On Mon, Jun 27, 2016 at 8:40 PM, Ryan, Shelia <Shelia.Ryan@mail.house.gov> wrote:
Thank you for your response. All I ask is that you pass this last email along to the Congressman. That way seems a lot more efficient than simply hoping that enough other constituents see it that someone will finally mention it to his face.
Good afternoon Mr. Ketchum,I appreciate you cc’ing me on the emails in your case. It has kept me up to date with your issue. As per your request that my office promptly get you paid for the two days of Meal and incidental expenses, and for your disability to be approved, my office cannot tell the Social Security Administration how to do it’s job. They are a separate government department from the Congress of the United States. I will continue to monitor your case, but cannot move it along any faster.Thank you.Shelia
6:58 AM (12 minutes ago)
Dear Ms. Ryan,
As I may have said, in any case, the message was not for you, personally.
It is a given that you, personally, cannot do anything to "move the case along". However, members of Congress are an altogether different story.
Thomas Lowell Ketchum, Jr.
4:15 PM (23 hours ago)
Thank you Mr. Ketchum, I will pass this along, and am happy to do anything I can to help. Have a good day.
Jun 27 (2 days ago)
To: The Honorable Trent Kelly,
Congressman for 1st Congressional District of Mississippi
c/o Shelia Ryan, Caseworker
COPY TO: WEBSITE SECTION FOR CONSTITUENT REQUESTS FOR CONGRESSMAN TRENT KELLY
AND: "OPEN LETTERS BLOG"
Dear Congressman Kelly,
This will serve to respectfully request that your office intervene in the matter of my Social Security Disability Benefits re-application, which was first handled by your office approximately one year ago, after an e-mail request sent to then caseworker Brandy Burnette, following an online re-application.
You will please take notice that the records in this matter clearly reflect that a series of contacts with FBU Naples Office followed your initial inquiries on my behalf and that, at that time, it was well-established that I had been fighting for reinstatement of my Social Security Disability Benefits, in one way or another, since 2009, when they were first abusively terminated over a failure to fly to Mississippi from Romania (where I was residing), instead of making a reasonable accommodation to have any required examination or examinations conducted in Romania (which is precisely what we have done this time around).
You will also note that I made a similar re-application, in person, at a Social Security Office in Tupelo, Mississippi in December of 2012, and that, at that time, as before, I was not allowed to take a physical or other examination in Romania (still my residence) when I was forced to return from Mississippi less than 2 weeks after I had re-applied in person.
After a lot of wrangling, your office, working through a Mr. Bryan Knouse in Baltimore, managed to get me scheduled for a series of examinations in Bucharest (well over 70 miles distant from my house in Romania, one-way)). I was told at the time that the Embassy would pay the expenses of the examinations themselves and that I would be provided a room in a hotel for one night, since I was being scheduled for examination of one type or another over a period of two (2) successive days.
I was also told that I would be reimbursed for expense incurred in travel, provided I gave someone a "bank account in Romania" min which I was told any reimbursement would be direct-deposited.
The hotel provided was made completely inaccessible since all possibility of vehicle parking was denied ( as explained in a separate e-mail). Accordingly, we cancelled the reservation in time to reimburse the government for the room. However, we were, thereafter, forced to return to my domicile and make another round trip the following day.
I felt it was only fair to ask that we be reimbursed for expenses, based on the GSA-table for Bucharest for two (2) separate days of travel and that is what was requested. A paste of the table was provided in an earlier email to the parties involved.
I have no bank account in Romania and, if the people at the Embassy understood the law (Foreign Asset Reporting Act), they would understand why that was the case. In any event, I provided my complete USA bank information in a timely way and reasonably expected PROMPT payment for two (2) days of meals and incidental expenses, like the law provides for.
I ALSO expected PROMPT payment of my SSA Disability Benefits claim, since the Orthopedic Surgeon I met with on the second day plainly indicated that I was disabled and backed that up with multiple x-rays.
To-date, I remain unpaid for either of the above and, in spite of many emails on these and related subjects, I seem to be ignored by those required to take action in these matters.
Congressman Kelly, I am not asking for anything that I am not legally entitled-to. By any math, the law says that benefits are payable for three (3) years PRIOR TO the date of application for benefits. Since It has been a year since I re-applied most recently, I am entitled to 4 years of "back-benefits" without any discussion or other, more extraordinary documentation. I would argue that I am owed for an ADDITIONAL period of three (3) years PRIOR TO 2012, since I made personal application in December 2012 AND, like in 2009, through no fault of my own, I was not permitted to complete the examinations in Romania, instead of Mississippi. This was the same problem I had in 2009 and it was the same type of abuse in 2012 that first resulted in my being removed from SSA Disability in 2009 in the first place.
The records clearly show that I was getting SSA Disability benefits from at least 2004. I have also been on OPM disability retirement, continuously, for a like period. The only difference is that SSA stopped paying me, abusively, but OPM kept on paying me in accordance with the law.
I am respectfully requesting that your office promptly get me paid for the two days of Meal and incidental expenses for examinations attended by me in Bucharest and I am also requesting that, since there is no reason at all to deny that I am and have been disabled, that I should be IMMEDIATELY placed on SSA Disability Monthly Benefits and that, as an absolute minimum, I am given "back benefits" ALL THE WAY BACK TO 2009 (3 YEARS PRIOR TO THE 2012 RE-APPLICATION) SINCE I DID NOT FAIL OR REFUSE TO ATTEND EXAMINATIONS, BUT WAS NOT REASONABLY ACCOMMODATED TO HAVE THEM DONE IN ROMANIA AS I WAS RECENTLY.
Thanking you, in advance, for your prompt attention to these matters, I remain,
Thomas Lowell Ketchum, Jr.