Fall/Winter Parents Using Public Assistance-Support Only! - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 311 Old 11-22-2008, 05:16 AM
 
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Hugs, damona. I wish I had better advice on Christmas but I pretty much got everything during the yard sale season. Of course, you could do this in your own way still. Start scouring the thrifts all you can, diy as much as possible, look at freecycle and craigslist, etc. You may have resources for cheaper goods in your own town such as the local paper and online classifieds. Swapping with friends is also a good free option if you have a community of people with similar aged children.

I get my food stamps tomorrow. Yay for going shopping! I really enjoy shopping for food, so tomorrow is a day I look forward to.

My hubby hasn't heard back from unemployment yet, and we have yet to hear back from heating assistance either. Luckily things have been pretty mild temp wise so we haven't had to crank a lot of heat.

I've been beating those antsy wanna shop feelings by hitting the library a lot and redecorating the house. Once little miss arrives I'm pretty sure we'll be recieving a small bit in TANF, which will help with the bills and getting toiletries, kitty food, etc.

We haven't had to hit up the food banks, thankfully. I've been trying to save those for others in more need because I've heard they aren't getting nearly the donations that they have in the past.

In a couple of weeks, hubby's school will have the book buy back so that will hopefully put a few bucks in our pocket as well!
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#62 of 311 Old 11-22-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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This is what I do for Christmas. I either knit or crochet most of my gifts. My grandma sends me all her leftover yarn, so I don't even have to purchase that. I do buy buttons or snaps for things occasionally. Or I just get photos of us at one of the cheap places that has a huge package for less than $10. It is hard to resist the pressure to buy more pictures than that. That is what I send the family. For my kids, they get enough from my grandparent, mom & stepdad, dad & stepmom, and my sisters that I don't even buy them a Christmas present usually. If I have time I am going to knit them slippers this year. I second the pp that mentioned freecycle and craig's list. I have been getting a ton of baby stuff there for the one that is coming in January. Also one of my secrets is to go to http://www.freesamplesite.com. I get tons of freebies off of there that I give as gifts or stocking stuffers. HTH

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#63 of 311 Old 11-22-2008, 02:24 PM
 
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I just received my letter stating that I will be receiving $289 in heating assistance. : I am so excited to not have to worry about my heating bills this winter. I am thinking that if I can keep the heat way down like I have been so far that it may get us through till spring. I keep the heat at 60-62 during the day and 54 at night to save, and I think my heating bills will be around $80-$90 a month this winter. I need to block off the upstairs, and the stairway to the upstairs and get plastic onto my windows. I am also planning to use window quilts at night and wool blankets between the front door and the outside front porch door and between the windows in the bedrooms too. I am really hoping that will help. Our heating bills last winter were around $100 a month but I kept the house at around 68 pretty much all the time and didn't seal my windows or put up blankets, so I am crossing my fingers. My last gas bill was $35, so here's hoping!

Chandi, I am so sorry you have having a hard time with Christmas this year. Your kiddos sound very mature and understanding though. Is there any way you can make them a gift or what about putting IOU's in their stocking for a batch of their favorite cookies later in the year, a stay up late night, or a coupon to get you to make their favorite meal?

I hit up yard sales all last summer so I have a basement full of presents, plus our town did a toy swap and I got some super cute toys for DS for Christmas. I definitely think every town should have this. It was such a fabulous way to get great toys into the hands of families that couldn't otherwise afford them. I think that Toys For Tots type programs are great, but it is hard that the parents can't pick out the toy for their children. If you are anti-commercial toys, it is pretty much impossible to use those programs. I don't want to sound ungrateful, it is a fabulous program if you need it, but I am so glad the toy swap happened.

ETA: Just wanted to share the fun finds that I am giving DS for Christmas this year. I posted this elsewhere on MDC, but I am so excited that I was able to spend close to nothing on his presents and have such beautiful gifts under the tree. He is getting this stable to go with his animals that he already has. I found it at the toy swap, so it was essentially free. (just had to donate some toys he wasn't playing with anymore) He is also getting this wooden stove that I found on Craigslist for $15! It is perfect! No scratches at all. It looks brand new! I have this easel in my basement as well. I may save it for his birthday, I am not sure yet about that one. It was $5 at a yard sale.

He is also getting these books in his stocking. They were also from the toy swap. They are in a little rougher shape, but I figure they are no worse than he would make them within a few weeks anyway. The puzzle beside them he already has. These hats are from my yarn stash that I already had. They are matching mama/son hats that are going in our stockings too. This is some felt food for his stove that he is getting too. I had the felt already too, so no cost there either.

I am so excited for Christmas and so happy that I was able to make it a good one for us. I was so scared earlier in the year about how I was going to make it work that I started insanely early with hitting up yard sales and making things. I am so glad I did though, as it has totally payed off.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#64 of 311 Old 11-22-2008, 03:01 PM
 
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Hi! I'm a SAHM with four children and my husband and I were separated last month. We were already receiving food stamps and now I'm up for my eligibility review.

I haven't reported my husband moving out because he's still depositing his paychecks into our joint account and paying the bills with it. We're doing a three month trial separation and then seeing where we are, so I really don't want to change all the paperwork and then change it back again. He doesn't have a new address for me to prove, either. Sometimes he sleeps in his car, sometimes a hotel, or sometimes a relatives house.

So do I report him moving out if he's still giving us all his money? How does that work? Also, he got a $2000 cash advance from his credit card and put it in our account to cover bills because his employer has cut his hours way back. Does that count as income?

Should I just bring in the blank eligibility review form to my review appointment and fill it out there? Call the helpline and ask? I'm afraid I'll get in trouble somehow because I'm supposed to report changes from last month by the 8th.
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#65 of 311 Old 11-22-2008, 05:19 PM
 
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Hi! I'm a SAHM with four children and my husband and I were separated last month. We were already receiving food stamps and now I'm up for my eligibility review.

I haven't reported my husband moving out because he's still depositing his paychecks into our joint account and paying the bills with it. We're doing a three month trial separation and then seeing where we are, so I really don't want to change all the paperwork and then change it back again. He doesn't have a new address for me to prove, either. Sometimes he sleeps in his car, sometimes a hotel, or sometimes a relatives house.

So do I report him moving out if he's still giving us all his money? How does that work? Also, he got a $2000 cash advance from his credit card and put it in our account to cover bills because his employer has cut his hours way back. Does that count as income?

Should I just bring in the blank eligibility review form to my review appointment and fill it out there? Call the helpline and ask? I'm afraid I'll get in trouble somehow because I'm supposed to report changes from last month by the 8th.
I would definitely call to let them know what is going on. I am betting they will be lenient about the date if you tell them that you separated from your husband. That is enough stress to make anyone slip up on dates. I have been late reporting things before and it has never been a huge deal. It might mean an extra trip into talk to someone that otherwise could have been handled over the phone, but it has never affected my benefits.

I am sorry you are going through this mama.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#66 of 311 Old 11-22-2008, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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to elisent!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#67 of 311 Old 11-24-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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hey! link to the old thread!



This is how I feel with the system right now. I went in and yelled at the receptionist today at the office where they are "processing" my foodstamps and cash assistance. I havent even been approved for freaking WIC yet and its been like 2-3 months. I am just so pissed I dont know whats going on with my case and I am about to be homeless and hungry and they dont even give you a list of other resources like food pantrys. I wasnt sure what to ask them for so they gave me nothing.

My caseworker wont return my calls.

Any suggestions for navigating the system? This is freaking ridiculous.
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#68 of 311 Old 11-24-2008, 11:04 PM
 
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hey! link to the old thread!



This is how I feel with the system right now. I went in and yelled at the receptionist today at the office where they are "processing" my foodstamps and cash assistance. I havent even been approved for freaking WIC yet and its been like 2-3 months. I am just so pissed I dont know whats going on with my case and I am about to be homeless and hungry and they dont even give you a list of other resources like food pantrys. I wasnt sure what to ask them for so they gave me nothing.

My caseworker wont return my calls.

Any suggestions for navigating the system? This is freaking ridiculous.
Will they let you sit and wait for an emergency appointment? I would tell them at the receptionist that you are in crisis and willing to wait all day if necessary. Here if you say something like that, they can usually get you in within a couple of hours. Bring a good book or some knitting, and plan to stay there all day if necessary, but they should be able to do something.

Also check out the front of the your phone book. There should be a listing of helpful agencies that you can call. Here in Vermont, we can dial 211 and get hooked up with all the social service agencies that are available to us. Do you have 211 in your area?

That is a ridiculous time amount of time to be waiting for help. I would also call some homeless shelters to see if they have any ideas for avoiding going to them. I bet they have a bunch of info, as most of the ones here are way overcrowded and are more than willing to help you find other solutions.

I am so sorry you are going through this mama. I hope you are able to get some answers soon. Keep us updated.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#69 of 311 Old 11-25-2008, 12:22 AM
 
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Where do you live? Here in Wisconsin, they have 30 days to accept or deny claims. Can you get ahold of a supervisor or just the receptionist and ask for the supervisor?
Otherwise, re apply and GO AND SIT there

: :Mama to 4 girls and Michael is here 9/11/09 We love :::
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#70 of 311 Old 11-25-2008, 12:23 AM
 
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Oh and Kim, I just wanted to tell you, that I too have a child that shares my birthday with me I had her on my 27th birthday which was 2-24-04

: :Mama to 4 girls and Michael is here 9/11/09 We love :::
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#71 of 311 Old 11-25-2008, 12:47 AM
 
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I am in CO. We got emergency foodstamps like 2 months ago. Now that is all gone.

While I was yelling at the lady, (and all the ppl in the office were like "YEA MAN!" ) A lady gave me 211.

I plan to call it first thing in the morning.

I dont actually know if we are going to be homeless but I dont know how much dh gets paid on the 30th and our rent/utilities are like $800. I have never not paid rent before so I dont knnow what happens or how fast.
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#72 of 311 Old 11-25-2008, 01:24 AM
 
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Quote:
So do I report him moving out if he's still giving us all his money?
Couldn't it hurt her eligibility if she has the same amount of money but one less resident?

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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#73 of 311 Old 11-25-2008, 09:36 AM
 
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Couldn't it hurt her eligibility if she has the same amount of money but one less resident?
That is true. I didn't think about that stipulation. I was thinking that she should mention that they are having to use credit cards to pay bills. I can't see that being used as income at all as you have to pay it back. That is a tough one, I am just not sure.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#74 of 311 Old 11-25-2008, 09:40 AM
 
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I am in CO. We got emergency foodstamps like 2 months ago. Now that is all gone.

While I was yelling at the lady, (and all the ppl in the office were like "YEA MAN!" ) A lady gave me 211.

I plan to call it first thing in the morning.

I dont actually know if we are going to be homeless but I dont know how much dh gets paid on the 30th and our rent/utilities are like $800. I have never not paid rent before so I dont knnow what happens or how fast.
If they were able to give you emergency foodstamps, they were definitely looking at your paperwork. There is no excuse for them not getting back to you on any further benefits. I would definitely go camp out there ASAP. Even if you are not positive that you are going to become homeless, call the shelters anyway to find out how it works. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

If you are not able to make your rent, you will not be on the street immediately anyway. You will likely incur late fees for late rent, and then if you can't pay again the next month, your landlord might start the eviction process. It can be a very long process for them, and expensive for the landlord though, so they don't really like to do it. Can you call your landlord and explain that your finances are in a bit of a tight spot right now and you may have to pay rent late? Can you possibly pay half on the first and then half the next week?

Hang in there mama. I know how hard and frightening it can be. We are here to listen anytime too.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#75 of 311 Old 11-25-2008, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Transformed, please keep us updated!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#76 of 311 Old 11-25-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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I will, but I dont know how I am going to camp out with 3 kiddos.


On another annoying note:

You know what my apartment is doing? They charge us for 5 occupants for all utilities even though my kids are 5,3,and not even 1 yet. That is killing us.
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#77 of 311 Old 11-25-2008, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Now, that is crazy!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#78 of 311 Old 11-25-2008, 07:09 PM
 
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my case was denied.

check this out.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=996987 :
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#79 of 311 Old 11-26-2008, 12:38 AM
 
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reapply IMMEDIATELY. The vaccination question shouldn't even have been asked for food stamps and medical assistance. ILLEGAL. Ask for another worker.

Now, wic will ask you (but that should be done by a WIC clinic NOT by the same people you apply for foodstamps/medical assistance) if you vaccinate, tell them you don't vaccinate.
Chandi

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#80 of 311 Old 11-26-2008, 12:43 AM
 
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RE life insurance a page back don't remember who posted)... I am a lurker (not low income at the moment but I like to stay grounded)... I think you have them reversed. Term insurance, you do NOT get any $$ back and the payments are lower. This is almost always the best way to go.

Whole insurance: you pay more a month, and you get a lump sum payment at the end of the policy (usually 20 or 30 years). This is almost always a BAD idea. It should really only be done as a tax shelter (and if you are on this thread you probably don't need a tax shelter ).

Often times insurance salespeople will try to convince you that it is a good deal because you get $$ back in the end. In reality, it just makes them more $$ to sell you the policy.

Example: Whole costs 200$ a month. At the end of the policy you get 50,000$. Term costs 100$ a month. If you take the other 100$ a month and invest it yourself, you will make more than 50,000 at the end of the term.

Also, there is rarely a reason to buy life insurance for a child unless you are worried about funeral costs- but it is so rare to have to bury a child that statistically that is not a very good reason to buy it. If you are buying a whole life policy to use the money for college, for example, you are probably a lot better off to put the money in a college-specific account, which since it would be under the child's name, I doubt it would affect your ability to get gov. assistance.

I hope I don't come off as preachy, but it makes me so sad when people listen to salespeople who should (but often don't) have their best interests in mind, and waste a lot of money that they can't afford to waste.

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
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#81 of 311 Old 11-26-2008, 01:19 AM
 
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Also, there is rarely a reason to buy life insurance for a child unless you are worried about funeral costs- but it is so rare to have to bury a child that statistically that is not a very good reason to buy it.
What I'd like to know if if we do buy a life insurance policy (not term)will it effect eligibility? Both my children have conditions that can lead to death in childhood as scary as that thought it it does happen and they seem to like telling everyone when a child with the dx does die. I mean I know its to support the family but all it does is remind me my kids can die from there conditions. Anyway, I'd like to get something, plus they will not be able to get life insurance when older (they won't even be able to get regular health insurance ) so I'd like to get something now and get something they can keep there whole lives.

Seriously?
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#82 of 311 Old 11-26-2008, 01:40 AM
 
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Suzylee, I was the one asking about life insurance. You're right, I did have the whole and term policies confused. We have yet to decide on a policy, so we'll do some more looking in Febuary and see if we find out anything about gov. assistance in the meantime.

I was thinking of the Gerber plan because I heard it was cheaper for her to take over the policy if she so chose to as an adult, and because it was a way to put a little away for college as well. Luckily I've read that it's the same rate for at least a year after birth, and it's pretty reasonable to start the plan all the way up until she's twelve so I have time to get off public aid.

Once hubby gets a good job (which he's in school for now!) we will have more options as well. I'm more trying to cover my back at least in some way as hubby is the sole provider and we obviously don't have much money in the bank, lol. This is why a life insurance policy would be a comfort.

And by all means, don't feel like you can't share advice just because you're not in the same situation. I feel like everyone can learn from each other. Thanks!
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#83 of 311 Old 11-26-2008, 09:44 AM
 
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With respect the qualifying for aid if you have a whole life policy, I really have no idea! My *guess* would be you wouldn't qualify if god forbid the person died and you got the check- but otherwise I doubt it would affect things.

In terms of you kids having health issues, I am sorry to bring it up, but are you sure they would qualify for life insurance even as children?

My aunt had a policy bought for her when she was a newborn and it was used when she died at age 4 monhths so I know it can be helpful if god forbids the worst happens. So morbid the think about, I am giving myself the shivers.

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
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#84 of 311 Old 11-26-2008, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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transformed, that sounds just insane! I'm in Missouri, which just allows for religious (and not philosophical) exemption, and I've never had to deal with that kind of hassle!

We've never been questioned about vaxes for food stamps or medicaid. With WIC, they ask if vaccines are up-to-date and I say, "We don't vaccinate," and that's it, we've always gotten the WIC no problem.

I feel quite sure you're going to win this, and they really should give you back-pay for all the time they've made you wait.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#85 of 311 Old 12-02-2008, 05:50 PM
 
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Ok, my application was dated 9/29 and my denial dated 11/25 - is that insane in itself?!?!

(For EVERYTHING medicaid, foodstamps, tanf, EVERYTHING)

The medicaid was denied because I dont have the money to buy birth cert's. (My worker told me she could approve tanf funds to help me pay for them)

My tanf and foodstamps were denied because I didn't give them proof of religion AND a financial statment (which I told her I was waiting to be mailed to me, and I actually had in my hand the day she told me she was denying my benefits-my car wasnt driveable that day)

The packet she gave me with a list of documents she needed to process my app had a due date on it that I didn't see, (10 days) and she didnt inform me their was a due date either.

I am trying to appeal but I have like 20 papers with the denial letter on it and I am confused about what I need to do.

It says I should contact my caseworker for help appealing. :

I am overwhelmed. We dont have enough to pay rent this month. (If we plan on eating.)
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#86 of 311 Old 12-03-2008, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Gosh, transformed, I hope you can see your worker right away and this all gets straightened out quickly!

Please let us know!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#87 of 311 Old 12-03-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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Gosh, transformed, I hope you can see your worker right away and this all gets straightened out quickly!

Please let us know!
thanks. I am calling a lawyer. this is ridiculous.
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#88 of 311 Old 12-03-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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Ok, my application was dated 9/29 and my denial dated 11/25 - is that insane in itself?!?!

(For EVERYTHING medicaid, foodstamps, tanf, EVERYTHING)

The medicaid was denied because I dont have the money to buy birth cert's. (My worker told me she could approve tanf funds to help me pay for them)

My tanf and foodstamps were denied because I didn't give them proof of religion AND a financial statment (which I told her I was waiting to be mailed to me, and I actually had in my hand the day she told me she was denying my benefits-my car wasnt driveable that day)

The packet she gave me with a list of documents she needed to process my app had a due date on it that I didn't see, (10 days) and she didnt inform me their was a due date either.

I am trying to appeal but I have like 20 papers with the denial letter on it and I am confused about what I need to do.

It says I should contact my caseworker for help appealing. :

I am overwhelmed. We dont have enough to pay rent this month. (If we plan on eating.)
Yowza! That is so wrong in so many ways. I am so sorry mama, that you are going through all of this. I wish I could come pick you up in my car and drive you over to your DCF office and sit with you while you wait for an emergency appointment. That is just insane.

Do you have any food pantries that you can go to? Are there any churches in your area that have food pantries? I am not sure how your local food pantries work, but here you just have to give a statement about income and that is it. They also would like a social security card on file, but don't require it. I just went yesterday and they had leftover turkeys from Thanksgiving that were still frozen. They had a million and were trying to get rid of them. I got two actually, as a friend who was with me didn't want hers. If you lived closer, I could give you a huge honkin' turkey!

Oh mama. I am thinking of you and hoping your luck turns around soon.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#89 of 311 Old 12-03-2008, 04:47 PM
 
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yes I am slowly finding my way around the resources here - I yelled at the lady at HHS for like 10 min for not giving me a list of food pantrys/resources

This county, or state, or whatever, is just crazy.

I wrote a letter to the ACLU today.

I am looking into whether I have a legal case here.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1007517
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#90 of 311 Old 12-03-2008, 10:20 PM
 
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Yeesh! Things are so crazy, aren't they? I hate all the red tape people hand you sometimes.

If I don't have my dd by the eighteenth I'm going to be induced. I'm not a huge advocate for induction but in this case I'm comfortable with it. I've been told by many that when she comes on out my hubby should go directly to the public aid office and inform them. Our food stamps will be raised and we should qualify for TANF as well. As much as I don't want to go from hospital to the public aid office if that's what I have to do, I know the extra benefits will be a godsend. I also want to clear up what I need to do and show right away so that I'm for sure dd has her insurance taken care of. I've heard different things about whether they'll want another reassessment, what paperwork I'll need to bring in, etc. so that's why I'll be sending hubby for all the info while I recoup with little one.

I'm very excited for her to be here!
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