WTF??? Can't work but can go out

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WTF??? Can't work but can go out

kkross65 kkross65
Need advice. My sister-in-law is in her twenties, says she "can't work" because of social anxiety, yet she's in the bar 3 nights a week. (Who does that???) She won't fill out a job application, but will fill out any application for assistance that she can get. She will beg people for a "favor", will accept handouts from anyone (she actually asks for stuff on her FB status!), and will even sell her foodstamps for bar money. My husband (her brother) recently heard from their mother that she is now trying to get disability for her "disorder", and he is pissed. He wants to contact the agency, but I think he should just let it be. If she is scamming the system, she won't get approved, right?
04/13/2012
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Lickable Lollie Lickable Lollie
...this sounds all too familiar. I am in my 20's and can't work because social anxiety...and I'm at the bar quite often. The reason I go to the bar is because my therapist suggested that I go out and try to do something out of my comfort zone. I, too, get government assistance, however I don't sell my foodstamps for bar money, or anything for that matter. I have asked for things on my facebook but they are things that I would only take if someone wanted to get rid of them (for example, a coffee table.) My mother just came to visit from across the country and spent a lot of time with my brother, so I can imagine she would have mentioned to him that I was applying for disability.

Now that all of the similarities are out of the way, we can get to the meat of the problem. How do you know that she is "scamming the system?" Sounds to me like you don't understand completely what she is going through. I can say this out of experience. The majority of my family doesn't think that I should get disability because they don't understand that I'm not just applying because I don't want to work. I want to work...I just can't bring myself to do it because it's too difficult for me to be around a lot of people for a long period of time. I can handle a few people for a few hours, but being around a lot of people for 6-8 hours a day and having to take the blame for a lot of other peoples mistakes just makes things very difficult.

I don't want to start an argument, I just want to help you see it from her perspective. If she truly is selling her foodstamps for bar money and scamming the system then I sure as heck hope she doesn't get disability because she doesn't deserve it.
04/13/2012
underHim underHim
Oh no, she can absolutely get approved. I know someone IDENTICAL to this who recieves ridiculous benefits because of her "disability" (social anxiety for her too) She does everything you described. Try turning her in, good luck, we have tried on a couple occasions to turn her in to no avail. She loves being around people, even those she has never met before and does not have any form of social anxiety. She is constantly out socializing with new people, all day and often all night long. She also sells her food stamps both for cigaretts and alcohol. I want to say that I know some people have social anxiety for real, and I have no issue with them getting help, but I have majoy issues with people who abuse the system set up to help those who actually need it.
04/13/2012
kkross65 kkross65
Quote:
Originally posted by Lickable Lollie
...this sounds all too familiar. I am in my 20's and can't work because social anxiety...and I'm at the bar quite often. The reason I go to the bar is because my therapist suggested that I go out and try to do something out of my comfort ...
Too wierd! Do you have a sister, too???? (LOL! You don't have to answer that!)

About scamming the sysytem... I just meant that if she was, then I would assume the agency would know and she would just be denied. I don't know exactly all of the programs she's on or what she gets. But I know her well enough to know she COULD do something to help herself; she just won't until others stop doing it for her. If she had no assistance, she'd work - she's done it before. Seriously, she won't even work part time. Not even at a job where she doesn't have to deal with people. You are right - I just don't get it - but I try. That's why I don't want to start a family war, you know?

Your story is eerily similar... accept that you get therapy, and I don't beleive she does. (I thought you were her for a minute!!!) I'm sure that therapy would help her so much. I am curious, though, as to why you go to the bars. If you go so often, doesn't that become your "comfort zone"? Why not volunteer somewhere instead? That way you would be giving back. I'm not trying to judge, but from my experience on THIS side of the coin, it's hard to see someone who can't handle social anxiety spend every night in the social scene. A

I sure do appreciate your input; I hope you aren't offended by mine. I really hope things get better for you.
04/13/2012
kkross65 kkross65
Quote:
Originally posted by underHim
Oh no, she can absolutely get approved. I know someone IDENTICAL to this who recieves ridiculous benefits because of her "disability" (social anxiety for her too) She does everything you described. Try turning her in, good luck, we have ...
That sucks. And sounds so much like my sister-in-law. I know she really does have some anxiety issues, but I think lack of motivation is an even bigger issue for her. It's so sad to see.
04/13/2012
Zombirella Zombirella
Quote:
Originally posted by kkross65
Too wierd! Do you have a sister, too???? (LOL! You don't have to answer that!)

About scamming the sysytem... I just meant that if she was, then I would assume the agency would know and she would just be denied. I don't know ...
I have seen people get away with crap here in my town, I just got my bachelor in Social Services and stuff like this does indeed happen and goes undetected, some get caught, some don't. I've heard stories in class and I've seen it first hand. I stopped hanging out with her but I used to be friends with a girl that wouldn't get a job and lived in a low income apartment paid for by the govt., she got foodstamps as well as child support for her two children. She would spend that check at the bar then have the nerve to try to get other people to buy her stuff when she ran out of money. Made me sick. I used to work with a girl that openly admitted she sold her foodstamps. My grandmother lives in a neighborhood where some section 8 housing is and people claim they can't work. One guy is supposed to have a heart condition and can't have any strain or stress yet he is out side carrying around heavy tools and climbing underneath his car to fix things and does all this other stuff too.

Now as far as Lickable Lollie's situation, she mentioned that she goes to therapy. Her therapist may be using a type of behavior modification therapy to help her with her issue. I took a counseling class two quarters ago and learned a bit about it. But there is different ways to do it. One way is her therapist could give her "homework" to do, like set a goal. For example, tell her that she must go out to a social setting such as a bar and introduce herself to two strangers and make small talk or something like that. Like exposure therapy, if that makes sense. It may sound absurd to you that she has a social anxiety disorder and puts herself in a social setting but it actually can benefit her and does work for some people. They could very well suggest she volunteers somewhere but she stated she has an issue being around a crowd, well if crowded places and lots of people is the issue, what better setting to place her in than a bar? Volunteering at an old folks home or something just wouldn't be the same. It's something that the person has to work at, it just doesn't happen in a few outings, it takes time.
04/14/2012
Raigne Raigne
I'm not trying to argue that your sister-in-law is not trying to scam, but alcohol could be a coping mechanism, and the bar may feel familiar enough that she can handle being there.

And people who really have an anxiety disorder are often experts at hiding it. Selling food stamps and leaning on the disorder the first chance she gets suggests she may not be being honest, but as far as appearing to be social? I often appear to enjoy being in the company of other people and I don't. I can be pleasant, make small talk, seem engaging, for several hours if I absolutely must, but there is not a second of it when I am not as tense as a piano wire and wishing to god whatever event requires me to be social and out in public would just end so I can go home. That being said there are a couple of places I will go to willingly to socialize, like campus club offices. Staying cooped up all the time sucks, even if I want to go back inside once I've left.
04/14/2012
jmex83 jmex83
Quote:
Originally posted by kkross65
Need advice. My sister-in-law is in her twenties, says she "can't work" because of social anxiety, yet she's in the bar 3 nights a week. (Who does that???) She won't fill out a job application, but will fill out any application ...
wow. This is really sad. I know a few folks like this. We have applied for assistance and received quite a bit, but I also work my ass off at a job that pays crap money in order to live.

my wife has social anxiety and trying to get her into the grocery store is a challenge-even leaving our front stoop! There is no way Id be able to get her to go to a bar. We've gone a few times with friends and our siblings, but every time that we have gone, we have had an issue with her breaking out in hives, having panic/anxiety attacks and not being able to breath. She has to go outside to get fresh air frequently, its really bad. So we don't even go anymoer.

It sounds like to me that she does NOT have a disability. She is definitely scamming the system. She is lazy is all. I would definitely report her. I hate to say that, about family or even suggest it, but she needs to be stopped. Its folks like this that try to scam the system that make it difficult for people like my wife and her mother to actually GET the help she needs. My wife refuses to apply for disability because she said "no no, i can work, i can do this....i can i can.." but we both know that she can't. her mother was the same way. Worked until she had a nervous break down and physically put herself in the hospital because of her stress level. 10- years later and my mother inlaw FINALLY applied for it after her therapist told her "If you don't get help and stop working where you are working, Im goin to stop seeing you, you need to listen to me" lol. My inlaws and their family are full of stubborn asses lol.

I would report her. Plain and simple. She will have to have a long history to even qualify for disability though. She has to PROVE by quite a bit, that she is disabled and have documentation to back it up. Therapists, doctors, specialists, friends/family and previous employers will need to write up something for her to show a pattern and history of this disorder and it will have to date quite a ways back in order for them to determine she infact does have a disorder. My wife checked into this and her mom has been going through it for months now.

My father in law was actually denied for THREE YEARS for disability for bi polar/anxiety and the like. They finally approved him after the third request, and got back pay for three years lol. But he could prove beyond a doubt that he had a disorder and was unable to work because of it. She is going to have to go through A LOT to prove to them that she has this disorder.

If i were you, I'd be snapping photos of her out, having a good time at the bars. Anything that can prove that she is functional wtihin a social setting, or "able"....I'd be getting photos and submitting that to the agency. Sorry to say, I know its family, but she definitely needs to be slapped.
04/14/2012
kkross65 kkross65
Quote:
Originally posted by Zombirella
I have seen people get away with crap here in my town, I just got my bachelor in Social Services and stuff like this does indeed happen and goes undetected, some get caught, some don't. I've heard stories in class and I've seen it first ...
I would like my sister-in-law to see a therapist; I think that would help her get to the root of her issues. And perhaps this behavior modification stuff would help get her OUT of the bars. LOL. She is there a minimum of 3 nights a week, and will go even more often if someone will foot the bill. And if rumors are true, she has no problem going home with the occasional stranger, let alone talking to him...

Seriously, you bring up some interesting ideas. I hope a therapist would have some ideas other than going to the bar for her, though - especially since my tax dollar is footing the bill! Maybe volunteering at a nursing home or wherever wouldn't help her with the social aspect of her issues, but WORKING there would help with the financial stuff. I guess that's the part that I don't get - she claims to be unable to work where there is lots to social interaction,like at Target (yet she LOVES shopping there). But she won't try to work in an environment that is less social, either. It's so hard for the family to understand. Maybe WE should seek therapy! LOL!

Thanks for your input. You do bring up some good points; your schooling just paid of a little more!
04/14/2012
kkross65 kkross65
Quote:
Originally posted by Raigne
I'm not trying to argue that your sister-in-law is not trying to scam, but alcohol could be a coping mechanism, and the bar may feel familiar enough that she can handle being there.

And people who really have an anxiety disorder are often ...
I really don't think she is pretending to enjoy herself - she seems to really want to be there. She will even ditch out on other responsibilities in order to go out. At the last job she quit, she was often been "too sick" to work and couldn't make it in, but then went to the bar instead. Or to the beach because she "needed fresh air". Or to an out-of-town friend's house for the weekend because she "needed a break". It seems she's always doing something, as long as work is not involved.

I hope she isn't using alcohol as a crutch - she says she doesn't drink much, but I have no idea, really. Her ex-husband always joked that she was a "one drink limit" kind of girl, and I don't know that it has changed much. At least I hope not.

Thanks for your input, especially since you know first hand what this anxiety feels like. I know she is struggling, whether it's axiety or depression or whatever. I hope she seeks help in a healthy way soon.
04/14/2012
kkross65 kkross65
Quote:
Originally posted by jmex83
wow. This is really sad. I know a few folks like this. We have applied for assistance and received quite a bit, but I also work my ass off at a job that pays crap money in order to live.

my wife has social anxiety and trying to get her into ...
My husband is on the same page you are. He thinks she is milking the system and needs to be "slapped", as you put it. He actually brought up taking pictures of her, too. I don't know that she has any way to prove that she is too sick to work, other than the word of a counselor who "diagnosed" her. She needs real therapy, and maybe the process of applying for disability will put her on that path. I hope so!
04/14/2012
kkross65 kkross65
Thanks everyone for your advice - it's good to hear things from both perspectives of this illness. I love her and just keep in mind that she's young, has no kids, and is no longer married - so now is the best time for her to figure things out. I just wish I had the answer.
04/14/2012
Lickable Lollie Lickable Lollie
Quote:
Originally posted by kkross65
Too wierd! Do you have a sister, too???? (LOL! You don't have to answer that!)

About scamming the sysytem... I just meant that if she was, then I would assume the agency would know and she would just be denied. I don't know ...
I'm not offended by your input I just wanted to make sure that you heard something from the side of someone who IS bipolar and has social anxiety. I was working at Home Depot for a while and I loved my job when one day out of nowhere I couldn't handle the thought of being put into that stressful environment and my body wouldn't let me stop crying. I literally cried for hours and had no idea why. I was brought to the hospital because I was...having bad thoughts... and they put me on anti-depressants and suggested I go to this mental health facility in my town. The thing was they only accept people that are severe cases if you don't have insurance. I guess I was "lucky" in that sense. I took a leave of absence from work so I didn't lose my job and I tried to go back 3 times in the last year and every time ended with me getting sick to my stomach, having chest pains, and being in tears. Eventually, they called me into the office and said I missed too many days. They mentioned that "firing someone takes an awful lot of paperwork..." so I just quit because I knew it was coming anyway.

I'm not enrolled in 2 separate programs that are suppose to help me get back to work, but every time I go to a meeting with them, I get the same panic attack. I see a therapist once a week and a psychiatrist once a month. I've been denied for disability once and didn't want to appeal it because I wanted so badly to go back to work, but after my last try at Home Depot, I decided to reapply and go through the appeal process that I'm sure I will have to go through because they pretty much deny anyone with a mental disorder since it's so hard to prove. Right now, a program through the mental health facility I go to is paying for my rent, I have no car or phone or income at all. I was getting foodstamps but I had to reapply and didn't get the right information in on time so they were cancelled... I'm just waiting for them to give them back.

Thankfully I have a fantastic man by my side that helps me through all of this. If it weren't for him, I'd be sitting in my apartment alone all day long with no access to the outside world other than my feet. He lets me spend the day at his house with his dog while he's at work and he convinced my to try a new bar because the one I was at was indeed getting too comfortable. I freaked out the first time I went to the new bar but he got me to calm down and as long as there aren't more than 4 other people there, I shoot pool with him. I live in a small town, so bars aren't exactly hopping all the time.

Phew, I felt like I really needed to get that out and this seemed like the perfect place to do so! Anyway, I really hope that your sister-in-law finds help because she is probably hiding behind all of these things that she is doing...I did the same thing. People thought I was lazy because I'd call in the work all the time even before my breakdown, but it was because I didn't know what was going on inside of me until it just sort of exploded. I knew I had depression but it wasn't too bad up until that point. But yea, counseling is a GREAT idea for her. Have you mentioned it?
04/14/2012
Crystal1 Crystal1
I have anxiety and panic attacks, and it's so hard to say what's "real" without being in someone's head. It may be that going to work is a trigger for her since that's a "stressful" situation- there are expectations and rules, she's expected to be there at a certain time for a certain length of time, etc. Whereas going out is stress relief for her, she is free to leave when she wants, etc.

She could also be full of crap. Who knows? "Invisible" illnesses are so hard.
04/14/2012
DustBunny DustBunny
I have social anxiety and you know what, I go to work 5 days a week like an adult should. I'm not comfortable being around strangers or talking to them, and I work in a hospital kitchen and am forced to confront my issues and get over them. I'm sorry for anyone that suffers from this, perhaps you are worse than I am, but to claim it's a disability while still socializing where you see fit seems like an excuse. There are way to cope with it that are better than sitting at a bar. I know the job market is hard, but you mean to tell me there isn't a single occupation one can get training in that doesn't require constant human contact or would work for them? There's different strangers as well and the same people at a bar every night, go figure my job is like that too! I see the same nurses everyday as well as new people there for a family member, I have to force myself to smile and deal with it because as an adult I pay my bills and no one hands me a thing that I didn't earn.
04/14/2012
Lickable Lollie Lickable Lollie
Quote:
Originally posted by DustBunny
I have social anxiety and you know what, I go to work 5 days a week like an adult should. I'm not comfortable being around strangers or talking to them, and I work in a hospital kitchen and am forced to confront my issues and get over them. ...
We're not here to bash other people. I am very offended by what you just said and I don't appreciate you talking down to people that can't work due to mental illness.
04/14/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
Hmm. I have some anxiety problems and a mild case of agoraphobia. I sometimes have trouble going out for fun (it comes in waves, usually I'm OK) but I can always go to work. Social Anxiety and Agoraphobia are usual global (meaning they effect every aspect of the person's functioning) but those who can work, but have trouble at times "playing" is much more common.

I think my mind sees work as "necessary" and going out to play as more anxiety provoking. I have never received a penny of financial aid in my life, not even when I was in college. Often people with Agoraphobia, when it isn't severe, can get out to work. I mean, you have to eat, right? You have to pay your bills. It never occurred to me to do any different. But, if I occasionally miss a social event, it won't effect my children's lives nor cost anyone in society anything.

My father has very severe Agoraphobia, OCD and is bipolar. He went decades without missing a day of work. We may be crazy people (my family,) but we're responsibly crazy.

The OPs sister makes me wonder (the selling of food stamps, asking people for free things) if she is just a malingerer. Which states still have actual "Food Stamps" though. I know our state switched over to non-transferable "Credit Card" type system years ago. Do some states still have paper food stamps? I thought they all were gone.
04/14/2012
Beck Beck
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
Hmm. I have some anxiety problems and a mild case of agoraphobia. I sometimes have trouble going out for fun (it comes in waves, usually I'm OK) but I can always go to work. Social Anxiety and Agoraphobia are usual global (meaning they effect ...
All you have to do is go to the store with that person or give them your pin number. They never ask for ID for those. We had one for along time and was never asked fro ID to make sure that was our card.

If she is selling her food stamps that is illegal. You can report that. Also, there is a way to stop her getting approved for disability for social anxiety. Someone would have to record videos of her out and about parting. It is hard to get approved for that on disability. They will require her to see a therapist.
04/14/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Beck
All you have to do is go to the store with that person or give them your pin number. They never ask for ID for those. We had one for along time and was never asked fro ID to make sure that was our card.

If she is selling her food stamps that ...
I didn't realize one could do this. A Circuit Breaker card (which is what they are called in IL) is certainly necessary for some people at some times in their life. I'm glad they are available. EVERYONE should have enough food!

The grocery stores in our town checks IDs every time someone uses their circuit breaker card. Chicago is a hot bed of Public Aid scamming, so every store here is very careful.

One of my friend's moms' (did I use those properly) kicked her son out of the house when he Came Out. She conveniently didn't tell Public Aid he was no longer living there and was still using his share of the Circuit Breaker card and cashing his PA checks. My friend turned her mother in, and made sure her brother (who would have been homeless if the pastor of the local UU church hadn't taken him in) got his own card... so he could eat.

I have NO problem with people who need public aid. I KNOW it's necessary. I never want to see anyone or anyone's children go to bed hungry. There's no need for that in the richest country in the world.

But, having anxiety myself, I don't know anyone who can party, but not work. My guess would be Disability would be denied someone who CAN get themselves out of the house for play.
04/14/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Lickable Lollie
I'm not offended by your input I just wanted to make sure that you heard something from the side of someone who IS bipolar and has social anxiety. I was working at Home Depot for a while and I loved my job when one day out of nowhere I ...
I'm sorry you're suffering so much.
04/14/2012
JessCee JessCee
Quote:
Originally posted by kkross65
Need advice. My sister-in-law is in her twenties, says she "can't work" because of social anxiety, yet she's in the bar 3 nights a week. (Who does that???) She won't fill out a job application, but will fill out any application ...
Anyone who tries to compare their anxiety to another's is really foolish. Everyone is different. One person who has anxiety may be able to function and work while another can't. Everyone's anxiety is different.

With those things being said, I sure don't approve of selling food stamps... that's just wrong. But, to me, it seems like she's doing it to cope with something.... maybe the anxiety you don't think she has?

I'm sorry, I just didn't like the tone of the OP. It sounds really mean and it honestly reminds me of my gossiping neighbor who can't keep herself out of everyone's business.

Hopefully if she really is scamming, she won't get approved, then she can start taking steps to being a productive member of society.
04/14/2012
Lickable Lollie Lickable Lollie
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
I'm sorry you're suffering so much.
Thank you for your concern I'll survive, because even though this is really rough, I'm strong and I'm learning and someday I hope to be able to handle work again!!
04/14/2012
Crystal1 Crystal1
Quote:
Originally posted by JessCee
Anyone who tries to compare their anxiety to another's is really foolish. Everyone is different. One person who has anxiety may be able to function and work while another can't. Everyone's anxiety is different.

With those things ...
Your first paragraph there is perfect. In an Eden-related metaphor, it's like saying "I orgasm from g-spot stimulation only, so there's no way someone can come from clitoral stimulation! They must be making that up!"
04/14/2012
kkross65 kkross65
Quote:
Originally posted by Lickable Lollie
I'm not offended by your input I just wanted to make sure that you heard something from the side of someone who IS bipolar and has social anxiety. I was working at Home Depot for a while and I loved my job when one day out of nowhere I ...
I know she has been to a counselor, but not a real therapist (shrink) that I know of. I would like to encourage her to do so.

Please don't take the posts by the other people here personally. YOU aren't my sister-in-law, so no one is targeting you. There is a lot of frustration on both sides, I see.

Thanks again for your input!
04/14/2012
kkross65 kkross65
Quote:
Originally posted by JessCee
Anyone who tries to compare their anxiety to another's is really foolish. Everyone is different. One person who has anxiety may be able to function and work while another can't. Everyone's anxiety is different.

With those things ...
I'm not trying to gossip; was only hoping for some advice, and I'm glad to see that people suffering from anxiety, and those you aren't, are willing to give me their opinon. I guess mostly, I was looking for a solution to satisfy my husband - one that doesn't require turning his sister in. We have a hard time making ends meet, and she continues to take, you know? I guess if she were doing something to help herself or her situation... taking a class, volunteering somewhere, picking up litter, ANYTHING... it wouldn't be so hard to take.
04/14/2012
Raigne Raigne
Quote:
Originally posted by kkross65
I know she has been to a counselor, but not a real therapist (shrink) that I know of. I would like to encourage her to do so.

Please don't take the posts by the other people here personally. YOU aren't my sister-in-law, so no one is ...
What makes you think a counselor isn't a "real" therapist? There are multiple kinds, counselors, clinical psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists and others. The only difference between the psychiatrist and the others in terms of how helpful they are is that the psychiatrist has a medical license and can prescribe medicine, where-as the others will make a suggestion to your PCP about prescriptions. The differences between the rest is the number of years of schooling they had and their specific degree. Any one of them should understand psychology and be capable of helping someone else. Certain individuals are more effective for some people than others, but they are all "real" therapists.
04/15/2012
kkross65 kkross65
Quote:
Originally posted by Raigne
What makes you think a counselor isn't a "real" therapist? There are multiple kinds, counselors, clinical psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists and others. The only difference between the psychiatrist and the others in terms of ...
First article I found when I just googled it:

Technically speaking, "counselor" means "advisor". It involves two people working together to solve a problem. It is a term that is used in conjunction with many types of advice giving.

In the context of mental health, "counseling" is generally used to denote a relatively brief treatment that is focused most upon behavior. It often targets a particular symptom or problematic situation and offers suggestions and advice for dealing with it.

"Psychotherapy" on the other hand is generally a longer term treatment which focuses more on gaining insight into chronic physical and emotional problems. It's focus is on the patient's thought processes and way of being in the world rather than specific problems.


Not to argue semantics - this is basically what I meant. But whatever you want to call it, I just think that a therapist might be help.
04/15/2012
Shellz31 Shellz31
Geez, it doesn't take much to get on disability over there and yet there's so many people suffering and can't feed themselves or pay for medical. I find that very weird.

Over here, ya have to have at least two or three very good reasons why you can't physically work before they will just hand out disability pensions.
I was put onto disability for social phobia, but there was no way I could go out anywhere on my own and even then I only got disability cause I had another issue that prevented me working.

From what I heard from someone in the US, there's a lot of people who bum off wellfare and get away with it. If she is good at scamming the system then she'll likely get away with it. Unless they do what they do here - at times they will hire an P.I to follow those a disability payment and many get caught out doing things they claimed they couldn't.
04/15/2012
Total posts: 28
Unique posters: 12