SAHP's Using Public Assistance - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 412 Old 07-15-2008, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! I thought I'd start a tribe for those of us who stay home with our kids, and also feel okay about using any public-assistance programs we happen to qualify for, when and if we get into a tight place.

Anyhow, I thought it'd be nice if we had a safe place to get together and share how we're doing ... and also, if we want to, share why we don't think it's "wrong" for us to, honestly and legally, get help from a taxpayer-funded program rather than rushing out to get a job that takes us away from our kids.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#2 of 412 Old 07-15-2008, 05:16 PM
 
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I'll post. I have no shame about public assistance. IMO, we are leading unnatural lives and since the gov't wants us to live a certain way, the gov't can help it happen.

I didn't have kids so I could visit with them a few hours out the day. I want to be with my kids as much as I can (and want) and if anyone has a problem with that, they can feel free to help pay my bills.

I'm not defensive about it and I don't tend to worry about what others think of me and/or my choices in life. This is my life and I get to live it the way I want, you know?

Peace

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#3 of 412 Old 07-15-2008, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't have kids so I could visit with them a few hours out the day. I want to be with my kids as much as I can (and want) and if anyone has a problem with that, they can feel free to help pay my bills.
Right on, princesstutu! I'm glad you're here!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#4 of 412 Old 07-15-2008, 09:59 PM
 
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I have not done this (and hopefully never will have to), and I would hate to take anything from the gov't generally (not a judgement, just a personal conviction), but I would likely accept it if I had to to stay home. It is of the utmost importance to our family philosophy.

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#5 of 412 Old 07-19-2008, 09:12 PM
 
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we have lived in gov't assisted housing for the last 2 years...we qualified before i hurt my back, but after... this was all we could manage. we'd be living on the streets if we weren't here.

we are also on medicaid and have been for several years.

i go to food pantries when we run low/out (my oldest son and i volunteer at one of them and i make a pile of scarves out of scrap/reclaimed yarn every winter to donate to the other), and we also get some food stamps. if it was just me and my dh i would never have even applied, but i refuse to let my boys go hungry or not have a place to live because of pride. i worked 2 and 3 jobs at a time for years, and up til recently (again, because of my physical limitations) my dh has also worked full time.

sooner or later, we'll get back on our feet and we'll be givers instead of takers again. the circle of life and all that.

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#6 of 412 Old 07-19-2008, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Welcome, APBT lover and Damona!

Damona, I like what you said about the circle of life. I also think we were designed to be interdependent, not independent -- and though you see yourself as a taker "now," and a giver "later" -- you are volunteering now and making scarves for people, and probably putting back into the community way more than you realize. So I think you're pretty interdependent right now!

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#7 of 412 Old 07-19-2008, 10:56 PM
 
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We are currently collecting food benefits and are on Medicaid. We are living on DH's unemployment and the child support I get for my older two. My DH was fired from his job in June and I've been unemployed since last June.

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.

Both of us have spent our entire adult lives working. We have paid a lot of money in for taxes. We feel no guilt at all for taking our own sweet time finding DH a good quality job with benefits that will take our family a lot further than finding any old minimum wage job to get us by for a while.
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#8 of 412 Old 07-20-2008, 12:27 AM
 
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Well, I personally have mixed feelings about gov't assistance (the setup isn't what I'd consider ideal) but...

We are currently on Medicaid for the children, and I don't have any judgement at all towards families who use more than that. I totally understand why, and if it helps a family with stability, having mom at home, whatever, use it.

I still have lingering guilt about it, but my mom and dad really helped me out with that. The circle of life idea and all that. They are both doctors and have been paying, and paying, and paying, and paying into the system and will be until they die, but never used a penny in aid. They're actually kind of happy seeing all those tax dollars they paid going to help a family have mom at home.

It is my dh's full intention to be filthy rich in future, and at the rate he's building his business, we will soon be disqualified from aid and begin paying back into the system what we used. He has no compunction at all using medicaid because even now every paystub he gets notes a chunk taken out for that program.
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#9 of 412 Old 07-20-2008, 01:36 PM
 
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We live in an area where the cost of living is so high...but that's where the jobs are. I know there are many people in the same situation. I'll be quitting work soon, and we will probably end up using some food aid programs. We believe it is best for me to stay at home with our baby. Even if I was working we wouldn barely be able to make ends meet, what with daycare and all. So I see this as, yes, a phase we must go through to make it to the next phase. My parents and his parents both spent a few of their early parenting years in the same situation until the husband's job picked up a little. I see no shame in this. I've paid taxes on my wages earned from the time I was 14. Now I need to take more than I'm giving. Later on, the roles will reverse again. It is a necessary cycle of giving and taking.

We are frugal people, but there is only so far you can stretch a dollar before rips. The key is to use aid programs to supplement your budget, not replace your personal responsability to manage your money. If you don't have any money but yet you still manage to pay for cable TV, well maybe your priorities aren't quite straight.

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#10 of 412 Old 07-20-2008, 01:53 PM
 
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I would just like to say that, I get whatever benefits I can. I feel no guilt about it!! Unfortunatly, I can't get a job that pays me enough to pay for child care and be worth the time I would spend away from my daughter. If I did get a job, just so it would be worth it, I would have to go another government program (just so I can have a job so people don't look down on me like I'm a piece of crap because I use government programs, WHATEVER.) My boyfriend and I believe in raising our child, not child care raising our child. Don't get me wrong I see big problems w/government programs, especially W-2(welfare to work). I'll save my soapbox speech about how that program is keeping mothers from raising their children, and the impact it's having on these children, later. No one can care for a child the way their own mother or father can. We live in society where we talk about how we are suppose to have these great family values, yet we don't want to support families so they they can maintain them.
Don't get me wrong I don't want to be on these programs. I'm currently going to school, so that eventually we don't have to be on them. But it's going to be a few years until I'm done and get a job, and by then our daughter will be in school, so I don't have to be at home. Right now my boyfriends working full time and then some, so he's putting money towards these programs that we're on. I don't think you should have to have a lot of money to be a stay at home parent, these resources are out there for a reason. Why should I have to sacrifice the way I want to raise my daughter just because society thinks differently. Our society really has their priorities screwed up when it comes to family and work. And we also have to keep in mind that the people who look down on people in these programs, have more then likely never had use them. So what do they know anyway?

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#11 of 412 Old 07-20-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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The key is to use aid programs to supplement your budget, not replace your personal responsability to manage your money. If you don't have any money but yet you still manage to pay for cable TV, well maybe your priorities aren't quite straight.
This is important. I think it is the visible abuse of public assistance that creates the negativity and guilt associated with taking public assistance. For example, a woman on Medicaid w/ foodstamps & Tanif who drives a brandnew SUV, while I have an old junker. We don't take public assistance, and b/c, yes, I'm too stuborn -I would love to be SAHM but I have a sour taste in my mouth and won't. I just don't feel like we could live happily on less than $40K a year.

But people should take it who need it- that's what it's there for. I wish we were more like Canada and Europe.

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#12 of 412 Old 07-20-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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Count me in.

We've used benefits in VT & NY. When DD1 was born we had her on the VT children's healthcare HMO. We *still* paid $70/mo, because our income was over $40K/yr, but that was significantly less than adding her onto DH's employer's insurance (literally 100's of $$$ a mo plus a huge $5K/yr deductible). We also got WIC.

Now in NY we get Family Health Plus for DH & myself, Medicaid for the girls, HEAP, & WIC. Actually, I work at WIC part-time as a BF peer counselor as well. We are just over the qualifying limit for food stamps & luckily havn't had to use the food banks in our area.

Like cappuccinosmom my Mom has no problem with us getting benefits. She has pretty much the same outlook as well. DH's parents would have MAJOR issues with it....if they knew. They obviously know I work at WIC, but we don't discuss the rest with them because we know their feelings on the subject.

I personally don't have any major problems. To me it's something we're doing to improve ourselves. DH had to finish his BS. Now that's done he's working on getting a better paying job, so we won't be collecting benefits forever and ever.

It's not worth it for me to work FT (WIC is like 4 hrs/wk...all at my own discretion). Aside from my personal feeling about daycare, I simply wouldn't make enough after childcare, extra car, insurance, work clothes, higher tax bracket, etc to make it worth working. DH works hard, but like someone else said, you can only stretch a dollar so far! In fact, right now he's working 4 day weeks because if he works 5 days we're disqualified from the state health insurance. Well, that would be fine if it wasn't like $600/mo plus a $10K/yr deductible to have us all on insurance through DH's employer. We'd actually be making $100 LESS a month if he was working 5 days after you figure the loss of benefits, plus paying out for insurance, plus higher copays, the deductible. We're barely getting by on what he makes now. We certainly can't afford $100 cut in pay each month just for the "honor" of being off state health insurance! Of course we're very lucky. We do have the ability to have DH get a job paying significantly more than what he currently makes. For many, many people that's not an option.

Now that's I've worked at WIC for a bit I really see that there is very little incentive for many folks to improve themselves. The second they do they are penalized through loosing very important things like food, housing, medical insurance, heat, etc. HELLO! Shouldn't we be supporting people who are trying to do better? If they don't want people to mooch off the system, then don't set the system up that way. Duh!

That's my pet peeve about our social services system....it's meant to be a hand out, NOT a hand *up*. :
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#13 of 412 Old 07-20-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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We fall into this tribe. We have Wic, food stamps, state health for our son (though since we don't do well babies/vaxes, he's actually never used a cent), and recently had to get signed up for the local food pantry. With rising cost of gas and food prices, things are really tough here for us.

Like many of you have said, it just doesn't make any sense for me to work, that doesn't include my feelings on day care, which are like what others have said so far. We both WANT me home, we believe it is best. My husband works at a very stressful job that is horribly underpaid (911 dispatcher). I don't have guilt about receiving these things, my husband does pay into the system.

Thanks for starting this tribe. Nice to find a place to not be judged!

Julie

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#14 of 412 Old 07-21-2008, 10:12 AM
 
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Reopening with a caveat--both the User Agreement and the FYT Guidelines are pretty clear about not starting threads that negatively referenc--directly or indirectly--other threads or members. Please refrain from doing so here.

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#15 of 412 Old 07-21-2008, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm glad to see all this response! It'll be great to be able point people we meet around the boards to this tribe, if we feel they might benefit from the support here.

One thing, though: I'd really like for this tribe to avoid the common pitfall of acting like people who use public assistance are "beneath" other people, in that it's okay to scrutinize our spending-choices, and condemn us for not being as frugal as someone else thinks we should be.

If you see someone with a minivan at the WIC office, that person could be me. One reason we decided to apply for WIC recently for our 3yo, is that, yeah, we made an unwise choice when our one and only car was totaled, and we went into debt on a newer vehicle.

Our decision initially seemed reasonable: When driving cars that we were able to pay cash for, repair needs tended to crop up suddenly, then if we didn't have the cash we might use a credit card, high interest -- so dh was, like, if we got a newer vehicle we'd have the monthly payment, but it would run better and last longer and save money that way ...

We didn't "need" a minivan -- but I was pregnant with #3 at the time of the crash (I later miscarried), and dh was thinking how nice it would be if there was a way for me to sit in the back next to our new baby, and nurse just like I'd nursed our first two two while they rode in their carseats, it made car-travel so much less stressful -- but with a small car, there'd only be room for the 3 children in the back. I'd have to ride up front this time around.

Of course, we could have simply avoided car-travel with New Baby for the first year or so, we really didn't need a minivan. But guess what? Now we're kind of stuck with paying for it. At this point, we'd love to trade down to a smaller car and have less expense for gas and car payment -- but we don't see a way for us to do that.

So, now dh pays our bills and has a smaller amount left for groceries than he did before, and we've started buying less meat and more beans, which helps a lot -- but I also thought, "Hey, I bet we could qualify for WIC again, and that would help us over this hump."

We had drawn it a couple of different times for our older dd -- but hadn't drawn any for the first 3 years of dd2's life, 'cause we hadn't really felt a need for it. We've also drawn food stamps before, but no longer qualify, and up until a few months ago, the only public assistance we were getting was Medicaid for our girls and hospital discounts if dh or I needed to see a doctor.

But things just started feeling pretty tight after we got the minivan, so it made sense to me to go ahead and apply. Mind you, public assistance programs don't count the cost of your car-payment, or your cable/satellite TV-payment, to determine your eligibility.

So we would have qualified for WIC regardless of whether we'd gone into debt over this vehicle -- and other people on assistance qualify, regardless of whether they have cable or satellite tv (I mean, having that extra expense doesn't "make" them qualify if they didn't qualify before).

It may be that the single mama you see driving her minivan to the WIC office, took on this debt as a married mama, then her husband turned jerko and walked out on her and the kids, and she's trying to be responsible and deal with the debt she took on back when she thought she could afford it.

While cable or satellite tv may seem like an unnecessary luxury to me, we enjoy many perks that some families may not have access to. A few years ago, we were blessed to be able to purchase our own home, and we have a nice big yard for our girls to play in.

Whereas some low-income families live in housing-projects with strict rules, such as no crayons or other art-supplies for children, we can let our girls make fun messes, with no fear of a landlord dropping in and evicting us over crayon marks we haven't cleaned off a wall yet.

We also have paints, and sometimes we run out and can't get more right away -- but our girls always have the option of digging in the dirt and making mud-sculptures in the yard (something they couldn't have done back when we rented).

Also, because my dh is blessed with technical skills, he's been able to purchase 2 computers fairly cheaply, and keep them running himself. He finds us the cheapest internet access he can, and we currently have dropped our long-distance coverage, because we don't use that as much as we use our computers.

The internet gives us access to so many awesome resources -- i.e., any time the girls are wanting to learn more about something, we can find tons of related videos on youtube. We also have tv, vcr, and dvd-player, and a huge collection of movies --

So, yeah, we're doing great without cable or satellite tv -- but I don't look down on people who feel they need them, 'cause maybe they don't have all the other cool options we do ... maybe they don't feel safe roaming their neighborhood with their kids (we feel perfectly safe roaming our neighborhood and walking to the park or pool in the daytime, though we wouldn't at night) ... maybe they're disabled and can't walk all over the place with their kids.

We'd be grounded all day if we couldn't walk places ... yeah, we have the minivan, but it's our only vehicle and dh needs it for work ... yeah, he's driving by himself in a minivan, an hour each way, because in our area there are more good jobs out in the suburbs than in the inner-city where we live ... so, yeah, we know we've really backed ourselves into a tight place with this new purchase we've made.

Anyhow, I feel like I'm now falling into the trap of trying to "rationalize" our decisions and our situation. I honestly don't feel I should have to do this, any more than Bill Gates or anyone else. Other people make their choices, we make ours, and it's really their/our own business.

I'm only sharing this to help defuse the socially-encouraged motivation to get p!ssed because "I'm working my tail off, driving around in an old clunker -- and the lady ahead of me at the grocery-store paid with an EBT card, then I saw her load her groceries into an SUV and drive off."

Or, "I'm working my tail off, can't even afford any extras for my kids -- and I drive by the section-8 housing projects and fume over all the satellite dishes I see. If they can afford that, seems like they could pay for their own housing! :"

Just as Bill Gates surely enjoys some perks I don't, and I don't waste my inner-gas fuming about how unfair that is, I think people on public assistance should be able to enjoy perks (as long as we're not breaking the law or being dishonest to do it), without the general public having to get all p!ssy about it.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#16 of 412 Old 07-21-2008, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just noticed I'm no longer subscribed as I was posting -- didn't do it quick enough, so I'll re-sub here!

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#17 of 412 Old 07-21-2008, 10:36 AM
 
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Now that's I've worked at WIC for a bit I really see that there is very little incentive for many folks to improve themselves. The second they do they are penalized through loosing very important things like food, housing, medical insurance, heat, etc. HELLO! Shouldn't we be supporting people who are trying to do better? If they don't want people to mooch off the system, then don't set the system up that way. Duh!

That's my pet peeve about our social services system....it's meant to be a hand out, NOT a hand *up*. :
janerose, this is EXACTLY the problem. we have teetered on the fine edge of losing our benefits and i have been a sahm in part because if i worked, we would have had just enough to lose most of our benefits. what money i could make would not have made up for the loss of benefits, especially health insurance for the boys. now that neither of us is employed (my dh lost his job b/c of needing extended leave after i tore a muscle in my back. with special-needs kids, there really was no other option. i could NOT handle it, and, sadly, getting a sitter/daycare would be less cost effective than no income. go figure.), it's not really an issue. BUT the state cut him from getting food stamps b/c he's not "making an effort" to get another job! in spite of me being unable to do ANY lifting or doing much of anything else! (it's slowly getting better, i'm waiting to hear from the specialist.) the system is definitely screwy.

mammal_mama, thanks for saying that you think i'm already giving back. when i first hurt my back i couldn't do anything. i literally sat in my chair or lay on the couch for months. i did almost nothing but read or crochet, and i made so darn many blankets and scarves that i searched out a few places that took donations! it made me feel good that i was able to do something, y'know?

eta: i'm one of those mom's that drive a huge suv too. i hate it. i can't put gas in it half the time. but with 4 kids, there's not a lot of options!

"give me life, give me pain, give me myself again" - tori amos
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#18 of 412 Old 07-21-2008, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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[SIZE="3"]mammal_mama, thanks for saying that you think i'm already giving back. when i first hurt my back i couldn't do anything. i literally sat in my chair or lay on the couch for months. i did almost nothing but read or crochet, and i made so darn many blankets and scarves that i searched out a few places that took donations! it made me feel good that i was able to do something, y'know?

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#19 of 412 Old 07-21-2008, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for starting this tribe.
Thanks for joining it!

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#20 of 412 Old 07-21-2008, 11:45 AM
 
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My kids get state health ins.No way can we afford to buy our own.I don't always care for the way we're treated because of it.Our local social services has lousy customer service LOL.The fact is we paid into for years before the big lay-off.

I look forward to the day this country has a better social safety net and health care.Most civilised countries already do.
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#21 of 412 Old 07-21-2008, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#22 of 412 Old 07-21-2008, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#23 of 412 Old 07-21-2008, 12:52 PM
 
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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.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#24 of 412 Old 07-21-2008, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#25 of 412 Old 07-21-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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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

Julie ~ homesteading, Traditional Catholic, wife to Chip, mom to Angelbaby(4-06), DS (3-07), and DD (11-09).
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#26 of 412 Old 07-21-2008, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#27 of 412 Old 07-21-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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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!
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#28 of 412 Old 07-21-2008, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#29 of 412 Old 07-23-2008, 04:43 PM
 
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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?

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#30 of 412 Old 07-24-2008, 01:39 AM
 
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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.

"give me life, give me pain, give me myself again" - tori amos
30yo SAHM of 4 DS's: 10/98, 6/01, 2/03 and 11/04, wife to DH, 33
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