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Urgent questions about homelessness, moving in with family members and moving out of state...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

My infant son and I are on Medicaid.  My teenaged son is on my Husband's insurance, but that will stop by the end of the month.  My Husband and I are legally married, but have been separated for a year and a half now.  My infant son is not my legal Husband's- he is the result of a bad "relationship" with someone I thought was a "friend".  I live with my two sons and have not been able to go back to work after the birth of my baby (three months) due to no way to pay for childcare.  My sons and I are all on Food Stamps and we live in NY.  I'm about to become homeless and my sister in MA has offered to take me in.  But my lawyer tells me there's a legal loophole- I'd have to move before May (when Paternity is established), so that means two weekends from now is when my family would be able to help me.


My questions are...


Can Medicaid continue from state to state and can I add my older son?  They're both due for checkups and my older son is on medication that should not be interrupted.


If I apply for Food Stamps, Cash Assistance and WIC, will that be a problem for my sister- she gets Food Stamps for herself, her Husband and their four children and WIC for her three youngest children?  Also, would I be able to use my NY June WIC checks in MA?  Can two families even live in the same house but be counted separate for these things?


How would I prove that I'm homeless and living with family?  My NY Driver's Permit is about to run out next week and the only form of picture ID I will have will be my NY Benefits card and I will not have any bills and will just be coming from out of state, so I don't know how I will be able to prove that I'm actually living with family.


My lawyer tells me there's a chance that I could be ordered back to NY, in which case I'd be in a homeless shelter in NY without benefit of a family support system, but that it's worth a shot, because I'm gonna be homeless anyways if I stay.  Has anyone had any similar experiences?  Paternity is not proven yet, but there's no doubt.  The father currently cannot see me, the baby, or my older son, due to a restraining order, and my lawyer and I were planning on asking for supervised visitation.  Has anyone had to move out of state due to domestic violence and pending homelessness and worked around supervised visitation with an infant?  Neither me nor the father have a license or a car, though there are ways to get back and forth (5 hours by train and bus, 9 hours by bus alone) between the two places.  Suggestions to make this look doable to the judge?


And if you can't help me with any of these questions, please keep me and my sons in your thoughts/prayers/good wishes, whatever.  If I can get back to MA with family, me and my sons might stand a chance- they will grow up in a real house, most likely be able to live there their entire childhoods, live with their Aunt and cousins, my sister is a stay-at-home Mother and she has a three year old son and twin 9 month olds (as well as a 10 year old daughter), so the baby will have close relatives as playmates his entire childhood, as well as a close relative to take care of him when I go back to work, my family is very close knit, many unable to travel to NY due to medical issues, the house is in the country with a giant backyard filled with toys, I won't have to constantly worry about how I'm gonna support my children, I'll be able to finally get my license, and I won't have to go back to work immediately, which is wonderful, since my baby is 100% breastfed, hates bottles.  If I'm ordered to bring the baby back to NY, my older son would have to stay with my sister (he's too emotionally fragile to go into a shelter right now), so we'd be breaking our little family up, I will literally have nobody in NY for emotional or financial support, no way to go back and visit my family or get my license, and basically, I'll be raising the baby in poverty, with his father being the only "outside support" (and I use that term extremely loosely).  I really need to make this work and hopefully, the judge will be understanding of my situation even though the father's gonna claim what a "hardship" it will be to see his son.

post #2 of 14
I don't know about the rules in those specific states, but here in OR all state programs are only valid within the state. I can't use OR foodstamps in WA. I can't use my Oregon Health Plan card in CA. WIC I don't know. I imagine you need to reapply for those programs in MA with your family. There might be waiting lists, I don't know. TBH being homeless living with family might actually help you get those services faster.

As far as being ordered to stay in NY for the baby's dad, I have no legal basis for saying this, but shouldn't having a restraining order be valid even if the paternity is validated?

:hugs. this sounds like a hard situation. I hope your plan for them to grow up in the country with family works out
post #3 of 14
Edited by kristandthekids - 1/16/13 at 6:40pm
post #4 of 14

Hey, I have been thinking about you.  CONGRATULATIONS!!!! on the birth of your son (and getting a restraining order...).  Moing in with your sister sounds like a wonderful oppritunity.


The way it works here for food (I work at a grocery store) is if you EBT card works we can take it. (I live at the corner of four states so it makes sense for people in the small towns on the borders to come here to use their foodstamps, it is likely closer than any real grocery stores in their state)  but we cannot accept out of state wic (which makes since since any little town will have a store that stocks wic items and it doesn't matter if they cost twice as much because you get what you get regardless of price).  If you have food stamps I would stock up before you leave though.  and cash out any checks you have.  


My kids are on medicaid and so long as their primary physician is here, I can take them in to see a Dr. in any state and they can receive emergency or acute care.  They need a referral from their primary care physician.   I wouldn't worry about the baby and well visits but could your older son have his perscription renewed/extended for a month until you can get coverage where you are going?


If you are looking to establish residency though you are going to want to make that state your home.  Holding on to benefits in another state will keep yo a resident of new york and could effect your ability to stay.  So get your paper work in order, talk to a social worker and schedule an appoint with DSS where you are going and get yourself in there the minute you hit town.  There may be a small lag.  Could your sister help you out?


As far as everyone living in one house, since everyone is already poor enough to receive assistance I don't think its going to hurt anything to have you all  living there.  Having another non working person in my house only helps me out.  They don't care who can work, they just care how many people I have to feed, shelter and clothe.


And remember, right now the important thing is just moving.  You can work out the details once you get there.  there may be a lag in coverage you may even have to make a trip to the food pantry last longer than it is intended.  Your situation really cannot get worse.  So if I were you I would just get out.


Good luck.  I will keep praying for you.




post #5 of 14

Here is my experience.  You need to move NOW to MA.  The proof that you are living in MA comes in the form of your childs enrollment in school or homeschool papers.  Other family members will also document that you are living there.  Those family members have friends (non relatives) that will also document that you are living there. (DES usually needs documentation).  


Before you leave NY get a drivers license so you have ID.(once you get to MA just get the DL transferred to a MA DL)  Cash out any WIC checks that you can and cash out your food stamp card. Stock up on non perishables that you can move with you.


I judge may order visitation but cross that bridge when it comes, right now you need food, water and shelter.  You can get that best with family in MA.

post #6 of 14

You shouldn't need to cash out food stamps-you can use one states stamps in another state.  My BIL is living with us in MN and had leftover FS from TX and used them.

post #7 of 14

Or, if you can't get a driver's license, get a state ID card. 

post #8 of 14

i know you can use food stamps from one state to another i used mine from hawaii to new mexico for months. i would also talk with another lawyer. 

post #9 of 14

Just a few things to think about OP:

If you are going to move, you should do it before paternity is established - BUT you may have to come back to NY for the paternity court dates - you must be present and the child must be present for those. I don't think anyone can keep you from moving before paternity is established. I'm not sure how far you are into the process, but it takes a long time, even if it's cut and dry. I'm in NY - still married to my ex, but we've been separated for 4 years. I have a child with DP - it took us, even though we all agreed, 6 months to establish paternity.

Your older son, his father COULD file an injunction to keep you from moving. Is he on board with the move?

If visitation is ordered, it is likely you will be required to pay the transportation costs as you are the person who moved away.


I'm also curious - how are you and the baby on Medicaid if your legal husband has insurance? By law, your legal husband must provide health insurance for the baby - even if it isn't his, until paternity is established. Also, you are still entitled to his health insurance until you are divorced. I've been separated 4 years, legally, I have my ex's insurance and until paternity was established the baby was on my ex's insurance. It didn't cost him anything extra (I would have paid it if it had...) We had the baby listed as a 'step child'. Which, technically was true - we are married, my child, not his biologically. In NYS if you are married, any children born to you are the legal children of your husband. It sucks, and it's annoying for your ex (it was for mine) BUT it is possible Medicaid could come after your ex and make him pay back all of your medical bills that they have paid because you were entitled to be on his insurance.

post #10 of 14

ArstyMomma, not OP, but I can tell you that here in MT sometimes you do get Medicaid OVER private insurance if it's more economical.  Say for example her ex's insurance offers an enrollee + 1 or enrollee + family. If the + family is cost prohibitive, they may do Medicaid instead for the other family members especially with the question of paternity and such. Having a continuity of coverage for mom/baby via Medicaid instead of through ex-spouses insurance. This happens sometimes with small business insureds.


Food Stamps, they are usable in other states as long as they are EBT.


I would talk to your ds's doctor and let him know you're moving and you need a 60 or 90 day supply. Talk to your insurance as they may have a different way of purchasing this that costs much less and is via a mail order program. Then, get him onto Medicaid in new state ASAP and establish a doc for a new prescription.


You will need to talk to the social worker in your new state about benefits, but so long as you are honest about where you are living and with whom, they will calculate benefits. Depending on the situation, they may increase your sister's benefits to cover you and your children or give you your own. Just totally depends on the scenario. Just be honest and upfront with the worker.

post #11 of 14

CrunchyClark, They do something similar in NY - You can get Medicaid as an additional supplement to cover co-pays, or you can get Medicaid instead of private insurance if it's too expensive for the family.
We were unable to get state coverage for the baby because the LEGAL father had insurance coverage (he had a family plan). The baby's father could not provide insurance because paternity was not established. We had to go to court, and do DNA testing to establish paternity - because in NY (OP's state) you are presumed to be the father if you are married, regardless of legal separation status, to the mother.  My ex (LEGAL father) did not have to sign the birth certificate, or any paternity papers to be declared, by law, the father of my child. In fact, he was never at any point listed on the BC. The only option - to get insurance for my child was for him to be carried by my ex. If my ex had not carried him, NYS would have gone after MY EX for all of the bills paid by state insurance. That is the case with ANYONE on gov't based insurance programs. If there is another person, who can provide health insurance without unreasonable burden, they must provide the health insurance or they would be liable to pay back the medical bills in full. A friend is currently paying back Medicaid for his sons birth - and he and the mother weren't even married. But, turns out he could have had her on his insurance under domestic partnership because they were living together. They spent months in court, and their son was born with a disability - therefore the bills were very high. They will be repaying them for another 15 years (the boy is 10 now). Luckily - my ex isn't always a complete jerk and was willing to help figure out a way for my son to be covered. It took us MONTHS of searching, researching, and phone calls to figure this all out. BUT technically since we were married (legally separated, but that doesn't always matter), and it was my child, he was considered my ex's step son. There are so many crazy rules and loopholes in NY.


Also, my ex and I were not able to complete a divorce because I was a few weeks pregnant when we started, and paternity needed to be established for my unborn child before we could divorce (we wanted it as simple as possible - we planned to do it ourselves, with a mediator and legal aid instead of hiring lawyers). As it is, we still haven't gotten around to getting divorced. He is busy with a new baby, I'm buying a house....something always seems to get in the way.

post #12 of 14

any updates? how are you doing?

post #13 of 14

Where I live even if the father is ordered to pay child support (like my xh is) but the mom qualifies for medicaid (like I do) The children can be covered by medicaid.  As a result I get a little extra child support since he is getting our of insurance.  and since I get it free there is no reason for him to waste money on it (medicaid here kicks butt).  I would rather him spend that money on the kids.  Also an order for him to cover them with med insurance means nothing.  He can get the worlds most crappy high deductible, bad coverage,  insurance and leave you holding a bill for hundreds or thousands of dollars.  (note to those reading...be careful to be very specific about what kind of health insurance you want him to carry if this is something you are asking for.)

post #14 of 14
Not sure if this helps but I recommend calling a local domestic violence shelter and seeing if they can answer any of your questions. They deal with relocating moms and children and may have some answers.

I just sent out some prayers for you and your boys- God bless you.
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