Downside of the “Patriot Act”.
My mother is an diagnosed early stage Alzheimer case. For the last ten years she has been my aunts Authorized Representative and received her Federal SSSI funds for providing Aunt Mary with a place to live, food and clothing. Except that for the last five years as my mother declined in health and competency, either Mary or both of them have been living here with me.
Recently a crisis has developed, although repeatedly told that it was important to file change of address notices with insurance, Federal and State agencies it became obvious that few of the above were notified. Though told that she needed to file a Change of Address with the Post Office in her old town, she never did so. Only a Forwarding of Mail was submitted. That expired. Mandatory State and Federal forms were not received and returned. And finally, my Aunts benefits were suspended. As this became known to me, it was clear that my turn at the wheel was here.
I visited the Social Security office and was assisted by a very helpful and sympathetic gentleman who helped reverse Mary’s official “Demise”. A visit to the State of Massachusetts DMV to obtain a Mass-ID was less so. My dear, sweet Aunt has been cognitively limited since a home-birth, (in the thirties), to a dirt-poor Irish family. The DMV
bitch clerk we drew (after talking to Aunt Mary) had the gall to tell us that she needed a recent photo ID. Any recent High School or College Photo ID would do. Mary irons clothes, sweeps, and collects the trash. About all the Catholic Nuns taught her over seven decades ago. Which is obvious. No Mass-ID.
So after a new paper check arrived with Mary’s back benefits, the next step was to set up a Joint Checking and deposit it. Armed with a Birth Certificate, a form from the Social Security Administration addressed to Mary and with our new mailing address, the check and me. We went to the bank, another helpful person tried to open an account and deposit the check. Nah! NFW (as they say on the Internet). The Patriot Act prohibits opening bank accounts without all the required Federal ID. Driver’s license? Nah. Mass-ID? Nah! College, voting, High School, or Company Photo ID? Pleasse! Next step? Get a passport. Which at this point is the easiest Photo ID to acquire (???!!!).
That’s the saga to date. Next, Mary and I went for pizza! (I planned on a beer)
At the local and friendly pub, our favorite bartender (Heidi) engaged Mary in conversation and served her a non-alcoholic beverage, Me, I had a beer. Then we ordered a Pub Pizza, of which Mary ate most. She watched her favorite game show on the bar’s flat screen. And we left.