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how to get a Grady card

Here's my story and where all my spoons have been spent for so long....

Sorry folks, I TRIED to put this under an lj cut, but the site wouldn't allow it.  

Speaking of systems.....

 1.  Look on the internet, for surely on the Grady website there MUST be some sort of instructions/where to ask section.  If not there, then surely on one of the other related sites. (All your computer geek friends SWEAR that one can find ANYTHING on the web)  Waste a considerable chunk of the afternoon on this premise. Realize that, no, there is NO such information or even a simple phone number. Wonder how you forgot computers are de devil.  Get headache, take nap.
2. Decide to take a more logical route.  Call Grady's main line, starting at 7am until late into evening.  Get continuous busy signal for two days. Finally get a recording and follow the prompts to "operator" since none of the choices have anything to do with getting a card.  After ten minutes, get another recording that says "no one can take your call right now AND please do not leave a message, the phone system is under repair".  Repeat for another day.  Finally get live human, (try not to faint in middle of call) get transferred 4 times before someone can help you.
3.  Ask nice lady for information on "how to begin the process" only to be cut off with the following:  "You MUST come down to the downtown Grady.  You must have; proof of income, proof of residency,  and picture id.  Doors open at 7am, line begins to form at 5am.  Only the first 100 get in, all others must try again another day.  No appointments, no one to talk to, goodbye"  dial tone.
Added for the gimped:
Call MARTA 24 hours ahead of time, to schedule "wheel chair accessible" bus.  Be told bus schedule times are estimated.  Bus drops you off three blocks from door you need.  Find line wrapped around block, when doors open realize everyone can run faster than you can roll.  Repeat day after day until you give up.  
4. Have guard at door ask "why don't you try the "other" locations?"  Go home and try to get live human on line to ask same questions i.e. "If there ARE other locations, where are they and WHY didn't anyone know to give that information"  Grady Headquarters gives a "hmmmm, well in theory it seems you SHOULD be able to do that, but no one here KNOWS for sure."  (get transferred 4 times for same response) Get number for location less than 1 mile from home.
5.  Find out number given is wrong, call again, get another number, also wrong.  Call DeKalb Health Services, who swears that the building you KNOW is on Clairmont doesn't exists.  (though you've been there and seen it over the last couple of years).  Finally call a friend who uses same and get number from them.  No answer, except same recording about "don't leave a message, system broke"
6.  Give up and get ride to Clairmont location.  Wait in line, etc.  Finally get called,  and told YES you can register for card here.  Have them look at the papers you were told to bring, only to be told that original instructions are incorrect.  (meaning if one HAD gotten through the 12 hour line down town, one would have been booted out, cause the papers are NOT the right ones).  Told in very matter of fact voice, "well no, they don't' know what you REALLY need to get for the process", as if that IS part of the process.  (add look like YOU are the crazy one)
7.  Be sent to ASS who asks you questions but denies each of your responses with "Cause I don't HAVE to believe you!"  Told that one has to have PROOF of no income.  Wait for him to tell you what that intells after guesses of Tax returns, etc are shot down.  Keep waiting, as he tries to go on to next person.  FINALLY he says go to a specific unemployment office to get "special proof of no income" paper.  Ask 4 times for location or contact phone number.  Be dismissed with "don't come back until you have the right things".  Go back to waiting room and break down.
8.  Have only kind human being in office sneak you the address of where to go and the "purple" paper that says what you need to bring.  Realize NONE of it matches what original instructions told you to do.  Have nice person tell you to "come on in tomorrow", right in front of ASS and get placed on list.
9.  Call specific unemployment office and be told "don't bother coming near the office until two days from now".  Go back to Clairmont office first thing next morning,  in line less than 15 minutes.  Get assigned to ASS who treated you like sh*t day before, only to suddenly be a "good ol'boy" when he realizes you are married to a WHITE man.  Tells you that you are an "idiot" for listening to unemployment office and to go back there to stand in line to get paper he requires, plus other demands NOT listed on purple paper.  Told this must all be done by tomorrow.
10.  Go to unemployment office, wait in line most of day, get to counter and tell them you need "paper that proves no income".  Get looked at like you are nuts.  Finally be given something you pray is correct.  Go home and pass out from exhaustion.
11. Bring every piece of paper and documentation you can think of, and go back to Clairmont office.  Make appointment where ASS thumbs through stack, making snide remarks about "if you would just do what "I" mean, and NOT what you are instructed to do you wouldn't make your poor husband have to waste his precious time like this. " 
Addendum:  At this point ASS looks at us and says "This will take awhile, I am distracted cause I just got an email that a family member has died".  Then immediately asks in inappropriate way the "status of my birth control".  
12.  Finally get card, only to be told one has will have to repeat ENTIRE process again in 6 weeks, cause the day is the END of a month, and had one waited till first of a month, it would been good for a year.  
(When I break and say, "But YOU said not to wait, but come in TODAY", he says "well I guess that's just the breaks")
13.  Realize that what the system made you spend 10 days on what could have been done in 2 hours and one visit IF the correct information was available ANYWHERE or by ANYONE connected with Grady.
Seriously, this IS their system.  In reality, all one has to do is have a "wage inquiry" paper from the unemployment office, 3 different utility bills and picture ID.  One can go to ANY of the Grady offices all over the county where there is rarely a line at all. (and now we know why)   Of course, no one who answers the phone knows this. They will deny that it is true.    I asked at one point "can *I* tell them??" I was told no, but I'm posting this here for all to see.  Cause like the one kind human being in this story whispered to me, "Don't mind the ASS, there are still people who think EVERYONE deserves to be treated with respect. 
And that means NOT wasting their time as well.  


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 5th, 2009 03:43 am (UTC)

Optimum Government Operation:

1. Give all comers wrong or non-information.

2. Go back to expressing the core of your dried out,mummified soul, that people are stupid and just don't know where to go.

What a wretched way to view the human race, I will pray that you get to spend time around decent human beings so you don't end up thinking like those Skeksis.
Oct. 5th, 2009 03:44 am (UTC)
PS - whats a Grady Cad?

And I assume ASS may stand for something. Or not.
Oct. 5th, 2009 04:32 am (UTC)
a grady card is something that helps cover your costs if and only if you use grady memorial hospital facilities.

ASS stands for ass, ie the nicest name I could come up with for this..err person
Mar. 3rd, 2011 11:26 pm (UTC)
5:00 AM? Wow!

I know you wrote this a long time ago, but I am now in the process of trying to get a Grady Card. Do people really start lining up at 5:00 AM? The last MARTA bus runs at around midnight, so this ought to be an interesting trip for me.
Mar. 3rd, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC)
Re: 5:00 AM? Wow!
you'd do better to go to any of the other satalites locations. The lines are next to nothing compared to the downtown location. Go to one of them, the N. DeKalb on Clairmont has a bus stop right at the front door. That line starts around 7am.
Mar. 8th, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
Re: 5:00 AM? Wow!
Wow, thanks so much for all your help! I'm so glad I found your entry. I've been stressing about getting this almighty Grady Card. I am too sick to work, so I'm broke. I also used to live well outside of Fulton or Dekalb. So I had to not only move, but find an Atlanta resident willing to house me for free. Then I had to update my license at the DMV, then run all over God's creation getting all the rest of the documentation! All without a car! I don't yet understand this weird MARTA system. But in the end, I guess I just make it all work somehow . . .
Feb. 28th, 2013 01:53 am (UTC)
grady card
I'm in process of getting my mil a grady card, she's 70 and living with us..I'm not sure if they would approve since we are sort of supporting her. The only prove of income is her bank account oversea which only has couple of hundreds left...should I get her the wage inquiry paper from the unemployment office like you did? What would you recommend.. I already made so much calls and talk to different person, none gave me any constructive answers. =(
Feb. 28th, 2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
Re: grady card
She will have to have the paper from unemployment and as for counting your support of her, it will really be all about who you get to do your financial interview, what sort of mood they are in, and how much they decide you support her. But you have to have the paper. Good luck, these days they are EXTRA tough AND I can tell you the last time I tried for a card, I made LESS money and I was turned down all together.
Feb. 28th, 2013 08:20 pm (UTC)
grady card
Thanx for the quick reply. Our bill came out to be $7000 for an ER visit few weeks ago and we really can't afford that.. I took my mil to have an interview with someone today and most of our paper work got rejected. Even the proof of residence (they don't even take letters from social security!!!) Now I need to get her a bank account as her proof of residency and proof of income. =( You are right.. the system is tough and I hope once we get it, won't have to go thru that process annually.... eeeeeekkk!
Jul. 9th, 2013 12:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this post. I just googled "How to get a Grady Card?" and this (being the most helpful thing on google about it ) came up. I knew, of course, that this was going to be and endless and depressing debacle - I just didn't know how much. I've been avoiding this at all costs, literal $ cost included: paying for medication, Drs etc.

Now, penniless (I quiet literally don't make a penny - zero income) I have to get this card or expire. Expire as in cease to exist. I, like so many, fell ill and am unable to work. One can go a long way without food, it's surprising - but not without medicine and health care!

How I previously paid for medication etc. was from what I'd accumulated as a "normal" (Romney, or that sort of person, might say) citizen: I'd saved, had a little IRA and yes, though I should have started this process long ago, I spent it all on surviving - Only to put off what certainly will be a massive amount of humiliation and being messed about by "some" gov. employees. The likes of which you just mentioned in this post.

When you are chronically sick, and sick and tired of being sick - you can't even fathom how you will physically and mentally endure the humiliation. . Of course all sorts of catch-22 situations will abound - I can't pay bills as there is no money with which to pay one - so I don't have bills to show as proof of where I live. I'm hoping something else will work

Since I can't pay a bill - I don't and cant own a car or drive. Logically, I no longer have a drivers liscence. This of course will not be logical within the utterly incoherent system - you just described. While this "comment" was meant to thank you, I'm now clearly venting on your page - my apologies! Somehow, I think you might understand.

Lastly, I would never have thought about having to prove no income! I'd never even have imagined how one could prove that - so, again, THANK YOU. This is such a helpful thing you have done for people. All desperate people I imagine. If one needs to apply for a Grady Card - some (I hope temporary ) level of desperation is involved.

I realize there has to be some nice and compassionate people working at these places - perhaps those who are not yet jaded or judgemental etc. So for anybody reading this I ask for your prayers, or positive thoughts that I may get this card - I desperately need.

To lifen2008, I really, really thank you!!! If I may ask - I live in Fulton on the border of Cobb or Sandy Springs. Would you, or anyone reading, know how I might find the closest place to start the process of applying?

God Bless and all the best
Jul. 9th, 2013 03:56 pm (UTC)
You are welcome
This is the addy for the clinic locator.


Call them first BEFORE you go to get in line. Sometimes they have a day to where you get in line to get an appointment to get in line on another day.

And yeah, I understand about the chronic health issues.

Good luck


Edited at 2013-07-09 03:58 pm (UTC)
Kimberly Hunter
Jan. 6th, 2014 06:04 pm (UTC)
Grady Card
Thank you so much for the information. It is a shame that people have to go through so much to get a Grady Card. It would be helpful if you could apply on-line, that might help with going in person. I need one myself since I can't get medical insurance at my job because I am a part time employee which is CRAZY to me...as if part time workers don't need medical help too. I am going to try another location even though I live right downtown & literally 15 minutes away from the hospital #smh
lm Gmail
Oct. 27th, 2016 06:58 pm (UTC)
Great Information
Thank you so much for writing this! I should have gotten mine a while ago. I have been looking for work for a year and temping. Now I am sick.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )