QCOSTARICA – A very frustrating situation from our of readers.

I am: ALAN JAMES SEAMAN  (email, cedula and phone number removed)

In 2011 a black pregnant cow ran in front of my car, & I hit it without time to hit the brakes of my car. The damage to my car was nearly $10,000, & I thought I had paid INS to insure my car—but you said no, even though I had paid for the insurance in the INS office in Villareal. So I paid for the $10,000 repair. At that time, I was 62 years old and had been paying the Caja for 15 years, and was told I would receive a pension at age 65. After the accident, I was taken to the Nicoya hospital, where a Orthopedic Surgeon ordered X-rays & advised that I had dislocated both my shoulders and broken my left knee and ankle. Dr. Ortega said that these injuries might be corrected with surgery, but I could not get the surgery for years.

Then INS sent me to San Jose, where a Neurologist ordered an MRI, said there was nothing wrong with my spine (there isn’t), & denied any payment from INS. My right arm and left leg were deep purple in color, but your doctor in Nicoya said that had nothing to do with my accident. Since then, INS has sent me many times to Villareal, Sta. Cruz, Nicoya and San Jose. I spent the little money I had left traveling to the INS appointments—except for the San Jose appointments where INS took me by ambulance. I have now been disabled for 4 (four) years, and the last appointment INS told me about was with Dr. Ortega in Nicoya—where he once-again took Xrays, declared me disabled, & once-again said I could have surgery in the year 2020 which might help me. THAT APPOINTMENT WAS ON MAY 29, 2015. I PAID FOR THE TRAVELING, & INS PAID FOR THE DOCTOR, AS I CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO PAY THE CAJA.

When I turned 65, I went to 27 de Abril where I was told that I cannot apply for a pension after paying them for 15 years. I made one trip to INS in Nicoya, where the guard would not let me into the building because he was talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone. By then I was completely out of money. I made another trip to INS in Nicoya, where they finally talked to me and gave me a debit card they said was worth c5000, but when I tried to use that debit card, it was “NEGADO”. Then Defensoría del Cliente advised me to make another trip to Nicoya (at my expense) because INS had changed banks, & INS finally gave me a debit card that works—which covers about half of what I have spent traveling for INS.

When INS/Nicoya gave me my new card, they advised that I had missed an appointment in June—BUT NO ONE EVER TOLD ME AOUT THAT APPOINTMENT, & I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE/WHY/WITH WHOM WAS THAT APPOINTMENT. I CANNOT GO TO AN APPOINTMENT IF YOU DO NOT TELL ME ABOUT IT. Now INS has given me an appointment in San Jose for the 26 of October (next Monday). As with all of my other appointments in San Jose, I called Transporte for an ambulance. After calling all day Thursday and Friday, they finally answered and told me they could not take me for my Oct. 26 appointment because it is an “ORACION”, which to me indicates that there will be no more tests or Xrays or MRI’s—the doctor just wants to talk. Perhaps I misunderstand “ORACION”, but no one from INS will explain it to me. However as INS refuses to take me by ambulance to the INS appointment in San Jose at 12:30 Oct. 26 (as they always have in the past), I HAVE NEITHER THE PHISICAL NOR THE FINANCIAL ABILITY TO MAKE THAT INS APPOINTMENT.

The current situation with INS appears the same as my situation with the Caja: After paying the Caja for 15 years, they now tell me I have no right to my pension. After paying INS for 15 years, they send me to VILLAREAL/SANTA CRUZ/NICOYA/SAN JOSE for five years, & now refuse to pay anything or help me get to THEIR appointment. If my understanding of “ORACION” is correct, this Oct. 26 appointment can be easily solved by Dr. Naranja talking to me on the phone (phone number removed). I seem to remember that Dr. Naranja is the same doctor who gave me an MRI and said: “Your spine is fine & you are not disabled” rather than look at the Xrays of my four broken bones (or taking new Xrays) .

I am now old & have been disabled for four years. From the time of my accident, doctors have taken Xrays which clearly show my disability. In the hundreds of hours I have spent in (and traveling to) the INS hospital in San Jose, no one has ever actually looked at my Xrays or taken any. Costa Rica law states that the owner of the cow I hit is responsible for my losses, & I spent my last c200,000 on a lawyer to collect from that millionaire, but the lawyer just took my money and did nothing. So I guess I have to do what INS has obviously wanted me to do all of these years & give up—but I can-and-will get this scenario printed in various newspapers in Costa Rica and the United States so others who have suffered from an accident do not have to suffer more at the uncaring hands of INS.

I re-state:

 

  1. IF DR. NARANJA JUST WANTS TO TALK TO ME (ORACION), THIS SITUATION CAN BE EASILY-RESOLVED BY TALKING ON THE PHONE (number deleted).
  2. IF, FOR WHATEVER REASON, INS INSISTS THAT I TALK TO HIM IN PERSON, THEY HAVE TO GET ME THERE. I CANNOT TRAVEL TO SAN JOSE ON MY OWN.
  3. I HAVE SPENT THIS LAST WEEK WRITING TO YOU VIA EMAIL—THEN WAS TOLD TO CALL—THEN WAS TOLD TO EMAIL AGAIN.
  4. YOUR EMAILS HAVE STOPPED, & INS STILL WANTS ME TO MAKE AN OCT. 26 APPOINMENT AND REF– USES TO HELP ME GET THERE.
  5. I HAVE NOW SPENT FOUR YEARS DOING EVERYTHING YOU ASKED ME TO DO, & NOW AM FACED ONLY WITH MORE DEMANDS WHICH I CANNOT MEET.
  6. AFTER 15 YEARS OF PAYING THE CAJA, I HAVE NO PENSION—AND NOW AFTER 15 YEARS OF PAYING INS I HAVE NOTHING.

Certainly you are enjoying your weekend on the money I have paid you over these years, and Monday is the appointment INS made for me—but refuses to help me to keep. At least this time I know about the appointment I cannot keep. The last San Jose appointment I missed (sometime in June), no one even told me about and then faulted me for not going there. Your agency should be renamed: DEFENSORIA DEL INS, as you are obviously not interested in defending your clients or doing anything to help us.

Thanks again for helping this old, disabled man.
AJ Seaman

Letter published with permission. If you have a similar story and want to see it published here, send it to rico@theqmedia.com