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Staying at Home "On Welfare" - Page 2

post #21 of 1188
I qualified for medicaid BEFORE I had my son and while working 40 hrs/wk. But MN is pretty good about making sure people have medical coverage. I worked (and still do, a little) for a small business that just cannot afford to offer health insurance for its employees.

I once heard that WIC is as much a subsidy for the dairy industry as it is assistance for needy families. Don't know if that is accurate but it sounds feasible.
post #22 of 1188
Since we're on the topic I have a similar complaint. Here in our small town of just over 200 (gasp- it used to be 350), our only doctor is paid $250,000/yr to treat about 5 patients per day, for about 35-40 weeks/year. The great majority of patients come in for things like a sore throat and headache (I know someone who works in the clinic), the great majority of whom are not recieving any kind of assistance from the government. The dr is not lisenced to treat emergencies- we have medics for that. We have socialised health care and you bet I find it completely ridiculous that people are costing my dh his wages to inform the dr that they don't feel well, who could just as well stay home and drink a glass of water. So us, receiving child tax benefits are leeches, not 'taking care of ourselves', but the ones costing our small community $250,000/yr for total negligence of their own health, but are 'entitled' by the same system ARE 'taking care of themselves?'

Our child tax benefits are far less than most families receive in 'care' from physicians every year. Nice. Not to mention, when I was eligible for maternity benefits (which are under employment insurance here- and therefore another 'assistance program'), 4 yrs ago, the amount I received every month was within one dollar of the amount that was taken from my dh's (very meagre) cheques every month. Nice, again. I should mention that my dh was counseling youth in a custody rehab centre for drug and alcohol addicts- certainly not worth more than $13/hr, right? Who needs healthy, productive children who will be our next generation of well, everything? I write that with tongue in cheek as though our pay scale is measured by true need and value contribution to society... yeah right.

It's funny to think of what a 'drain' we are on the 'system' when, if it is actually calculated, we cost taxpayers a whole lot less than most two-income families whose $$ 'contribution' is less the more they make. Triple nice.

I think the whole thing is messed up and in my little ideal world, we would all spread out over the land, and homestead because crowding and industry are what allow for this situation to persist. Dh and I worked out that he works 15 hours/week just for food. 15 HOURS! I said, why don't you just get a part-time job for utility bills and stay home, fish and help me with the garden. It wouldn't take more than 15 hours per week and oh my! wouldn't you rather be FISHING than behind a desk being belittled and used? It would actually put us ahead if he stayed home much more and we just did more for ourselves!

We'd also be 'contributing' less though, of course... :
post #23 of 1188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bekkers View Post
but, the more I thought about it the more upset I got that the state was paying out i am sure MUCH MUCH more than she is making at the grocery for childcare for her 5 kids (I don't know what assistence progarm she is in, but her chidcare is from the state). It just seems so rediculous that she can't just stay home with her kids and save everyone $$ and do a better job taking care of them!
I don't get that, either. I mentioned the same thing to a friend who worked in childcare, when she was explaining how now (under the plan started by Clinton's administration) single mamas have to work to get assistance. I'm like, "Considering the childcare costs -- wouldn't it be cheaper to just help the mom stay home?"

She said, "Yeah, but what about the work ethic?"

Which, again, stems back to the way our society places no value on mothering. We can only learn the "work ethic" by leaving our children and doing work we care a lot less about.
post #24 of 1188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azuralea View Post
I think you hit the nail on the head. IME the people who really feel bitter towards women who receive welfare to SAH are those who are just above them on the income scale. That means they do have a steady income, but it's very little, and their kids are in substandard care while they work. So they look at the SAHMs on welfare and think, "What, I'm struggling and sending my kids to a daycare I hate so you can have welfare benefits and stay with your kids?"
Yes, I think you're right. In many cases, if these struggling two-income families went to being one-income families, they'd qualify for the same benefits. But often they'd never dream of doing that.

I guess from that vantage point, it's easier to understand why so many favor supporting childcare costs, even if it's more costly. For a mom who's doing what she hates in order to "stay off welfare," it's somehow easier on the mind to think of lower-income mamas being just as miserable, than it is to think of us lying in bed nursing our babies while working mamas are strapping their babies in car-seats and heading off to daycare at 7am.

You're right that the rage is mis-directed -- but it's still real and still valid.
post #25 of 1188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilysmama1124 View Post
Also I don't think people know that financial aid for college comes from the same fund as other welfare federally. You don't hear anyone complaining about college students using that program. For example my sister got a federal need based scholarship of several thousand dollars and my mom didn't say BOO but she just bought herself an IPOD. Why is that any different than me being on Title XIX and hiring a doula?
Excellent point! And not just "anyone" can qualify for student financial aid, either -- so it's not one of those programs like roads or public schools that everyone benefits from. More "double-standards" at work here!

I totally agree with you about the doula. We had a homebirth with our second child -- and I also did all my prenatal care with my midwife rather than going to a doctor. The total cost (for prenatal care and birth) was $1,450. Well, we also purchased our own birth-kit; I think that was maybe $25.00 or so. So, for under $1500 we had a wonderful birth and a healthy (and un-cut) mama and baby.

We paid our midwife out of our income-tax return. We saved the Medicaid program a whole lot of money, simply because we didn't utilize it. If complications had occurred, we would have gone to the hospital, and applied for Medicaid after the fact -- but, as with the majority of births, it was totally straightforward and no medical intervention was needed.

Of course, with things being so tight for us, I can totally understand why some low-income mamas who'd rather do homebirth, go with the hospital birth because that's the only kind Medicaid will cover.

The government could save itself so much money if it would cover homebirths for low-income mothers who'd like to go this route. Could it be that Medicaid is somewhat of a subsidy for the medical system (just as someone said WIC is a subsidy for dairy farmers)? If it isn't, then WHY won't Medicaid cover homebirths? It would save them a tremendous amount of money ... so all I can think is that the medical system doesn't want to lose the government money.
post #26 of 1188
Quote:
I think you hit the nail on the head. IME the people who really feel bitter towards women who receive welfare to SAH are those who are just above them on the income scale. That means they do have a steady income, but it's very little, and their kids are in substandard care while they work. So they look at the SAHMs on welfare and think, "What, I'm struggling and sending my kids to a daycare I hate so you can have welfare benefits and stay with your kids?"
After my father left and my mother was a very struggling single mother that didnt qualify for benefits, our neighbor stayed home with her boys by using the system. To this day my mother is angry at that woman for getting to garden all day while she had to work so hard (her words not mine). We had to let our grass die, get rid of our pets, and pick 1 meal a day that we could eat, because she didnt qualify for help. Meanwhile the family next door always had food, clothes ect.

I think it should be every mothers right to stay home with their babies. It breaks my heart when I think about all the moms crying while their babies were crying when they left them with me at daycare so they could get to work. That being said the difference between public schools and welfare is that everyone can use public schools. DH and I dont qualify for public assistance, but we could def. use it. We're paying off so many medical bills that we're drowning. A small bit of money, or most importantly medicaid would help SO much. It does bother me that I cant afford to take my son to the doctor when I feel I need to because we cant afford it, yet my friends on assistance take their children to the ER for fevers or ear infections.

I think while its important to make aware the misconceptions of "welfare moms" its also important to remember that those that dont meet the gov. qualifications arent always rich. I wish that something could be done to balance it out equally. I've said it before and I'll say it again EVERY child deserves medical care.
post #27 of 1188
This post won't apply to long-term SAHM'ing, but just thinking of those who SAH for a few short years to avoid infant/toddler daycare.

This is yet another area where longer, paid maternity leave would help a ton!! Can't anyone of the powers that be see that nobody REALLY wants to leave their six-week-old (or less in some cases)? Why is that still the only option for so many?? If we could get paid to take a year or 2 off, then it wouldn't be "welfare," it would be a job entitlement. But with the options we have, many moms would rather take a government benefit than have to send such young babies off to [often unaffordable] childcare and get back to work right away.

But the argument against paid mat. leave is similar to that against welfare, "I don't want to pay people not to work." : As if mothering and sitting on one's duff were the same thing.
post #28 of 1188
I will admit that I get angry at some moms on assistance because it really feels like they have it better than we do. We have 5 kids and are doing everything ourselves. Our kids see the dentist routinely. When one had to have oral surgery it cost about $700 out of pocket after insurance. Obvuiously we have 5 kids and don't just have that laying around. We had to do without things in order to save it up. Our son needs routine cardiac care but our insurance does not cover his DR. It has now been a few years since his last ECHO, which he needs every year. He has to do without. How fair is that?? I cannot afford to fork out 2K for the tests. Without proper care he could die. Meanwhile one of my friends with more kids is telling me about how sick her kids have been and she's so thankful medicaid picks up the tab because she wouldn't be able to afford it and she's planning on more kids.
post #29 of 1188
First ~ thismama "oh noes!"


And, not sure if this has been posted but it's pretty impossible to receive welfare and not work since welfare requires that you go to work min. 30 hours a week, plus there are time limits and strict sanctions, so, if you don't meet the work requirements immediately / demonstrate that you're looking for a job, they kick you off the program and it gets EXTREMELY difficult to get any kind of assistance after that. (This also applies if you're with a lazyass partner or significant other who refuses to work... if they are sanctioned while you're still together, and then you split up and apply for aid it will generally be immediately refused. Yes, this happened to me. )

I HATE HATE HATE it when people talk about "welfare queens" who are "staying home on welfare" or "on the taxpayer's dollars" because it's just not possible.
post #30 of 1188
Thread Starter 
Aura-Kitten -- it sounds like the work requirement really screws single moms. Until my husband got a raise at work, we qualified and got foodstamps. Nothing was said about me working, because our youngest is under 5. So low-income, married mamas can get a little cushion if they qualify -- but single mamas are just screwed and have to work, regardless?

What if a single mom got some child-support from her children's father(s)? Could she qualify for section 8 housing, foodstamps, WIC, and Medicaid -- and then use the child-support to cover whatever else they needed? I know if the fathers work at all, these days the state will automatically garnish their paychecks if they refuse to pay.

So, does the government just absolutely refuse to let a single mom go this route? She just has to work no matter what?
post #31 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Aura-Kitten -- it sounds like the work requirement really screws single moms. Until my husband got a raise at work, we qualified and got foodstamps. Nothing was said about me working, because our youngest is under 5. So low-income, married mamas can get a little cushion if they qualify -- but single mamas are just screwed and have to work, regardless?

What if a single mom got some child-support from her children's father(s)? Could she qualify for section 8 housing, foodstamps, WIC, and Medicaid -- and then use the child-support to cover whatever else they needed? I know if the fathers work at all, these days the state will automatically garnish their paychecks if they refuse to pay.

So, does the government just absolutely refuse to let a single mom go this route? She just has to work no matter what?
Yes she has to work no matter what. I don't know about sect 8 and foodstamps and wic in other areas; medi-cal doesn't have a work requirement but the rest do here, barring serious illness or disability.

I'm a single mother, but I have yet to receive a single penny in child support. Even though everyone talks about "garnishing wages" it doesn't help when the deadbeat is a jerk who refuses to work, or report his true place of residence and such to the government.

I'd love to stay home with the kids but then I'd have no income. So instead I work and go to school full time just to make ends meet.


It's a REALLY screwed up system. Especially considering I work my arse off just so I can get aid, but every time I make a few dollars extra in a month from overtime my benefits are lowered. It's pretty impossible to get ahead.

*Especially* considering the need for childcare and the cost of childcare, and transportation to and from, and that if the only job you can find is an hour's commute away, the hours you spend commuting to/from work and to/from your kids' daycares do NOT count as time employed, so you have to then work extra hours at that job to meet the hour requirement every week just to keep the food stamps and housing.

ARGH Sorry don't mean to rant. This whole issue just makes me want to scream.
post #32 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommato5 View Post
I will admit that I get angry at some moms on assistance because it really feels like they have it better than we do.
I feel like that too sometimes (contradictorily )... A lot of the other mothers in the low-income housing apartments I live in, they have expensive $2k - $3k sofas, nice cars (the parking lot is full of brand new cars : ), cable TV, and then plus they can somehow afford to put their kids in sports (one season of soccer for one kid runs $75 here and I know families that put all their kids in every sport every season, plus girl scouts and cub scouts).....

and it's easy enough to lie and cheat the system, sure, but then you're also risking a lot by doing that.

It drives me crazy. The whole thing just drives me nuts.
post #33 of 1188
We would make the same after childcare/work expenses as we do with one person working BUT we would no longer qualify for medicaid/foodstamps/EIC/WIC. We would be a lot poorer if both of us work and our family dynamic would take a negative turn.

Some states don't allow SAHP to get welfare but some do. When we lived in WA we had to do it all on our own, it was really tough being low income and not being able to get any kind of assistance.
post #34 of 1188
Thread Starter 
Maybe some parents with Medicaid take their children to the doctor for every single thing -- but I've been learning how much healthier it is to let our children's bodies deal with whatever they can without medication. So, the last time we used our Medicaid was for a broken arm almost a year ago. We only go if it's not something we can deal with at home.

As a sahm, if one of my children shows symptoms of an illness, my first course of action is usually to browse the internet looking for homeopathic remedies. I have time to look into these things, whereas a working mama might not. You'd be amazed at all the stuff you can take care of with simple baking soda! It's cured both thrush and ringworm for us so far.

Of course, I wouldn't play around with baking soda if my child was seriously ill and wasn't getting better. But the thing is, so far these really easy, cheap remedies HAVE worked -- eliminating the need for taxpayers to cover a trip to the doctor for a prescription, as well as the cost of the medicine.

But, most low-income working parents with Medicaid don't have my option of trying stuff out at home. Though it's cheaper, easier, and healthier to avoid antibiotics and other drugs wherever possible -- it's often more time-consuming. If you decide to treat your child's pinkeye by simply washing her eye with a warm, wet, clean washcloth several times a day (and applying some breastmilk if you have it), it'll take a few days to clear up.

But if you go to the doctor and get the antibiotics, 24 hours after the first application your child can go back to daycare and you can go back to work.

If your child's running a fever, the healthiest thing is usually to let it run its course, since the fever is a sign your child's immune system is doing its work. But the daycare won't take a child with a fever; they're actually supposed to be fever-free for 24 hours before coming back (and of course no parent wants to leave her sick child, anyway). I wonder if parents' having to get back to work, explains the majority of situations where doctors claim they "have" to prescribe antibiotics for anything and everything -- because the parents just demand that they "do something."

I can understand, because some of my daughters' feverish illnesses have lasted about 3 days. We wait it out 'cause we know it's healthier (it's even what most doctors recommend these days), and because we can as I'm at home. But if you're a single mom who has to get right back to work -- what are you to do? Antibiotics tend to resolve stuff more quickly -- yet they increase your child's risk for reinfection or developing other infections.

So some children end up on course after course of antibiotics all winter. Though the parents may not miss more than a couple of days at a time from work, it may actually add up to more time than they'd miss if they could just wait it out the FIRST time their child got an infection. But they often can't.

I'm realizing this is one way sahm's on Medicaid can actually save Medicaid lots of money, as well as boost our kids' health. We have time to wait things out; it's also easier for us to breastfeed 'round the clock, which helps prevent many illnesses from even developing.

I think children's health is way more important than saving the taxpayers' money. But since many taxpayers look at these issues (like Medicaid and other helps for low-income families) from a financial standpoint -- I wish more people could see how much more expensive it is to cover health-care costs when there is no sahp.

Children have to be exposed to so many infections in daycare, repetitive use of antibiotics is detrimental to their immune systems, and it's harder to breastfeed (plus milk that's been pumped and refrigerated isn't going to have as many infection-fighting properties as milk straight from the breast).

I really think that facilitating the desire of more parents to stay home, and take over the role of "Dr. Mom" or "Dr. Dad," is a lot more financially sound than "workfare."
post #35 of 1188
I am not globally for or against folks receiving benefits while they sah - I think it is appropriate for some families and probably not the correct/fair choice for others.

However, it is like comparing apples & oranges to compare receiving income qualified services to the public school system (or the roads, protection from the police & fire department, library, etc. etc. etc). Those services are not income qualified - they are available to everyone whereas things people usually refer to as "welfare" are income qualified and thus opting to lower ones income impacts whether a family qualifies. Again, I am not for or against it, I just don't think it is a useful comparison.
post #36 of 1188
Thread Starter 
wildmonkeys -- I see it as a useful comparison because we homeschool, so we're not utilizing the public schools for our children. Dh still pays taxes into the school system, and we don't begrudge the schools that money or look down on others who use that system. We feel like the money the school system WOULD have used to educate our kids, is freed up to cover other needs within that system.

I see it as no different from the situation where some pay taxes into Foodstamps without ever drawing benefits from that program.

I agree that everyone benefits from the roads -- whether they drive cars, or ride bikes or the bus, or just walk everywhere. But there are maybe a few anti-civilization types who'd still rather not pay taxes on these. And yes, we all benefit from police and fire departments, and from libraries.

But, as a pp mentioned, most people don't see student financial aid as a "welfare program" -- yet that's obviously something not "all" college students qualify for. Some people go straight to work from highschool, and never attend college, yet they pay taxes to help others attend college. I think student aid is great -- but it seems like a double-standard to treat it any differently from Foodstamps or Medicaid for low-income families.

Apples and oranges do have some differences -- but they're both fruit. They're more similar than not.
post #37 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommato5 View Post
I will admit that I get angry at some moms on assistance because it really feels like they have it better than we do.
I am concerned that you are angry at others because they have it better than you. There are a lot of people who 'have it better' and who work far less, but have more money etc... It just seems like an endless covetting cycle to be on. Until 8 months ago, my dh counselled youth offenders with addictions. He had a 95% success rate (measured by no relapses in intervals of six months until they are age of majority), and was very good at helping these young people reframe their often broken childhoods and self-images. I don't think you can pay enough for that kind of compassion and effort and yet, he made $13/hr. With all of our dc, we would qualify for childcare subsidy (which I wouldn't take because I believe that I should and do have the choice to stay home and raise my children- just like the childcare provider chooses to raise other people's children) which would have worked out to much much more money than we received in child tax benefits. If my dh couldn't work or for some other reason I was left with the dc, I would stay home and take advantage of whatever resource I could, but I wouldn't send my dc off to childcare so I could work for a subsidy.

I assure you that nobody is jealous of us in our situation ( ), but if you are going to be angry for what you mentioned, then are you also angry at the statue-like road worker, union guy whose salary is $60K-$80K or doctor at $300,000 who sees five patients/day and takes two hour-long lunches?

I usually reserve that sort of anger for people whose contribution is less than they are taking. I haven't met any SAHM's who fit that description, yet. They may indeed exist; I just don't know them.

As far as I can tell, if my dh's tax dollars are paying the lazy dr $300,000 to sit around all day, seeing 5 people with headaches and buying a new car every 6 months, then I am perfectly happy to see a mum staying home and caring for her children the way only she could. Maybe her children will contribute more than the ones I mentioned BECAUSE they've seen what it takes to live and love others. That's my hope at least. I don't have any hope for the lazy high income earners whose salary comes from my dh's paycheques.

Maybe you might consider redirecting your anger?
post #38 of 1188
(which I wouldn't take because I believe that I should and do have the choice to stay home and raise my children- just like the childcare provider chooses to raise other people's children)

aaaaaaand it's back to the mommy wars. yuck.
post #39 of 1188
I think there are two reasons why a mother who receives benefits and doesn't have an outside job is seen in a derogatory light :

1. Raising children does not have much value placed on it in our culture. Despite being perhaps the most important job there is, or at least one of them. Unless your job actually entails making money, it is not "work" and you are just a lazy ass bum sitting on your butt all day long.

2. As PP's have stated, moms who are just above the "I could stay at home and make the same money" line seem to really resent it. The attitude seems to be "I work my ass off and pay for YOU to stay at home!".

Although, I've gotta tell you, I'm a FT working mother and I don't feel that way at all. I think being with your kids is the most important thing for parents and it's one of the best uses of my tax money I can think of, personally.
post #40 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaNosBest View Post
(which I wouldn't take because I believe that I should and do have the choice to stay home and raise my children- just like the childcare provider chooses to raise other people's children)

aaaaaaand it's back to the mommy wars. yuck.
It's pretty sad... if we could all stop accusing/punishing each other and banded together, women could be one of the largest forces for change in the country. You'd think it wouldn't be so hard, with all of the common goals that women and mothers have!
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