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SAHP's Using Public Assistance - Page 17

post #321 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountaingirl79 View Post
My husband and I have paid into this system as have the last four generations of our families so we are making use of all the programs that are available.
I'm curious why previous generations paying taxes matters? Obviously, my mom and dad have never paid much in taxes, if anything. They haven't paid into the system. I'm pretty sure even now my mom gets the earned income credit, and gets back way more than she ever pays in.

But that wouldn't make me more or less eligible should I run into financial difficulties now and need to rely on public aid for a bit, would it? I hope not.

I've paid taxes since about age 18 (and quite a bit in recent years since my income went up after college) but I've never felt that qualifies me for anything.

I'm sure my grandparents paid taxes, but that doesn't impact me.
post #322 of 412
If you mom had gotten a job, she likely would have have her benefits greatly reduced. Trust me, I've been there. Again, this is a support only thread. Please, if you feel the need to argue/discuss whether the issues of your childhood were caused by your family being on welfare or who deserves to recieve public benefits, could you start a new thread, possibly in Personal Growth or Frugality & Finances?
post #323 of 412
Hi all,

I'm at home on rest b/c my blood pressure went up, and the Mw's were talking induction. It's down a bit, and I can wait till Monday.

I just shelled out almost 80$ for labs! But, we got the packet of forms to fill out for Medicaid! : Now, all we ahve to do is sign the forms, and copy DH's pay stubs, and send it in. I finally feel like it might all work out, and I need to try to get rid of some stress for the sake of my poor BB. I was worried that I hadn't done soemthing right, because the forms hadn't come, and the BB is due in just 9 days!

Now I'm going back to the couch, but I wanted to fill you all in. Hugs to all of us!
post #324 of 412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I'm curious why previous generations paying taxes matters?
Well, if I remember right, you were the one talking about the need for at least part of the population to pay taxes. You mentioned something about the economy not working unless some folks are earning money and paying taxes. Mountaingirl was pointing out that she and her husband have both worked and paid taxes in the past -- and probably plan to put some back in in the future, as they're starting a home business and taking classes.

She also mentioned the contributions of her ancestors, which you obviously see as irrelevant -- but if you look at it side-by-side with your concern about "everyone" going on public assistance and "no one" paying taxes, it's actually pretty relevant. Many people in Mountaingirl's family pay or have paid taxes, and there are other folks out there in the nation who pay taxes, too. Some may need a "leg up" from time to time, others will keep both legs up and never need assistance, and just keep paying taxes.

So, I don't see us heading toward 100% of the population needing public assistance and not putting anything back in.

But, seriously, since you say that you know first-hand about the stigma of being on public assistance -- don't you have any grasp of why some people mention the contributions of their parents or other family members? I'm not saying this is the case for Mountaingirl -- but I've known at least one other person (in real life) to do it, and I think it was to combat the stigma.

But, of course, everyone in need deserves assistance regardless of what their relatives have or haven't given -- no one should feel stigmatized. And I don't think people who talk about their family's contributions, at all mean to cast aspersion on those whose relatives have also received assistance.

Quote:
But that wouldn't make me more or less eligible should I run into financial difficulties now and need to rely on public aid for a bit, would it? I hope not.
Of course not!

Quote:
I've paid taxes since about age 18 (and quite a bit in recent years since my income went up after college) but I've never felt that qualifies me for anything.
No, need is what qualifies a person. Again, I think because of people like you talking about the need to put something back in and not just receive, some people feel compelled to talk about how they have paid in.

While your paying in in the past doesn't "qualify" you for anything, it certainly matters in the grand scheme -- at least, in the grand scheme of what you've said about some people needing to put something in -- right?

You seem to keep wanting to say something negative ... I'm sorry you hated your childhood. But that doesn't mean that our children are having miserable childhoods and going cold and hungry. I realize you may not mean to imply that we're hurting our children -- but please realize that we come here for support because we face negative attitudes out in the world.

To repeat others: this is a support thread. Let's get back to the support!
post #325 of 412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidirk View Post
Hi all,

I'm at home on rest b/c my blood pressure went up, and the Mw's were talking induction. It's down a bit, and I can wait till Monday.

I just shelled out almost 80$ for labs! But, we got the packet of forms to fill out for Medicaid! : Now, all we ahve to do is sign the forms, and copy DH's pay stubs, and send it in. I finally feel like it might all work out, and I need to try to get rid of some stress for the sake of my poor BB. I was worried that I hadn't done soemthing right, because the forms hadn't come, and the BB is due in just 9 days!

Now I'm going back to the couch, but I wanted to fill you all in. Hugs to all of us!
And a big and prayers for you, too! We'll eagerly await your updates!
post #326 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
No, that's not true.

My mom bought rice, beans, flour, etc. She cooked everything from scratch. Every single thing. She ate very healthfully and purchased only basics. She gardened. She never bought any packaged foods. Not ever. Food stamps simply did not cover the food needs. Public aid simply was not enough money to live on. Had we had supplemental income, it would have been a different story.

My mother did use weatherization programs, every year, and did a lot of the labor herself to stretch the funds. But you only get so much in annual eligibility, and it was never enough to take care of the weatherization problems the Section 8 eligible rentals had.

It really wasn't about the choices she made other than the choice to rely 100% on public aid. She received AFDC (which I think was phased out and replaced by TANF, right?), foodstamps, WIC, Section 8, medicaid, fuel assistance, and weatherization assistance. Probably other stuff.

Anyway, she homebirthed, lived very naturally, cooked from scratched, sewed, homeschooled, no plastic toys, breastfed, etc, lived pretty darn frugally and simply in every possible way except she never made any money and lived soley on public assistance for the entire time her children were at home. Everything we owned was from a thrift store. The money wasn't mismanaged. It simply wasn't enough.

Actually, I think the reason my mother used public assistance was because she wanted to be at home with her children, but also because she wanted to breastfeed, homeschool, garden, sew, cook from scratch, can things, etc. If she had worked, she would not have had the time to do that. She knew that and said it at the time, and says it to this day.

Sometimes there is an assumption that most welfare mothers (certainly in my mother's generation) didn't live frugally, or didn't cook from scratch, or garden, or breastfeed and save on formula costs. My mother was very much a hippie and home birthed, breastfed, co-slept, gardened, cooked from scratch, and by nature lived very simply and very frugally.

She just tried to do it on public aid, and it wasn't enough money to live above poverty level.

It probably would have been a pretty good life, actually, with a little more money so that we weren't poverty level. We needed more than what public aid provided.
Your mom sounds a lot like, well, ME! We recieve Food Stamps and WIC, and we also have Medicaid because we qualify. Our annual income hovers around 25,000 a year for a family of 5. Thankfully we live in a very low COL area, but we would be starving without the FS and WIC. I cook from scratch as much as I can, home birth, breastfeed, cloth diaper, buy all my clothes at the thrift store and clothes for the kids too, and we also have a lot of generous friends and family who help us through. My DH works full time and is finishing up his Master's degree so we don't have to be on assistance in the future. I am also in school as well, and without a degree or any formal training, it makes ZERO financial sense for me to WOH. I don't feel guilty one BIT for getting Food Stamps while I'm educating myself and working towards a better future for my family.

MY problem is with people on PA who DON'T live how I do, who go out and SPEND their cash benefits on designer clothing and getting their nails done, FF'ing their kids by choice, the whole bit. I think that is ripping off the system. I think that hurts people who are truly in need, who are frugal, and who are trying to get by without screwing the system.

That Is Nice, I would hold no judgment against your mom for making the decision she did. Clearly she was not a leech just trying to suck all she could out of her government. She made a decision to make you guys her priority, and it is unfortunate that other circumstances made her so deeply dependent on the assistance. But she did the best she could. I wouldn't feel so bad!
post #327 of 412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Poot View Post
MY problem is with people on PA who DON'T live how I do, who go out and SPEND their cash benefits on designer clothing and getting their nails done, FF'ing their kids by choice, the whole bit. I think that is ripping off the system. I think that hurts people who are truly in need, who are frugal, and who are trying to get by without screwing the system.
Gosh, this doesn't seem like a very supportive attitude! If I see another mama in a designer outfit or with newly-done nails, I don't see how she's hurting me or anyone else in need. Does it make you mad to see some celebrity all dressed to the nines? Do you perceive that as hurting you? ... Well, I don't think someone who gets public assistance is any less worthy of nice things.

I guess what it all boils down to, is feeling good about how we're managing our own little corner of the universe -- but stopping short of saying that everyone else should be doing it like we do, and if they don't they're hurting us, or ripping off the system.

Please don't get me wrong -- I think it's wonderful what you're doing, I just think we run into a whole lot of ugly when we start trying to dictate how everyone else using public assistance "should' be doing it.
post #328 of 412
Mama Poot~ I have had a friend pay for me to get my nails done for my sister's wedding. You don't know that someone on PA paid for her nails or clothes with cash aid. She could have been given a giftcard, or had a friend who did them, or even done them herself. And even if she did use her cashaid to get her nails done or buy a nice outfit, why does she not deserve to do something that makes her feel good? We don't know the full details of everyone's life, and we really don't need to. As I've said before, we are all doing the best we can. to all!
post #329 of 412
I think it's hard not to judge others when sometimes we feel so judged ourselves. I know I'm not completely innocent of doing this myself, though more and more often I hear a voice in my head saying, "hey in there, you don't know this person's life..."

I have a feeling I brushed a nerve with my last comment, though since things have been edited I'm not sure how, lol.


My husband didn't grow up with money at all. In fact, he grew up with poverty stricken family members that had drug and other related issues. He had a hard childhood that didn't afford him luxuries and necessities we want for our own child. I didn't grow up with a lot of financial resources either, though my family is supportive, loving, and always kept us fed clothed and feeling secure. I know that some people feel that this may not be a good time to have a child, but things don't always end up the way you originally intended. I don't think there is anyone on here saying that they don't want to support their children...in fact most are saying that they are working towards providing a better life for them through some form of education or other means. While I can understand that you feel your mom made mistakes, That Is NIce, I hope that one day you can come to the conclusion that she did what she thought was best for you at the time, and that that is what every parent does for their children. You can learn from your past, but it shouldn't shadow what you think of everyone else.
post #330 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Poot View Post
Your mom sounds a lot like, well, ME! We recieve Food Stamps and WIC, and we also have Medicaid because we qualify. Our annual income hovers around 25,000 a year for a family of 5. Thankfully we live in a very low COL area, but we would be starving without the FS and WIC. I cook from scratch as much as I can, home birth, breastfeed, cloth diaper, buy all my clothes at the thrift store and clothes for the kids too, and we also have a lot of generous friends and family who help us through. My DH works full time and is finishing up his Master's degree so we don't have to be on assistance in the future. I am also in school as well, and without a degree or any formal training, it makes ZERO financial sense for me to WOH. I don't feel guilty one BIT for getting Food Stamps while I'm educating myself and working towards a better future for my family.

MY problem is with people on PA who DON'T live how I do, who go out and SPEND their cash benefits on designer clothing and getting their nails done, FF'ing their kids by choice, the whole bit. I think that is ripping off the system. I think that hurts people who are truly in need, who are frugal, and who are trying to get by without screwing the system.

That Is Nice, I would hold no judgment against your mom for making the decision she did. Clearly she was not a leech just trying to suck all she could out of her government. She made a decision to make you guys her priority, and it is unfortunate that other circumstances made her so deeply dependent on the assistance. But she did the best she could. I wouldn't feel so bad!
My mom probably sounds like a lot of mothers on MDC. There's a reason I'm crunchy, right? Yes, my mother had a lot of good ideas. She really did. I forgot to mention cloth diapers, too! Anyway, she did well and made good decisions within the realm of what she had.

My point was that she never worked a day in a paid job from the time I was born until welfare reform forced her off public assistance. What I was looking at negatively about my mother was her intentional use of public assistance and 100% her reliance on it. From the time I was born until welfare reform, 100% of my mothers income was from public assistance.

She did not have the $25,000 per year you mentioned. Nor did she ever work towards a degree, like you mentioned, or go after any job training, or take advantage of subsidized childcare. She never had a seasonal job, or part time job, or any income from a job.

I am definitely not against public assistance. In fact, just the opposite. I am very, very much for it and think that we need increased social program investment. I think if we had things like univeral health insurance, better maternity leave policies, more support for breastfeeding, and better access to housing and education, then mothers wouldn't have to make such hard choices. It is hard to juggle the internal desire many of us have to stay with our young children with economic realities. In the U.S. we are at a disadvantage compared to mothers in many other industrialized countries. Of course, we have options that many 3rd world mothers do not. There are blessings, and there are areas we can improve.

Anyway, my point in my posts was that my mother never left public assistance until they forced her to. And that she never had ANY income other than the public assistance.

It's funny. I know that she received every program subsidy under the sun except subsidized child care. She received AFDC, food stamps, section 8, fuel assistance, WIC, government cheese, etc, and probably some grants for other things. But she never applied for child care subsidies.

She relied 100% on public assistance. So, basically I think she had an annual income for herself and her children of like $8,000 to $10,000 per year. That included food stamps and housing assistance. It was not enough, and we were hungry a lot of the time, even though she did cook from scratch and garden.

My point was that public assistance alone will not provide a very good life for children. Obviously, she is an extreme example, and the extent of her case couldn't happen anymore.

My issue with my mother wasn't her use of public assistance, it was the reliance on it and intentional use, and how she used it not to elevate herself to provide a better life for her children, but to subsist on it. So, when welfare reform hit, she was even more impoverished and had not held a job since she had been a teenager. Her transition to the job world was chaotic and difficult. She is still in poverty today. I am not sure she will have enough credits to qualify for social security even. Eventually, I am sure she will be a financial liabilty to her children, and we will have to provide for her. In a lot of ways, we already have, helping her with expenses. It is one factor in why I have questioned whether I can be a SAHP myself because I need to factor in making enough money to be able to help family.
post #331 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Well, if I remember right, you were the one talking about the need for at least part of the population to pay taxes. You mentioned something about the economy not working unless some folks are earning money and paying taxes. Mountaingirl was pointing out that she and her husband have both worked and paid taxes in the past -- and probably plan to put some back in in the future, as they're starting a home business and taking classes.

She also mentioned the contributions of her ancestors, which you obviously see as irrelevant -- but if you look at it side-by-side with your concern about "everyone" going on public assistance and "no one" paying taxes, it's actually pretty relevant. Many people in Mountaingirl's family pay or have paid taxes, and there are other folks out there in the nation who pay taxes, too. Some may need a "leg up" from time to time, others will keep both legs up and never need assistance, and just keep paying taxes.

So, I don't see us heading toward 100% of the population needing public assistance and not putting anything back in.

But, seriously, since you say that you know first-hand about the stigma of being on public assistance -- don't you have any grasp of why some people mention the contributions of their parents or other family members? I'm not saying this is the case for Mountaingirl -- but I've known at least one other person (in real life) to do it, and I think it was to combat the stigma.

But, of course, everyone in need deserves assistance regardless of what their relatives have or haven't given -- no one should feel stigmatized. And I don't think people who talk about their family's contributions, at all mean to cast aspersion on those whose relatives have also received assistance.
This is a good post. I agree with you.

It's never made sense to me that people think if they've paid into the system for a long enough time, or their ancestors have, that that is relevant in any way.

I remember a friend whose teen daughter got pregnant and then had her baby in the hospital using, I believe, Medicaid. The grandparent made the comment that she wished they hadn't had to use Medicaid, but that it was ok because she and her husband had been paying taxes all these years.

I just shake my head at that. The programs are there for those that need them. Thank God. But paying taxes into the system doesn't mean you are more or less eligible or worthy of using the public assistance.

Such a small amount of our taxes actually pays for public assistance. I pay a lot in taxes, but I know that it goes for military spending, public schools, public infrastructure. Those are the big ticket items.

You're right. It probably is about the stigma. I think there is a need to pay taxes to pay for all public funded programs and infrastructure, like I mentioned above. But paying or not paying wouldn't qualify or unqualify me, like you said. It's almost like some people are looking for forgiveness or acceptance. So, yeah, it probably is the stigma issue.

One thing that I wish people who complain about public assistance and taxes would look at is this: public assistance (social programs) is such a small part of the budget. Corporate welfare is billions and billions of federal taxes. I wish there was the stigma attached to corporate welfare.
post #332 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Poot View Post

MY problem is with people on PA who DON'T live how I do, who go out and SPEND their cash benefits on designer clothing and getting their nails done, FF'ing their kids by choice, the whole bit. I think that is ripping off the system. I think that hurts people who are truly in need, who are frugal, and who are trying to get by without screwing the system.

That Is Nice, I would hold no judgment against your mom for making the decision she did. Clearly she was not a leech just trying to suck all she could out of her government. She made a decision to make you guys her priority, and it is unfortunate that other circumstances made her so deeply dependent on the assistance. But she did the best she could. I wouldn't feel so bad!
I see what you are saying. But I don't think we can legislate lifestyles. Or make judgements based on one or two sightings. We at MDC probably all think that our collective way of parenting is best, and a lot of times crunchy is healthier (cooking from scratch, breastfeeding) and cheaper (way more frugal). I mean, having a homebirth on public assistance saves tax payers' dollars, right (as opposed to a hospital birth). Or breastfeeding would save money over formula use. And certainly WIC and other programs do try to push nutrition and other lifestyle type awareness (I don't always agree with their idea of nutrition ).

But I don't think we can force people to live any lifestyle just because they receive public assistance. And, yes, unfortunately that might mean that some of the cash payments are misused and abused.

But don't you think by and large they are not?

On the issue of manicures and designer clothes, it reminds me of some of the posts in the SAHP forum about how if we cut out those expenses, that is the answer.

I think it's kind of funny how the issue of manicures is such a hot buttom issue. I don't know many moms who routinely get manicures and wear designer clothes. And even if they did, those expenses probably would not be the deciding factor like the cost of housing, groceries, and utilities.

I sometimes thing the manicure/designer clothes mother is a, what's the term, red herring?
post #333 of 412
I am mostly a lurker here. But I had to say something. I don't know about other states, but here in TX you don't get enough federal aid to buy designer clothes or get manicures. When I first applied for assistance, I was told that I had to turn in my $300 child support check for a $300 state check. $300 isn't even enough to cover my rent. So then you have to get on housing assistance and that $300 might cover your utilities and other bills. It would make more sense to let you have the $600 so that you have some wriggle room and might be able to find ways to get off PA. But the system is set up so wrong. If you are on it, you can't do anything to better your life or you get screwed. I have been on it for almost 8 years and I am tired of it. And yes most of that time, I was working and paying taxes. I only quit my job and am mostly living off of child support so that I could finish my schooling and start my own business. Once I get it going, I will make more money than I ever would at any job that I could get with my education level. And then I will be paying back what I used all these years.
post #334 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockportmidwife View Post
I am mostly a lurker here. But I had to say something. I don't know about other states, but here in TX you don't get enough federal aid to buy designer clothes or get manicures. When I first applied for assistance, I was told that I had to turn in my $300 child support check for a $300 state check. $300 isn't even enough to cover my rent. So then you have to get on housing assistance and that $300 might cover your utilities and other bills. It would make more sense to let you have the $600 so that you have some wriggle room and might be able to find ways to get off PA. But the system is set up so wrong. If you are on it, you can't do anything to better your life or you get screwed. I have been on it for almost 8 years and I am tired of it. And yes most of that time, I was working and paying taxes. I only quit my job and am mostly living off of child support so that I could finish my schooling and start my own business. Once I get it going, I will make more money than I ever would at any job that I could get with my education level. And then I will be paying back what I used all these years.
I agree. I don't think the amount available in the form of public assistance, even when you are eligible for multiple programs, is enough for manicures or designer clothes. I really don't think that happens a lot.

I think it's a red herring.

I think it's hard to get by on just public assistance, which might be deliberate, but still makes things very difficult. And, yes, the system does need some changes so that families are not penalized for seeking work or school...I would like to see more gradual transitions...and more aid available at higher income levels, particularly Medicaid and subsidized childcare, which I would love to see available to all families, regardless of income. I'd also love for the food stamp program to be expanded to more homeless people.
post #335 of 412
Childcare likely wouldn't have been all that helpful. When I was looking for a job I got $800 CA & 400 FS. Once I was working full-time (made $900 a month after taxes), they paid my childcare, but my FS were cut to $190, my CA was cut to $400...after gas I came out $50 ahead from where I had started...and my kids were in childcare from 7 am-6 pm. That is just not right. And certainly not all that helpful.
post #336 of 412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I agree. I don't think the amount available in the form of public assistance, even when you are eligible for multiple programs, is enough for manicures or designer clothes. I really don't think that happens a lot.

I think it's a red herring.
I agree. But, as CaliMommie pointed out, sometimes a generous friend or relative will splurge on a momma who's going through hard times. And then maybe someone sees her using her EBT card or WIC vouchers in her designer outfit, or fancy nails, and gets worked up in knots over it.

I guess some wish we'd stick notes on our bathroom mirrors, reminding ourselves to dress crappy on shopping days. Of course, then we'd likely add fuel to the other stereotype about welfare mamas having no pride. We need to look cheaply-dressed -- but clean and neat -- oh, and make sure that our kids look even cleaner and neater than we do, or someone's bound to think we only care about ourselves, and let our kids run around looking trashy.

It's a tough order to fill! Good thing I don't even try.
post #337 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I just think we run into a whole lot of ugly when we start trying to dictate how everyone else using public assistance "should' be doing it.

wise words...



and i have learned from experience how to shop for my very nice clothes. consignment shops, thrift stores....clearance racks. and a few very good items are better than a bunch of junk.

that said. some people look kick butt on nothing.

and we don't all need to be super crunchy to be frugal. (although i prefer it) i have been reading this thread for about a week (its long). there are some great ideas and some great support....which is what it seems the thread is all about.


anyway, glad to have (re) found you mamas. hope you don't mind if i jump (back) in.
post #338 of 412
Hi ediesmom! Good to see you back over here!
post #339 of 412
Hey ediesmom! Good to see you again! How you are doing?
post #340 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I agree. But, as CaliMommie pointed out, sometimes a generous friend or relative will splurge on a momma who's going through hard times. And then maybe someone sees her using her EBT card or WIC vouchers in her designer outfit, or fancy nails, and gets worked up in knots over it.

I guess some wish we'd stick notes on our bathroom mirrors, reminding ourselves to dress crappy on shopping days. Of course, then we'd likely add fuel to the other stereotype about welfare mamas having no pride. We need to look cheaply-dressed -- but clean and neat -- oh, and make sure that our kids look even cleaner and neater than we do, or someone's bound to think we only care about ourselves, and let our kids run around looking trashy.

It's a tough order to fill! Good thing I don't even try.
:

It boggles my mind that people care how other people dress. It's so silly.

Honestly, clothes and personal care is such a small % of any budget. Housing, groceries, transportation costs, utilities...those are what take up the bulk of any families' spending. Sometimes people can't get past the exterior.

Stereotypes, of any kind, usually aren't very accurate.

It kind of bothers me that people get upset about the fancy clothes and nails, when we should all be upset when we see someone in rags or a too thin winter coat, or shoes with holes. That is what is upsetting to me.
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