security administration envelope (just like the one I got saying I was going to be receiving a check), and also sent me a return envelope with postage paid. The envelope I got it in had no stamp."
"Then no wonder you couldn't get that money back, and are now getting DOUBLE MONEY, because that organization does not even understand the rudimentary rules of capitalization!"
What say you? Would this raise your suspicion hackles? Maybe it's just really hard to gain the trust of a former teacher. Unless you were a kindergarten teacher like Sis. They're more trusting, I suppose. Not as jaded.
Anyhoo...we got called back into the inner sanctum of the SS office, were given the cold shoulder and treated not very politely by a dude who acted like we ruined his day by being there. He looked at Sis.
"Can I see your ID?" He took it and made a copy. "What's going on?" Giving her the cold stare the whole time.
"We got this refund a couple of months ago, for Medicare my mom had taken out of her account after she had passed. Your people here told me I would not get it. The main agency said I would not get it. A person told me to contact my local representative. And after going through all that, THEY told me I would not get it. Now, after almost two years, we got it back. And now my sister has gotten half of it again, and I have a letter saying my half was sent back because of the wrong address, but it's the RIGHT address."
"I know that. I see it right here." He motioned to his computer monitor, which we only saw the back of. Dude was kind of snotty just to be snotty. I know a public employee attitude when I see it. After all, I spent five years working for the state unemployment office! He looked at me and said, "Why are YOU here?"
"I just want to give back this check. I've already gotten my half of the money back." I pushed the check across the desk.
"I'll need your ID."
"Can I get something to show that I turned that check in?"
"Sure. It'll cost you $XX.xx." He winked at me. I was not seeing the humor. Nor appreciating his demeanor. Sis was only worried about being exonerated from her attempted fraud.
"Can I get a letter showing that I did not get a check?"
"You already got one."
"But what if they send the check again?"
"We won't. I see it right here on screen. It's not going back out unless we do something to send it. And we're not going to."
"Okaayyy. I'm keeping this letter saying it was sent back."
"It's not going out again."
"All right, then. Thank you." We got out of there like a couple of would-be thieves making their getaway. Once we were out of the inner sanctum, Sis said, "I'm pretty sure he's the guy I talked to in the beginning. The one who kept telling me that I was not going to get that money back. I guess he was mad because I went over his head. But that's what somebody who used to work here told me to do!"
Heh, heh! Do you know who that was, that advice-giver? Our knightess in shining armor once again? It was the ex-mayor's sister! The one who stepped in front of the solar panel of the car Genius's team beat by 18 minutes in an 8-day race!
Even Steven apparently has a capricious sense of fair play.