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SAHP's Using Public Assistance - Page 2

post #21 of 412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamsInDigital View Post
Honestly, we're enjoying this time together as a family so much. My DH helps me so much and for once neither of us is under a huge amount of stress or worry. We have enough to cover the basic needs with a tiny bit left over for fun, we're together spending quality time as a family and we all feel pretty darn good about the whole thing.
I'm glad you guys are getting this special time. I've felt this way whenever my dh has gone through a phase of unemployment.

And I totally agree about your dh holding out for a better job, rather than rushing to grab the first low-paying job he can get.
post #22 of 412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by saintmom View Post
I don't always care for the way we're treated because of it.
I'm sorry about that!

If you ever want to share more, maybe someone here will have some ideas.
post #23 of 412
I CAN'T work due to a chronic illness. I'm getting by on SSI, Food Stamps, and Medicaid, and my parents' financial help.

If I attempted to get a job, I'd risk losing the benefits my family relies on, not to mention what it might do to my health. SSI isn't the issue- that's set up so if I worked a little, I'd lose a small amount of benefits (so I'd still come out ahead financially by working) but then the added income would risk Food Stamps and possibly Medicaid (I'm not sure if I automatically get Medicaid if I have SSI- that might not be a problem.) So I really don't feel I can afford to take the risk of trying to find part time employment.

The system is just so screwed up. If every American resident got medical coverage, people wouldn't be afraid of losing benefits by getting jobs.
post #24 of 412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
If every American resident got medical coverage, people wouldn't be afraid of losing benefits by getting jobs.
Yes, and it can be very costly to get the medical insurance that's provided by most jobs, plus many of these insurance programs don't provide full coverage, so you may still have a large bill after the insurance has paid its share. I agree that full coverage for every resident would solve a lot of worries and ills for a lot of people.

I'm glad to see you here, Ruthla! I've always enjoyed your input on other threads.
post #25 of 412
We are in the boat of being close to not getting food stamps as well. If I worked, I wouldn't make enough to cover those lost benefits, day care and the extra gas/car money. It's just not worth it. My family thinks we are losers because we are poor and I don't work.

I'm actually pretty nervous because we have to go requalify (I think it's every three months) for food stamps next week and my hubby got a small raise (like 20 cents). I'm worried it'll put us over. They don't count his garnishment (for student loans), which is about 25% of our income lost. So we'll really be in a hard spot if we lose the Food stamps. I honestly don't know what we'd do.

I have to agree with those who said we shouldn't be judged for what extras we have. We have the internet, but that's how we have a phone (can't get one with the local company, not good enough credit) and honestly, it's cheaper than through the local company, so it works out in the end.

Julie
post #26 of 412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by simple life View Post
I have to agree with those who said we shouldn't be judged for what extras we have.
Thank you! It feels like a real slam when someone expresses the attitude that, "I work and I don't take any public assistance, and I can't afford X -- so you better not have any X, either!"

It's really very dehumanizing to say that just because someone gets public assistance, that means all that person's belongings/extras need to be lower quality (or at least not any better) than the belongings/extras of those who don't.
post #27 of 412
I'm another SAHM on benefits. I can't afford to feed my family on DH's meager income, so this is what we have to do for now. If the system worked for families instead of against them perhaps things would be different. You know, maybe if all of the jobs and money didn't get sold to the lowest bidder overseas and there were still some jobs left for Americans.. Maybe then things would be different.

Thanks Bush. : I sure appriciate it.

Yeah, I've gotten the dirty stare in the super market for using the EBT card. I've had people comment to me about having another child and being on FS. I've even had people tell me that we shouldn't shop at Whole Foods because we're on FS. Yeah, like me feeding my family gross chemicals is going to make our poverty any better. At least I'm buying vegetables and not buying cases of Big Red and Cheetos, right?

I'm in the same boat as you ladies, though.. DH got a better job making a whole whopping $.50 an hour more and they ripped $150 away from our benefits each month. We didn't apply for medicaid when we applied for FS because we don't really have to have it. Our kids are healthy and we only really go in to the doc if we have an emergency.

I'm just really frustrated. I played by their rules and reported when DH got a different job. We lost major amounts of benefits and now we have to make that up somehow. With DH just losing his job now I have no idea what we are going to do. He will probably end up in another really terrible low paying job because there is little else available to people in this area without a college degree. If you're not supposed to "cheat the system" how do you get out of poverty? The only way I can see it happening is working for cash and getting money on the side to help pay bills and get into a better place.

We only have two luxuries in life... Our internet and our occasional meal out. The rest of our money gets spent on bills bills bills. I can't see getting rid of our internet. We have an old crappy van that guzzles gas like a frat boy at a brewery and we can't afford to trade it in. If I get a job that leaves my two boys to be raised by whatever state run daycare can give us free childcare. My DH and I would spend NO time together. How is any of that supposed to be better than giving them a good life?

I'm tired of being trapped between staying in this cycle and somehow miraculously finding DH the dream job that I fear does not exist. I'm not asking a lot. I just want to be able to make ends meet, feed my family, put a little in savings, and have enough to make our lives a little nicer.

I'm glad there are other mommies out there who are facing the same struggles. I'm glad that there is someone who is telling me that it's okay not to cook a meal sometimes and that I shouldn't feel bad for buying new underwear or having internet. THANK YOU!
post #28 of 412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Septagram View Post
We didn't apply for medicaid when we applied for FS because we don't really have to have it. Our kids are healthy and we only really go in to the doc if we have an emergency.
One cool thing about Medicaid is that you can wait 'til you need it to apply for it, and if you qualify you get coverage after the fact. So there's really no need to apply if you don't feel like you need it.

Quote:
I'm glad there are other mommies out there who are facing the same struggles. I'm glad that there is someone who is telling me that it's okay not to cook a meal sometimes and that I shouldn't feel bad for buying new underwear or having internet. THANK YOU!
Thank you for sharing!
post #29 of 412
I belong here too.

It's a complicated thing, but when isn't it? KY? If we didn't have so much credit card debt, we might be able to eek by, but we might not. Truthfully, on my DH's schoolteacher income, we qualify for WIC, and for the food bank, too. Getting these things means I can actually buy meat, and bras (which I destroy) and shoes and coats, etc.

My parents understand about the assistance, and they know how hard I worked BC, but they had a tough time feeding the three of us when we were kids, and because my dad is a preacher, we had free lunches from school, etc.

What's hard is DH's parents who talk about having a tough time as a young married couple, but still expect us not too. They talk about how if their parents hadn't come and filled their freezer with food every so often, they'd not have had food to eat, but do they help us? Ummmm. . . NO. :

I know that partcularly MIL blames ME for our financial situation, she seems to think that if I spent less on groceries, we'd be OK. The problem is, we'd been buying groceries with the credit card for too long, and that's part of the problem. She actually told me that if I let her look at our grocery purchases, she was sure she could fix it for us.: She has no idea what we buy, and don't buy, but she assumes she does.

A lot of is is DH's fault. A lot of it is my fault, and a lot of it is life. We are actually considering chapter 13 ora credit counselling agency, which is scary, because they assume you need help for the same reasons my MIL thinks we need help- namely, that I've been out buying fur coats with the grocery money. How do you explain to someone that your debt is mostly care repairs, and groceries?
post #30 of 412
heidikirk, we had (have) a ton of credit card debt, too. it's like having a big black cloud over your head. we also had our house foreclosed on a few years ago.

were there different things we could have done so that we didn't end up where we are now? yes. can i actually go back and change those things? no. so i just do what i can with what i've got now. we don't have any credit cards anymore, no bank card, heck, not even a bank account. if we can't do it in cash, we don't do it. i know that's not practical for everyone, but it works for us. gotta say tho, it's funny the looks you get when you pay for your groceries with food stamps and then hand over a $50 bill to pay for the shampoo and tp. what people don't realize tho, is that that $50 bill is the sum total of what we have for the week. it's not like there's a dozen more where that came from, y'know?

my truck is on "e" still, so we walked to the store today, crammed $85 worth of groceries into 4 backpacks and walked home. i'd say it's about a 2 1/2 mile round trip, so it's not too bad. except that with my boys appetites, i'll be doing that trip probably once more this week, at least!

i know we still qualify for WIC but since my 3yo (and 5 yo) has gluten and dairy sensitivities... seems kind of silly since the only things he could use from the WIC stuff would be the juice and peanut butter! i know, the rest of us could use the other stuff, but somehow that just feels odd to me, to get the stuff and not give it to the person it's intended for.
post #31 of 412
My husband and I are on food stamps, and I get WIC and Medicaid. I'm also applying for housing assistance. My husband is working right now, but we are hoping that if we get our budgeting tightened enough he will be able to quit or find a part time job instead. My husband is going to school and has a very heavy workload, and it's going to be impossible for him to work full time, go to school full time, and also see his child when I have the baby in December. I really think it's sad that there isn't more resources for a person going to school to better themselves.

I don't feel bad to be on public assistance. I use what I need. If I don't feel a need for it, I don't use it. When hubby had a better job we didn't think we would apply for WIC even though we still qualified because our food budget didn't call for it. We were going to use his employee benefits for the pregnancy, and if necessary use medicaid as a backup. But then he got laid off, and his job wouldn't have supplied any medical benefits until I was at least four months pregnant. Hubby gets paid less now, so these benefits come in more than handy, and with these benefits we'll be able to get ahead, in as far as he won't have to drop out to work in a factory or walmart the rest of his days.

I agree with a lot of statements here. We give back what we can, even if it's not necessarily monetary. I help out my friends and family, my husband gives blood (I did but my iron was always too low and now I'm pg), we always find food for food drives, etc. I find it very important to give back because I have been there, and I know what it feels like to rely on food banks, not have enough money for heating, etc.
post #32 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by simple life View Post
I have to agree with those who said we shouldn't be judged for what extras we have. We have the internet, but that's how we have a phone (can't get one with the local company, not good enough credit) and honestly, it's cheaper than through the local company, so it works out in the end.
ITA with this sentiment- just because I'm getting assistance doens't mean I can't enjoy some little splurges here and there! But I do want to point out that if you're getting Food Stamps, you may also qualify for reduced phone service. I pay something like $5 a month for my land line, and another 3 or 4 dollars for the phone calls we make. It would be more like $30 without the assistance program.

I don't know if that's only a NYS program or if it's available elsewhere.
post #33 of 412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by damona View Post
were there different things we could have done so that we didn't end up where we are now? yes. can i actually go back and change those things? no. so i just do what i can with what i've got now.
That's what we're all doing -- responding to our current situations in the way that seems best to us now. It's nice to have a place where we can be open about this without anyone feeling a need to preach at us.

It's one thing to learn from our mistakes -- it's another for someone to tell us we need to punish and demean ourselves over it.
post #34 of 412
whoops, how on earth did I double post this 10 minutes apart? Something to do with hitting hte "back" button and then looking in another window and going back to this window thinking I didn't post yet.....
post #35 of 412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
ITA with this sentiment- just because I'm getting assistance doens't mean I can't enjoy some little splurges here and there!
Absolutely true! And I'm very glad to see the new faces.

heidirk, I'm sorry your in-laws are being difficult! When dh let his mom know he'd decided to discontinue our long-distance service to cut costs -- but he could still phone her over the computer if she'd just get the special thing installed, she asked, "Can't your wife at least get a part-time job to help you?"

That really hurt, and felt like such an invasion of our space. It also hurt a few months back when I miscarried and she told him, "It's really for the best. She's 44." Dh was so upset, and told her that you just don't tell parents it's a good thing their baby died.

I guess in previous generations relatives had less respect for one another's space, so I try to look at it (the rude, insensitive, and interfering comments) as a generational-thing and not get too upset.

happyhats, congratulations about your new baby! I'm glad for the support you're getting!
post #36 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by damona View Post

i know we still qualify for WIC but since my 3yo (and 5 yo) has gluten and dairy sensitivities... seems kind of silly since the only things he could use from the WIC stuff would be the juice and peanut butter! i know, the rest of us could use the other stuff, but somehow that just feels odd to me, to get the stuff and not give it to the person it's intended for.
Please apply! I work at WIC & nobody there is assuming that the food is ONLY going to the person who is enrolled.

You should also be able to subsitute dried beans/peas for the peanut butter (or at least in NY you can....it varies by state....NY only offers pt btr with hydro oil so I opt for the beans....)
post #37 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by damona View Post


my truck is on "e" still, so we walked to the store today, crammed $85 worth of groceries into 4 backpacks and walked home. i'd say it's about a 2 1/2 mile round trip, so it's not too bad. except that with my boys appetites, i'll be doing that trip probably once more this week, at least!

i know we still qualify for WIC but since my 3yo (and 5 yo) has gluten and dairy sensitivities... seems kind of silly since the only things he could use from the WIC stuff would be the juice and peanut butter! i know, the rest of us could use the other stuff, but somehow that just feels odd to me, to get the stuff and not give it to the person it's intended for.
The grocery store is just over the hill, and if I had a functioning wagon, I'd use that instead of the car. As it is, we are blessed because the library is within walking distance, and also a park, etc. We do have free fun things to do.

I'd still apply for WIC, I'm sure they have provisions for those who have food intolerances, it was one of the questions on the forms I filled out. It was funny actually, because I had to give a reason I couldn't afford to buy the items WIC provided. The truth is, I was making choices like, 'well I can buy milk for DS, but not for me, and I could buy meat for DH's sandwiches, but I'd have to eat toast for lunch'. I told the truth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post


That really hurt, and felt like such an invasion of our space. It also hurt a few months back when I miscarried and she told him, "It's really for the best. She's 44." Dh was so upset, and told her that you just don't tell parents it's a good thing their baby died.

I guess in previous generations relatives had less respect for one another's space, so I try to look at it (the rude, insensitive, and interfering comments) as a generational-thing and not get too upset.
I cannot believe she actually said that! Generational or not, I know older folkssometimes feel they've earned the right to speak their minds, but I am continually astonished at how incredibly hurtful people can be! :

I'm sorry for your loss.


AAM- DH called from work and left a message while I was putting DS down for a nap. It ran something like this; "(sigh) Hello, dear, (another sigh) I just need to tell you, don't use the checking account, I don't know, I just screwed something up again, I know, I'm sorry."

Where is the 'tearing my hair out in frustration' smiley?
post #38 of 412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidirk View Post
II'm sorry for your loss.
Thanks!

Quote:
AAM- DH called from work and left a message while I was putting DS down for a nap. It ran something like this; "(sigh) Hello, dear, (another sigh) I just need to tell you, don't use the checking account, I don't know, I just screwed something up again, I know, I'm sorry."

Where is the 'tearing my hair out in frustration' smiley?
post #39 of 412
mammal_mama, i'm sorry for your loss. no matter how poor, how young, how old, how unplanned... it still hurts.

thanks for the encouragement gals, i may just hike over to the WIC office next tuesday!

speaking of hiking, my dh and i just walked about 4 miles to come here to my mom's, and we'll be walking back soon! she has a yoga mat for me, we have to feed her cats, and our internet is being cranky at home anyway. catch our breath and back we go. i adore our sitter. he's watching the kids for free cuz we have dvds he hasn't seen yet! :
post #40 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
ITA with this sentiment- just because I'm getting assistance doens't mean I can't enjoy some little splurges here and there! But I do want to point out that if you're getting Food Stamps, you may also qualify for reduced phone service. I pay something like $5 a month for my land line, and another 3 or 4 dollars for the phone calls we make. It would be more like $30 without the assistance program.

I don't know if that's only a NYS program or if it's available elsewhere.
Its called Lifeline, there's 2 plans, a metered and a non metered, one is like $5 and the other is like $7. I went for the un metered cause in the end I felt it would be cheaper. Its actually a federal program in the lower 48 states http://www.lifeline.gov/lifeline_Consumers.html

I know what you guys mean, I was at kmart and had a coupon plus the sale price and darn it I wanted some Trix, yeah those pure sugar and nothing but artificial flavors and colors cereal. Pure crap, I spent $2 of FS on that box and you should have seen the look on the lady behind me's face. I buy a box about once a year, its a treat for me. My mother has a cow if I so much as buy a packet of kool aid (I use it to dye play silks) becasue I'm on FS I don't deserve to buy junk
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