2014 Low Income Support Thread - Page 35 - Mothering Forums

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#1021 of 1042 Old 09-18-2014, 08:58 PM
 
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My husband gets discouraged because he sees his coworkers going out every weekend, getting expensive cars, havingbpricey phones etc. But upon a closer look they are either sleeping on someones couch, single, and/or not meeting their responsibilities.
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#1022 of 1042 Old 09-19-2014, 06:20 AM
 
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Is anyone here comfortable answering food stamp/SNAP benefit questions? I'm thinking of applying. In the on-line screening process they asked about income and savings. But the actual application only seems to ask about income. We have a bit of savings (bank accounts, 401K, own our cars outright etc.) but our new (very low) income seems to make us more than eligible for assistance. Do they ask to see bank accounts at any point? Is it silly to apply if we have substantial 401K and pretty solid bank account? Will they look at last years w2, or just the past few weeks? I don't want to waste their time (and mine) if having reserves automatically disqualifies us.

Today I applied for free/reduced lunch and that seemed very straight forward.

Thanks!

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#1023 of 1042 Old 09-19-2014, 09:49 AM
 
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We're trying to spend as little as possible, preferably nothing, until October. Unfortunately we're running out of cat food so we'll have to buy that- but it's not a huge expense. We have kiddo on WIC which is helping with that. We shouldn't have to buy more milk or fruits/veg than it covers.

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My husband gets discouraged because he sees his coworkers going out every weekend, getting expensive cars, havingbpricey phones etc. But upon a closer look they are either sleeping on someones couch, single, and/or not meeting their responsibilities.
I have a co-worker like that, although I saw it the other way around. She works two jobs, 70 hours a week, and has a roommate and isn't able to save up any money. I know her paycheck sucks, but I was mystified that she could be working so much and unable to put anything away when she was living with at least one roommate. Then I realized that she eats out a lot, possibly every meal, she gets Starbucks coffee probably at least once a day, she goes and buys stuff at Hot Topic, etc.

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Is anyone here comfortable answering food stamp/SNAP benefit questions? I'm thinking of applying. In the on-line screening process they asked about income and savings. But the actual application only seems to ask about income. We have a bit of savings (bank accounts, 401K, own our cars outright etc.) but our new (very low) income seems to make us more than eligible for assistance. Do they ask to see bank accounts at any point? Is it silly to apply if we have substantial 401K and pretty solid bank account? Will they look at last years w2, or just the past few weeks? I don't want to waste their time (and mine) if having reserves automatically disqualifies us.

Today I applied for free/reduced lunch and that seemed very straight forward.

Thanks!
It varies state to state. Look up your state's DSS website, it'll have information about who qualifies. Overall- liberal states tend to have better programs, conservative states tend to have worse.

If you've got enough in the bank accounts, you may not qualify in most places. Also, welfare sucks. Even in CT, which had a pretty decent system, it was soul crushing and miserable. (except insurance- I will never stop singing the praises of Husky) I'm honestly convinced that public assistance is actually designed to keep poor people poor. Depending on your savings, you'd probably be a lot happier buckling down to the bare minimum of spending for a few months while you find a better job.

You own your cars outright? If they're nice enough cars, why don't you sell them and down-grade to cheaper ones? If you can sell your car for $10-20k, get a car less than $5k, spend a thousand or two to fix it up- you're over $3k up and your insurance costs'll probably go down. Obviously check the mileage- if your insurance costs go down but you double the money you're spending on gas? Not worth it. I'm hoping we'll be able to get a used hybrid next time, especially if I'm still at a job that requires a lot of city driving, we're getting at best 20mpg and it's awful.

And, yes, in a lot of places you'd be REQUIRED to sell at least one of your cars before qualifying for state aid (maybe both, depending on their worth)- I know of at least one woman who's been totally shot in the foot by state aid, she had to sell her car, couldn't afford to replace it, she's on a waiting list for state-subsidized day care, and she can't find a job willing to hire someone without reliable transportation, not that looking for one without reliable transportation is easy.


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#1024 of 1042 Old 09-19-2014, 01:11 PM
 
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Do you sometimes fell everyone you know is financially better off than you? I feel like we are the only broke ones. I know its not true but it feels like it
Yes and no. Most of my colleagues have houses or own their apartment, they have newish cars and new and classy furniture. We rent, have an old extremely yellow VW Passat which is 11 years old and while in a relatively good condition it is not exactly a status symbol and our furniture is hand me downs, second hand or if new from IKEA (I live in Sweden remember...). We bought our first flatscreen TV 2 years ago when most of my friends had upgraded theirs several times.

Still, I am very thankful we do not have much depth (only my husband's student loans), I can afford to give my family good food and we have a nice apartment (in a less affluent neighborhood though but not too bad I think), we can afford to have a car at all, we can afford good clothes for us and our daughter (partly by buying second hand) and we can have some little treats that make life good but not eat out all the time and buy exactly what we want without thinking.

It isn't too bad but sometimes it is hard not to think how much better our live would be financially if we both had a job.
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#1025 of 1042 Old 09-19-2014, 04:37 PM
 
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I do not come online often enough to keep up with all the posts. I hope that all of you with sick little ones (or are sick, yourselves, too) are feeling better!

We are definitely going with ZenniOptical, but it will have to wait a few more weeks. We also canceled DH's dentist appointment. We are on stress overload (and I could be coping a lot better). There were a lot of expenses in these last few weeks. We are going to have to plan a lot better to prepare ourselves for these cycles of expense. That is life, right? We are trying to focus on all the positives in our lives, and that really does seem to make a difference. It feels as though there is a lot that is beyond our control, but at the end of the day, DH and I have our (relative) health, stable housing, and food to eat.

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Do you sometimes fell everyone you know is financially better off than you? I feel like we are the only broke ones. I know its not true but it feels like it
I know that feeling, but at the same time, I know that a lot of my friends are quiet about financial struggles. We just have to remind ourselves that we are not alone!
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#1026 of 1042 Old 09-20-2014, 12:23 PM
 
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Is anyone here comfortable answering food stamp/SNAP benefit questions? I'm thinking of applying. In the on-line screening process they asked about income and savings. But the actual application only seems to ask about income. We have a bit of savings (bank accounts, 401K, own our cars outright etc.) but our new (very low) income seems to make us more than eligible for assistance. Do they ask to see bank accounts at any point? Is it silly to apply if we have substantial 401K and pretty solid bank account? Will they look at last years w2, or just the past few weeks? I don't want to waste their time (and mine) if having reserves automatically disqualifies us.

Today I applied for free/reduced lunch and that seemed very straight forward.

Thanks!
You will have to show ALL assets including bank accounts, 401K, insurance policies that could possibly be cashed in, they will look up the value of your cars. Often your only allowed 1 car which may or may not be subject to asset limits. Most states seem to limit assets, especially liquid assets to $2k. In many states getting SNAP may also require one or both of you to participate in a work search program and working a certain amount of hours per week. In CA it was 32hrs week for single parents, I know here in Idaho its what ever it takes to earn $208 week then they quickly slash your amount for making to much and happily point out that by working you get a big tax return which doesn't help feed you NOW. It sounds like you'd be better off just going to food banks unless your ready to cash in your 401k and empty your bank account which they will make you do. Getting aid really puts you through the ringer and you can't really have any assets, you are literally living on the edge once you get to that point. Wish I had better news for you If you have kids under 5 WIC would be a good option for you at least.


Looks like everyone else is having a bad week too, I'm panicking, I totally screwed up, I didn't realize I used the wrong atm card to pull cash and over drew the account and its the bank that is not local. So I called to set to the new mobile deposit thing and they still haven't set it up a week later and I now have another $30 NSF fee because its been 10 days (took me a week to realize I used the wrong card when I checked balances), I could swear I changed my paypal debit over to the new local bank and I see its been added but none of the auto billing stuff transferred over to the new card even which I switched it which further over drew the account. I just want to throw up I'm so stressed right now, we were literally going to make next month down to the dollar to cover basics and now due to NSF fee's were screwed. I can't even call the bank until Monday to see if I can beg them to remove the fees. I switched everything on Amazon over too and even removed the card/banking info yet they STILL billed to the old acct and further overdrew it Praying I can get it all sorted out. To add to my stupidity I've been so busy dealing with appts for the kids issues this past week I forgot about our library books and now we have $15 in late fees I need to make bread since I dont have money to buy any and I can't even find the bleepin box that has all my GF flours in it to make it, no idea what were going to do for lunch since were down to stuff that takes hours to cook. This unpacking thing sucks I've only got so much time energy and I just plain ol need help at this point oh yeah, I'm getting sick

Praying we all have a better week next week

Seriously?
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#1027 of 1042 Old 09-20-2014, 05:28 PM
 
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Satori I'm so sorry. What a horrible week
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#1028 of 1042 Old 09-20-2014, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A bit of good news, seems our food stamps were automatically renewed until January. I have no idea whats going on but we got a reapplication letter last month, i didnt respond and was expecting a closure/decline letter when i received this approval letter today. I hope medical goes the same way later this week. I really do not understand the government around here.

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#1029 of 1042 Old Yesterday, 12:08 AM
 
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A bit of good news, seems our food stamps were automatically renewed until January. I have no idea whats going on but we got a reapplication letter last month, i didnt respond and was expecting a closure/decline letter when i received this approval letter today. I hope medical goes the same way later this week. I really do not understand the government around here.
Cool! I have a slightly similar situation going with SSI. I think they are overpaying me, but I just don't have it in me to call them yet again to try to get it stopped. Seriously, I have had several long phone calls with them, explaining how we are no longer eligible. They say they will be stopping the payments, then I check the card the next month and it shows a new deposit. I know I will have to repay it someday, but I really do need it now . I find it pretty funny, except that it is also sort of scary.
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#1030 of 1042 Old Yesterday, 12:19 AM
 
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A bit of good news, seems our food stamps were automatically renewed until January. I have no idea whats going on but we got a reapplication letter last month, i didnt respond and was expecting a closure/decline letter when i received this approval letter today. I hope medical goes the same way later this week. I really do not understand the government around here.
I wish this would happen for me. It seems like I'm one of those State Aid Horror Stories. Ds' s insurance and my food stamps were cancelled again this month. For no reason. And every time I go to call I get skipped to a voicemail that doesn't even take messages. D:

I received my refund from the College today... I'm not sure what to do with it now. I wasnt even expecting to get it, or so soon. I only found out because I was checking my email while I'm not sleeping.

- - - -
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#1031 of 1042 Old Yesterday, 10:45 AM
 
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A bit of good news, seems our food stamps were automatically renewed until January. I have no idea whats going on but we got a reapplication letter last month, i didnt respond and was expecting a closure/decline letter when i received this approval letter today. I hope medical goes the same way later this week. I really do not understand the government around here.
Thats awesome!

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Cool! I have a slightly similar situation going with SSI. I think they are overpaying me, but I just don't have it in me to call them yet again to try to get it stopped. Seriously, I have had several long phone calls with them, explaining how we are no longer eligible. They say they will be stopping the payments, then I check the card the next month and it shows a new deposit. I know I will have to repay it someday, but I really do need it now . I find it pretty funny, except that it is also sort of scary.
They are not nice about it when they want it back and will demand it all at once. I know its temping to use but I wouldn't if you can possibly avoid it.

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I wish this would happen for me. It seems like I'm one of those State Aid Horror Stories. Ds' s insurance and my food stamps were cancelled again this month. For no reason. And every time I go to call I get skipped to a voicemail that doesn't even take messages. D:

I received my refund from the College today... I'm not sure what to do with it now. I wasnt even expecting to get it, or so soon. I only found out because I was checking my email while I'm not sleeping.
Can you just go down in person to get it straightened out? Same thing happened to my neighbor this week Wonderful about the college


ugh, being sick sucks.

I can't wait for the days to cool down so we can start eating tons of soups. High today is 90F, thats just not right this late in the year.

Seriously?
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#1032 of 1042 Old Yesterday, 11:20 AM
 
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Uhhh... My husband was supposed to do some repairs to the car today, more maintenance than absolutely urgent but the type that will make the car work for longer and hopefully mean we might be able to actually sell it later on rather than taking it to be demolished. He is good with cars and his friend who was helping is a trained mechanic but the things that they needed to change was stuck and in trying to get it out the only thing they accomplished was trashing another part... The new part is not extremely expensive but it is still the equivalent of 60 dollars down the drain. I really hope they manage to fix it for real later on this week.
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#1033 of 1042 Old Yesterday, 02:55 PM
 
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I wish this would happen for me. It seems like I'm one of those State Aid Horror Stories. Ds' s insurance and my food stamps were cancelled again this month. For no reason. And every time I go to call I get skipped to a voicemail that doesn't even take messages. D:
Ugh, that's awful. Is it possible to go in person? I've found that's the only way to deal with DSS and even then it's iffy at best.

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In many states getting SNAP may also require one or both of you to participate in a work search program and working a certain amount of hours per week.
If you have two parents in the house, I've never seen a state that doesn't require both to work. The only exception is that, after having a baby, one parent can be exempt for a certain period of time.

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It sounds like you'd be better off just going to food banks unless your ready to cash in your 401k and empty your bank account which they will make you do. Getting aid really puts you through the ringer and you can't really have any assets, you are literally living on the edge once you get to that point. Wish I had better news for you
This. Public assistance sucks. And that's without mentioning that you have two choices to apply: put in an application and hope it gets there, or a multiple hour long wait in an office that's only open during business hours, so if both parents are working then one of you has to take time off work and you have to either pay a babysitter or take the kids with you (don't worry- most people there have young children with them, too). And they do often "lose" your paperwork. I've walked in, handed the paperwork to the receptionist because I couldn't give it to my worker directly, and a month later found out it was "lost" (they wouldn't tell me until a month later). I've had them lose materials that I gave them and saw them put scan into the @#$#@ computer. Or the calling process that requires you to sit on hold for 5 hours. Or the snippy social workers who see you as nothing but a lazy waste of tax-payer money and refuse to look at the whole picture.

Also, there's generally at least a month that they have to "process" your application, so you wouldn't be getting benefits now. (and if they "lose" your application, then it's a month from the time they actually get it) If there's any chance of you getting a better job in a few months' time, it's entirely possible that they won't even have sorted out your benefits before you get a new job that means you no longer need it anyways.

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If you have kids under 5 WIC would be a good option for you at least.
Definitely agree.

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#1034 of 1042 Old Yesterday, 03:00 PM
 
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In NC as long as kids are under 18 one parent can stay home and not take the classes or have a job. I finally got my paperwork situated but in that time I had already increased my income a bit so it was pointless.

Update on me: I am still working 2 jobs but passed out at work and had to be taken to the hospital. Dr says one job must go until baby comes and I need to eat more (I don't eat enough for being pregnant). So, looks like I am about to quit one job that I just went back to a few months ago and loose $$ but will be worth it.

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#1035 of 1042 Old Yesterday, 04:08 PM
 
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A bit of good news, seems our food stamps were automatically renewed until January. I have no idea whats going on but we got a reapplication letter last month, i didnt respond and was expecting a closure/decline letter when i received this approval letter today. I hope medical goes the same way later this week. I really do not understand the government around here.
Awesome Zebra!!!!! I am going through it right now too....ughhhh....
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#1036 of 1042 Old Yesterday, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just a quick post- I want to clarify, I dont want anyone to think we are getting benefits we dont qualify for. We more than qualify for FS/medical. I *think* my state is going thru a system upgrade and new process for applications and I vaguely remember a case worker telling me - over a year ago- there would be a new process where you only had to go to the office 1x a year. I am on SSi/SSDI and ds gets benefits, we are well below the income level. Its very simple to verify the 'income' we have- or lack there of.
There was a point last spring, where i had to go to the office for an interview and I just could not do it, we went about 6 weeks with out support/benefits. Yes it was better for me to stay home and not deal with the office chaos and stress then to take a day and sit there.

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#1037 of 1042 Old Yesterday, 05:17 PM
 
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Just a quick post- I want to clarify, I dont want anyone to think we are getting benefits we dont qualify for. We more than qualify for FS/medical. I *think* my state is going thru a system upgrade and new process for applications and I vaguely remember a case worker telling me - over a year ago- there would be a new process where you only had to go to the office 1x a year. I am on SSi/SSDI and ds gets benefits, we are well below the income level. Its very simple to verify the 'income' we have- or lack there of.
There was a point last spring, where i had to go to the office for an interview and I just could not do it, we went about 6 weeks with out support/benefits. Yes it was better for me to stay home and not deal with the office chaos and stress then to take a day and sit there.

Same for our state I believe. This time I did everything over the phone and never went to the office. I can't handle the office either so I feel you there! I am glad it wasn't a hassle for you though since I know you have had a hard time lately.

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#1038 of 1042 Old Yesterday, 05:59 PM
 
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Update on me: I am still working 2 jobs but passed out at work and had to be taken to the hospital. Dr says one job must go until baby comes and I need to eat more (I don't eat enough for being pregnant). So, looks like I am about to quit one job that I just went back to a few months ago and loose $$ but will be worth it.
That sounds really rough! I can't imagine working two jobs while pregnant. I hope you're able to work everything out financially and that your remaining job gives some paid maternity leave. Have you looked into WIC? If you qualify, it would help cover hte cost of food (if that's why you aren't able to eat enough), it gives assistance to breastfeeding and you can also rent a pump from them as well as getting extra food while BFing (it can also help with formula, I just know most on this site are BFers).

I have some physical disabilities so I'm afraid I won't be able to handle two jobs, one is enough. DP is looking for seasonal work so hopefully by the end of that, I'll either be in a better place at my current job or I'll have gotten strong enough to handle two.

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#1039 of 1042 Old Yesterday, 06:08 PM
 
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That sounds really rough! I can't imagine working two jobs while pregnant. I hope you're able to work everything out financially and that your remaining job gives some paid maternity leave. Have you looked into WIC? If you qualify, it would help cover hte cost of food (if that's why you aren't able to eat enough), it gives assistance to breastfeeding and you can also rent a pump from them as well as getting extra food while BFing (it can also help with formula, I just know most on this site are BFers).

I have some physical disabilities so I'm afraid I won't be able to handle two jobs, one is enough. DP is looking for seasonal work so hopefully by the end of that, I'll either be in a better place at my current job or I'll have gotten strong enough to handle two.
I did go back on WIC when I found out I was pregnant but stopped getting it because it was a 45 min drive, 3 hr office visit, and I am dairy free mostly. I do use it while breastfeeding though for the pump and food since it covers tons more and not so dairy heavy. I don't eat enough because I am always running from my full time job to the 2nd job and always forget to pack more things, or no time within that 15 mins to grab something. I am putting my notice in this week at the part time job (also where I passed out so they understand) and I admit I am relieved to be home more.
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#1040 of 1042 Old Yesterday, 07:17 PM
 
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I remember when I first started this job- it was more physical activity than I'd done and I was constantly hungry. I still try to keep snacks in my bag. Fortunately I work at a retail place that periodically leaves food in the break room for employees or gives discounts/free food options at the cafe. A friend of mine who works two jobs has the same problem- running from one job to the other and working such long hours, it's really hard to remember to get food in. A lot of times she'd show up to work with a half-eaten subway sandwich and scarf it down before her shift. It's hard, especially when you're trying to keep costs down by not eating out. :/

Have you looked up any homemade protein/energy bar recipes? There are some that are pretty simple and it's really helped me to have an easy to grab snack. They're also WAY cheaper than the storebought ones.

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#1041 of 1042 Old Yesterday, 07:25 PM
 
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Same for our state I believe. This time I did everything over the phone and never went to the office. I can't handle the office either so I feel you there! I am glad it wasn't a hassle for you though since I know you have had a hard time lately.
I just did mine over the phone the other day too....definitly a lot easier than going up there...you still have to send them copies of stuff though which is kind of silly because they look it up anyways....
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#1042 of 1042 Old Yesterday, 07:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mylie View Post
I just did mine over the phone the other day too....definitly a lot easier than going up there...you still have to send them copies of stuff though which is kind of silly because they look it up anyways....

I thought so too. I printed app and mailed it and she did interview on phone, said she needed 2 more papers but she waited so long that my 30 days was up that day which was frustrating so she called the places and got all the info. 2 months was on there that night so I was thankful for that.

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