Commonwealth employees continue to lack understanding of basic math

We frequently have to verify our family income since we have a child who participates in a number of services that are state funded and need to collect data on income of people served. Like, we have to do this so often that I automatically scan in our income that's on paper and have a file on my computer ready to send to anyone who needs it.

Why is it that state agencies can't wrap their head around per-diem income? I've had this happen with multiple agencies now.

None of them seem to get that if a person doesn't have income from a particular company every week, they can look at the year-to-date figures and add them up to verify that there isn't a paystub skipped. Even when I explain this, the people say that they need a paystub for each of the past X pay periods. Some of the agencies have insisted that if I didn't work, there would be a paystub for that pay period showing zero income.

For the sake of making things easier, I asked my two employers if they could set their software to print paystubs with zeros on them. The finance and IT people both places said they had never heard of such a thing. One person told me it would be impossible to code the software to do this, which I don't think is actually true. (Couldn't it just be set so that every payday, if there's nothing inputed, it prints out a paystub with zeroes? Seems like a simple line of code.)

These organizations also don't seem to get how to calculate per-diem income. If they have three weekly paystubs over a six-week period, which means that the other three weeks were zero, they're dividing by three instead of six to get a weekly average. One place that uses a sliding scale called saying we owed them a bunch of money, because they insisted our yearly income was twice what it actually is.

I get that people who work for the state in non-financial positions don't actually understand simple math. I don't like that this is the case or agree that people should be making that kind of money as state administrative-type people when they don't understand basic math, but I get it. Can the state do something about this? Like writing a computer program that people who are verifying income are required to use, that uses the year-to-date figures and does the averaging for them? Or can there be a state law that gives people the option of using our tax return, where we've already done the math correctly, instead of requiring paystubs? 

(Or, even better, can we just get rid of all these administrative departments and all this time spent not understand how paystubs work, and just have a single-payer system that provides health and social services to people with and without special needs at every income level?)

1 comment: said...

But gosh, if we didn't make it so people have to jump through very silly hoops to get services everyone might have access to the services they need and lordy, we wouldn't want that now would we?!

Oh wait, we would. We the people anyway!