I need ideas! Emergency financial situation!! - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-04-2008, 02:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am trying not to freak out, if anyone has any ideas, I could really use them. I am a single mother to three children. My youngest dd, age 3, is epileptic and I stay home with her, as her seizures are not well controlled on medication yet, and I haven't been able to find a care provider I feel safe leaving her with. For the past year, I have been on welfare and disability so that I can afford to live and somewhat support my children (it has been tough!)

Last month, child support enforcement starting garnishing my ex husband's wages. I ended the welfare payments starting in august, because the state says you can't be on welfare and receive CS. However, last week my ex husband was fired from the job he has worked at for almost a decade. This has totally blindsided me, none of us saw it coming. The problem is that now, for the month of August I HAVE NO INCOME coming in!!! I have no idea what I am going to do!! I literally do not have five dollars to my name. I can't buy gas to drive the kids to school, I can't pay for my dd's medication, I can't buy toilet paper or soap.

I've been putting resume's out like crazy and had two interviews, but let's face it. Nobody wants to hire a single mom to three kids - one of whom is disabled. I was supposed to start school this month, but couldn't start because I can't afford gas to drive there, school supplies or books...(I am on deferred tuition payments until financial aid kicks in, which won't happen because I'm not going).

I've reapplied for welfare, but who knows when it will kick in - maybe not until September. Ex will not pay anything, it's not even an option I already know. I've been borrowing 20 bucks here and there from friends and my mom for gas, but I can't keep doing this....my cc is maxed out from being unemployed and from the 8 bazillion dollars we have in medical bills from dd. Even if I did get a job, I have no idea how I would get dd to all her therapies or find a school who could care for her (though we did just have a meeting with the school district last week, which means more assessments and appointments).

I just really need some reassurance that this will end. Hugs or something. Right now, I feel crushed by my obstacles, choked by my struggles. I don't know how we are going to make it for a month with nothing. Not a dime. I'm trying to go moment by moment and stay present, realizing for now we are ok....we are ok...and it will pass. But omg!! Yesterday at the pharmacy I went to pick up dd's seizure meds and because her father's insurance was cancelled almost had a heart attack at the co pay. Thank god medicaid didn't give us a pain about covering as her primary. I don't know how we are going to make it through this. I couldn't even buy my boys socks or pencils for their first day of school.
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:00 AM
 
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1. Call your daughter's doctor in the morning and make sure s/he knows the situation with the insurance. There may be samples, there may be a way of getting meds pronto through an indigent-patient program -- in my experience docs will activate their inner hero complex to get meds & services to a needy & seriously ill child.

2. Contact your mortgage bank and explain the situation; explain that money _will_ be coming, but that you have a hitch and want to work things out smoothly.

3. If HI has a county organization, contact your county human-services outfit and ask about emergency services. In some places there are short-term benefits available.

4. Food banks.

5. Talk to your boys' principal.

6. If your daughter's 3, you should still be eligible for WIC. Are you on?
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:17 AM
 
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Can the disability payments be increased since your income is lower without CS?

You can get emergency cash and food stamps if you have no income, and medicaid from here on out, pay every penny of your DD's care with no copays.

WIC probably won't be much help in the short term as they often have long waiting lists, but do apply, and do use any food banks available.

Social service agencies (often for disabled and aging people) sometimes have funding for housing.

Amy ~ Web Designing Single Mom to 4: DD14, DS12, DS5, DS3
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you. Those are great suggestions. We are already on food stamps and my boys are on the free lunch program at school. I will call the local children's hospital tomorrow and see if there are any programs to help. Also, my dd gets medicaid as secondary coverage, so they should kick in (hopefully) without a problem as her primary. The problem may be that a lot of specialists don't take medicaid. Luckily, her neurologist does. That was the first thing I checked when we met with her.

I think my main problem for now will be dredging up the funds to buy gas (we live 20 miles from town), household supplies like shampoo, tp and soap ( I can't imagine going a month without tp, though I know some on this site are big proponents of it!) and anything that food stamps won't cover, also things like money for the parking garage for when my dd has appt's at the hospital...stuff like that.

Editing: the problem is that I ended TANF so I could start receiving CS. My disability ended a few months ago - so I can't claim an exemption because of that anymore. My worker said there wasn' any sort of emergency fund. The only thing I could do was reapply.
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Old 08-04-2008, 10:06 AM
 
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you did not mention WIC or not... What I am about to suggest may not be the most legal/ethical of things... that said- can you offer to pick up some groceries for a friend? things that FS will cover and then when she pays you for them (in cash hopefully) use the money to buy the other items you need (TP/shampoo et cetera) from the dollar store???

If you are not on WIC, try and get back on it. we recieved it a while back in an emergency adn they were able to get me WIC stuff w/in the week... beans, cereal, cheese, eggs, milk..,. we are a lot of omlettes, Flan, custard.... but we were full!
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Old 08-04-2008, 10:19 AM
 
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I couldn't read and not offer you a . I hope things get easier soon!
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:45 AM
 
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Just wanted to add, if you're really desperate, you might contact local churches. Many don't offer help, but some do (ours gets frequent referrals from OTHER churches), and they can often get you a gas card, a Walgreens card, whatever basics you need for a little bit.
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Old 08-04-2008, 12:30 PM
 
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:18 PM
 
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Is the United Way 211 service available in your area? It a phone number - 211 - that you call in a crisis, they can give you information on everything that is available in your area.

Good Luck Momma, hang in there.
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Old 08-04-2008, 05:24 PM
 
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Main thing to do is BREATHE and remember that this is going to be over in a few weeks. You'll be back on welfare, you'll have income; this is just about getting by for a few weeks. You have food, you have medical, you have shelter (no one's going to evict/foreclose over one month's payment). People will spot you for the gas if it's to get kids to school or hospital. TP you can get at restaurants & food banks. So basically you just need to hunker down till the welfare kicks in again, and you'll be OK.

Once the money turns back on, take it as a lesson and remember to squirrel whatever you can away in case you end up hanging like this again.
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:53 PM
 
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yeah! i forgot about swiping TP. my friends used to do that ALL the time. not the most thing but neither is living in a "rich" country where a woman can't afford to feed her kids. : we use a lot of cloth here but only for #1. maybe you could try that, just to cut down a teensy bit.


also, women's shelters usually have toiletry type stuff on hand. you might try asking there.




this too shall pass, mama.

trying to mother my 11yo sweet skaterboy, 4yo stepgirl of the universe, this apocalypse babe-on-the-way, and my 36yo innerkid ...while figuring how to market myself, stay married, and murder my ego
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mama41 View Post

Once the money turns back on, take it as a lesson and remember to squirrel whatever you can away in case you end up hanging like this again.
Thanks. That's really helpful. I'll try to take note of it when I get my welfare check of 800 dollars monthly to support three kids off of.

Sometimes there's nothing to "squirrel away". I did have a few hundred dollars saved but that has been quickly used up by the cost of gas.

A friend who is a SAHM/nurse offered to help with childcare so I can try to get a temp job. I am educated and employable, it's just the situation with dd that is preventing me from getting a stable job, but I think if she is with a nurse she'll be ok. I think I can handle something temporary. I spoke with someone over the phone today and she said it shouldn't be too hard to get my foot in the door somewhere fairly quickly. So that is a big relief. Another friend said she would trade me cash for groceries, we will shop tomorrow and I will buy her groceries and she will give me the cash for gas and toiletries. If not I will be asking everyone for their half used bottles of shampoo ect.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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Medicaid may help with transportation costs to and from dr's appointments- I think that may include fuel for your car and parking at the hospital.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:08 PM
 
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I'd call the churches in your area and find out if they know of places that offer assistance.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:34 PM
 
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Do you have a freecycle group in your area? If so you could ask on there for Soaps and things...explain your situation, many people tend to have unoapened soaps etc, lying around...things like those gift baskets with bath gel, etc. Couldn't hurt to ask.

Also, what about a yard sale? I know that you may not have much, but if you are able to sell a few things it might help some...we have a neighbor who has regular yard sales to raise money for her disabled sons dr bills and she posts a sign saying what the yard sale is benifiting and also has a donation jar. One time they raised $700 or so. You could also ask neighbors or churches for item donations to seel in your yard sale (assuming you can even do this) I am just thinking of what I could do in your situation.

ETA: Do you have a paypal account? I tried to PM you but your box is full...I don't have much but I could send you like $5.00 it would buy some TP and maybe a bar of soap...
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:39 PM
 
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I don't think she meant it that way...I think she was just trying to help...I know when I get in a tough spot I think of how I can prevent it in the future. But you are right sometimes there is nothing to squirrel away! I've been there!

[QUOTE=3_opihi;11860824]Thanks. That's really helpful. I'll try to take note of it when I get my welfare check of 800 dollars monthly to support three kids off of.

Sometimes there's nothing to "squirrel away". I did have a few hundred dollars saved but that has been quickly used up by the cost of gas.

QUOTE]
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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I don't think she meant it that way...I think she was just trying to help...I know when I get in a tough spot I think of how I can prevent it in the future. But you are right sometimes there is nothing to squirrel away! I've been there!
Yup. Me as well. Sometimes things come your way, though, and it's tempting to go treat yourself, or use up something you can store. If your state insists on leaving you this insecure, though, and you can make connections for a rainy day, or sock away anything material -- needn't be money -- that can help later. I'm sure your ex didn't mean to leave you high/dry but it can happen again.

Meanwhile, freecycle's a good idea if they have anything useful. I would really lean on the docs -- usually they have well-connected friends and may be able to get you taken care of for the next few weeks.
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry mama41. I didn't mean to bite your head off, and you are completely right. I think this is a good lesson for me in a lot of ways. I wish there was more information on how to become financially stable for moms and parents of disabled children, in general.

Two good things happened today - my neighbor is going to pay me to pick up her son from school and take him to football practice, so that covers gas money. Luckily, he goes to the same school as my son so it won't be out of my way. (Remember, my boys go to school 20 miles away from our home.) Also, the temp agency has already sent me some jobs to look at. I think that will pan out and I will hopefully be working by next week.

I've really discovered what a blipper my ex husband is. I'm not one to speak poorly of people, even him, but I really just cannot understand the reality he lives in. I called him today to see if he could pick up and drop off the boys from school for the week since he lives right down the street, and you know - he left us gas-less and destitute. He actually said no, he didn't feel like it. And then said I need to be accountable for my choices...of which I'm assuming he means the choice I made to go off welfare. WTF? Or possibly the choice to marry and procreate with him, for which I am paying greatly. Though I wouldn't trade my children for the world!!
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:43 AM
 
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Hey, don't worry about it. It's a lousy situation. I'd be furious too.

It's very tough to write info about getting stabilized in a situation like that because welfare systems won't allow it. You have to be destitute, which by definition means no visible buffer. However, this thing about no cs while on welfare strikes me as punitive enough that I'd go to your state assemblyperson with the story. I'd also contact whatever women's center exists at U of HI to see what suggestions they have about a legislative cure for this particular disease. If there's a feminist contingent in your state assembly, that's also a good place to start.

They can be quite helpful, esp. in small-population states. Just yesterday, at the coffeeshop, I saw one of our state assemblywomen. I'd never spoken to her before, but I introduced myself and sat down to tell her about some problems that exist with the new debit-card child-support system we've got. Basically, it's administered by a bank, which behaves like a bank, and scams the hell out of poor women, especially ones who aren't too hot with their recordkeeping. She was shocked, and naturally she hadn't read the debit card agreement's fine print. So she's on it now. Which reminds me, I have stuff to photocopy for her.

Anyway, this sucks, but the fact that you have a child with a serious medical condition may help quite a bit. Even conservatives get uncomfortable about welfare decisions that leave parents unable to get sick kids to the doctor.
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:00 AM
 
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This is going to get better! Call your federal representative and your state's governor's office and get some direction about who to call for local social services. Tell everyone about your dd's disability. Can I assume that you have already explored your rights to social security disability, which is not related to age? I believe that epilepsy is one of the covered conditions.

My other idea is to contact your local church (even if you are not a member) and ask for help finding resources. Catholic churches are sometimes well funded and have a history of helping in situations like yours.

My slightly offbeat solution is to seek out local coupon queen groups. Our local group used to donate our freebies to Ronald McDonald House. I personally donated my stuff to Mobile Loaves and Fishes because it was closer to my house. Usually not toilet paper, but all other health and beauty aids, like tampons, , shampoo, soap, etc. Lots of cleaning supplies, paper towels, detergent, etc. I would have preferred to donate to an individual in a situation like yours. I would not expect any organic or NFL stuff from the coupon queens, but you would get what you need to tide you over. It may be best to have a friend make the contact for you instead of hitting up the group directly.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I've had two job offers. I start tomorrow at one, and my mom (who is in academia and on partial grant funding at the moment; meaning she has plenty of free time) will be watching dd until I find somewhere I can have her long term. Even then, she'll only have to go somewhere half day probably.

The pay for this job is crappy, it's in a field I've had schooling in - but isn't my "field", per se, but it's flexible and I'd be able to squeeze in schooling if I plan to go back for spring semester.

The second job is at the hospital, working in a field that is what I do and would be actually the most perfect job for me (I'd be working for a neurology group) - and would be perfect. I'm supposed to find out this afternoon if they need me. I would love, love, love this job - but it'd be pretty solid and I wouldn't be able to go to school for a while - then again, I wouldn't really need to....
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:58 PM
 
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Hope you get the hospital job.

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Old 08-07-2008, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks!

It's getting even better, a home care provider just called me and said she has an opening in her home. She's open 24/7 so can accomodate my weird work schedules and has a CNA on staff who could administer meds and any emergencies if they come up. We're going to visit on Monday.

I feel so relieved. This isn't the ideal situation at all, but I also feel really empowered and am glad that I'm figuring out I can actually take care of my family.
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