Food stamps and child support question - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-26-2010, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a question about food stamps benefits that I winder if anyone can answer.

My husband and I are separating and the kids and I will be getting an apartment. I will not immediately be getting financial help from him (please do not lecture me on this). I get a large amount of child support ($2100/month) for my oldest child, but even with that paying the bills will only leave us $300 for food and gas, which is not going to cut it, even being careful. I have job applications out and will continue to search until I find employment.

If I apply for food stamps will they disqualify all of us based on the child support income, or will they count that against my oldest son and give us some type of allowance for the other 3 of us? We live in Arizona. I am very scared, trying to get things figured out before we move next week.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:14 PM
 
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In my experience (i live in AZ) they count child support as income.

http://arizonaselfhelp.org/

I've found that website runs pretty close to DES and if you put in your numbers it will tell you almost to the penny what DES will or wont do for you.

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Old 10-26-2010, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, it looks like we might be able to get some WIC, but no SNAP benefits. $300/month for food and gas for 4 people seems impossible.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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Is there a cheaper apartment to be had? That would free up more grocery room. What are the rest of your bills? What can you cut? Do you have things like gym memberships or cable or internet? Can those be cut? It seems like your bills are pretty high if you only have $300 left out of $2100. Are you getting wic for one child or maybe 2? That will be a bigger help if you get it for 2 kids.

That said, I do understand your fear. I'm a single mom to 3 kids as well and it's very difficult. I live in a pretty high cost of living area on just $1428 per month and I don't get financial help from my ex other than child support. I'm lucky in that I did the hard work to get myself out of debt over the last 3 years I've been single so we've got a small amt of breathing room to get necessities that we struggled for before.

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Old 10-27-2010, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The apartment is $775. If I go cheaper I get a tiny apartment in a bad area. I am looking at one more option calling a favor in from a friend but don't know if that will pan out. There is more that I can cut if I need to, but I feel like I am already disrupting the kids lives so much with this that I don't just want to take away cable, gymnastics. I tried estimating things like electricity and water in the apartment that I won't truly know. I would get WIC for two children so that will help and I am sure that my parents and ex won't let us starve, the uncertainty is scary though.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:52 PM
 
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The problem is if she has four kids most apt companies will require her to have a 3 bedroom in arizona. The max allowed is 2 people per bedroom. I can't debate that, I just know because I spent the past few weeks apt hunting and they had signs up all over the place with occupancy limits. 3 bedrooms are not cheap. Utlities in AZ are not cheap (Air conditioning is very costly 8-9 mos out of the year).
Arizona is not a public transportation friendly area. She probably has to keep the car, insurance, gas as she said etc.

OP you should qualify for LIHEAP (however its spelled). Its a credit to your electric bill. THe kids may quailfy for reduced lunches/breakfast at school.

Also your kids school may have some resources for you. They should have a community guide or social worker who can give you some information. Just call the front office!

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Old 10-29-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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I would just go ahead and call the office as well. I have never had a problem asking to speak to a food stamp case worker, explaining that I'm not sure if I meet income requirements, and would rather just ask someone than have to go through the pain in the neck it is to fill out all those forms!!

I hope you get some help!! I'm amazed at the child support amount too (for DC#1)- that's awesome!

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Old 10-29-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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also look into local food banks--they can help tide over what food stamps and your income won't cover.

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Old 10-29-2010, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone. I reserved the apartment today and will mopve a week from tomorrow. I'm concerned about various deposits to get the utilities in my name, etc. My stbx wants me to put my phone in my name and that will be hard to do as well. There are food banks here, I can do that. I have at least 6 months worth of diapers stockpiled for the baby. I have to keep my van (and insurance) because the public transportation is not good here. Also, my STBX will lose his job if his credit gets messed up (I thought of a voluntary repo of the van), so I'll just have to tough it out for a while. I can cut out my $10/month RX shampoo and will get an IUD instead of BCP. I am sure there is a way to do this.
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