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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in school and my living expenses are about to go up. Up until now I've managed on loans and could probably continue to do so but it will be extremely tight and I'll have to pick up more work, something I'm hesitant to do.<br><br>
I'm sure I could qualify for TANF and food stamps, but am just not sure if it's worth the hassle - mostly because I don't know what I'd have to go through to do it. Is there anyone here familiar with the process who could tell me what all is involved, what sort of information I would need to provide them, what sort of questions they're going to ask me, and whether I'm going to have to submit personal health information on ds (which I really don't want to do)?<br><br>
TIA. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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In my state you HAVE to work to recieve TANF, going to school doesn't count. I recieve FS and it's wonderful, defiinately worth the hassle. I applied for TANF but I'm telling them no thanks because I can't work, go to school, and take care of my children. When you go to apply make sure you have a lot of time because it takes forever.
 

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Here's my experience..<br><br>
Food stamps...have to give financial info but nothing else. Pretty straightforward and easy. Pretty good food money, etc., and no restrictions on what you do with it.<br><br>
TANF...almost impossible to get. They require you to be actively getting a job at the time, meaning you have to check in almost daily, SUBMIT copies of 20 job applications a week, etc., etc. AND THEY REQUIRE THAT YOUR CHILD BE CURRENT ON VAXES, at least in FL, which was the kicker for me. Oh, and if you can't find a job after three months or so, they require you to start doing 30 hours of community service a week for the $200-300 a month you're getting in TANF. Yeah, really cool. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: Also I think they reserve the right to try and get it back from you later (as in a loan, not a grant).<br><br>
Good luck getting things worked out. Are you getting ready to take the bar this summer? I hope that goes well for you...I'm planning on taking it in Feb (graduating in Dec) so that the kids will be in school when it comes up, I thought it would be too difficult to study for with them around over the summer.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
Jennifer
 

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I've recently been approved for food stamps and WIC. The process wasn't bad, I was able to apply online for food stamps. They did call me and request a few forms to be sent to them (to prove finances) and they do require you to cooperate with child support enforcement (which I've already done).<br><br>
WIC required my son to come to the appointment so they could test his iron level. They do require children to be vaxed (or so they say) but I let them know we don't vax for religious reasons and asked if I would be discriminated on because of my beliefs, they said no and I was approved.<br><br>
Between WIC and Food Stamps I receive around $300 a month is support. It is a BIG help. I've always been denied for cash assistance. I was denied for food stamps twice and approved the third time. There is no limit to the amount of times you can apply, so keep on applying if you get denied.
 

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Food Stamps are helpful and the state isn't really invavsive when you go to get them. TANF I've stayed away from because the state wants to know EVERYTHING! I decided not to persue my paternity case against my ex, after it was filed. If I had received TANF I would not have been able to drop the case <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: and they would have forced us to continue. Since I hadn't had any TANF I was able to drop the case and he has been out of our life. The state wants to recover its TANF money and will go after a deadbeat parent to get it.<br><br>
Beware of the TANF.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everybody. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> It sounds like Food Stamps may be the way to go. I'm definitely not interested in having to give any more information than is necessary. And just the few bucks that the FS would free up every month would probably put me in a good place financially.<br><br>
Jster - I'm graduating in May and taking the bar in July. Fortunately, ds will be able to continue at his "school" during the summer, so I'll have plenty of study time. I do sort of wish I'd done the 2 summers and graduated in December instead. It would be really nice to be finished with the bar. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Do you know what you're going to do afterwards?
 

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Sorry in advance for hijacking your thread, Dragonfly, but I didn't want to start a whole new thread about it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> It is my understanding that if you get food stamps and child support then the state will take as much child support as they can, up to the amount they give you in FS's. Is this true? And does this mean that, say you're on FS's for 2 years and never get CS during that time. Years down the road they find your ex and you have a chance of seeing that money. Will the state keep the money, since you did have FS's for 2 years (or whatever) and keep however much they paid you in food stamps? Is that right? Just trying to get this straight <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I've never heard of having to repay food stamps. I hope its not true.
 

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Steph,<br><br>
Here is the info relevant to MI.<br><br><a href="http://www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,1607,7-124-5455_7028-17317--,00.html" target="_blank">http://www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,1607,7...7317--,00.html</a>
 

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Hmmm....<br><br>
"If you request assistance for a child under the age of 18 years of age, you might be required to help the DHS establish paternity (establish a legal father for the child and/or obtain support from a legal parent who is not living in the home). If you are getting FIP, support payments will be kept by the state to pay back a part of the cash assistance you receive.<br><br>
You might also receive a participation payment of up to $50 per month if support is paid to the state on your behalf. This will not affect your FIP grant, but might result in a reduction in your Food Assistance Program (FAP) benefits."<br><br>
So I guess they only keep the child support if you're getting cash assistance, not the food stamps. Right? Sorry, I've got a nasty cold and can't think straight. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I think you're right Steph - at least in WA - the state will try and recover costs other than daycare, food stamps, and medicaid. The ex and I are going through this now - the state pays itself back before it pays any CS $$ to the parents. (which sucks in my case because they're going to pay themselves back for money his oldest son's mom got for aid before they pay me back CS - even though he has custody of his ds now and she isn't paying CS <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: )
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mammakerry</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In my state you HAVE to work to recieve TANF, going to school doesn't count.</div>
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This isn't true for my state (CA). I looked into TANF last year, and even started the application process. You either had to be working full time, OR in school full time. If you were only in school part time, you had to work to fill up the rest of the 40 hour per week requirement. (you could work or go to school, or both, as long as it added up to 40 hours per week).<br><br>
When going to school, they'd also pay for transportation, daycare etc etc etc.<br><br>
I ended up not finishing up the process for other reasons completely, but just wanted to put out there that all states are indeed different when it comes to this. (as I understand all COUNTIES are even different).
 

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I'm sorry, I forgot, they said I could go to school and not work and get TANF. I could go to high school. I could go to a "approved institution" which is a 6 week course to become a CNA type thing. No "approved institution" was a school for a degree.<br><br>
In my state, FS makes you get CS and they let you keep it. They count it as income, so it can reduce the amount of FS you recieve.
 

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My understanding is that TANF will deduct your cs, but it's only counted as income for fs...(so in my case, 3 people (2 kiddos and me), $400 childsupport, we still get food stamps).<br><br>
Dragonfly...ah, I got ahead of myself!! I'll actually graduate NEXT December. Although I was just realizing today that I have less than two years to go, which makes it feel very quick indeed. I have no idea what I'll do after, I'm still trying to work out this summer (summer school, summer study abroad???) Decisions, decisions...hope you do well on the bar! Any idea what you'll do afterwards?<br><br>
Jennifer
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Definitely do summer study abroad if you can swing it! It's the one thing I didn't do during law school that I wish I had. I console myself with the idea that someday I'm going to get an L.L.M. from some school abroad.<br><br>
About after - I was fortunate to get a clerkship beginning in the fall, so that's all set. One less thing to stress over! I'm pretty excited about it because I'll be working with 4 judges doing all sorts of different litigation. One of them is a career family law judge and I admire her very much. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Do you think you'll stay in Florida or are you flexible?
 

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In Michigan, the reduce your Food Assistance package because CS is countable income. They may keep some CS to reimburse themselves for cash assistance, but it depends on how much you get in CS. For me, as long as XH works and pays CS, I get more my not applying for assistance. I am going to apply for childcare assistance, however. It is very confusing.
 

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I know in Florida that the food stamp process is pretty easy. Back when ds was still an infant, all I had to do was show 8 weeks of pay stubs to verify my income.<br><br>
Cash assistance - I almost had a nervous breakdown about. Right after I had ds, I did apply for it. I got it for about 3 months - $250 a month. Wow, huh? They did require that I had to be actively looking for a job. When I went back to my old job, I checked in with the office, and they said it didn't count because it wasn't 40 hours a week. I made a comment about breastfeeding, and the lady sneered at me (the whole office was very unkind). I asked how I was supposed to continue breastfeeding and find child care for my newborn if I was working 40 hours a week. I was told not so nicely something along the lines of that's what formula and government assisted daycare was for. I declined further assistance. However, the amount I did recieve is now being taken from my child support checks in small incriments.<br><br>
Food stamps helped me out a lot. I was declined renewal, though, for whatever reason, I have no idea (I'm making less now than I did while I was receiving fs). It was nice while it lasted. I got to purchase all the fresh fruits and vegetables my little heart desired. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Any ideas on how much you get in food stamps? I make just under $1000/month (and that includes child support). I know the max limit for MI is over $2000/month for a family of 2 so I'm WELL within the limits to get it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Just curious how much.
 

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Yeh, it's different, and I don't completely understand how they calculate how much food stamp $ you get. Also, our social worker requires that we have a letter done by our manager, just to prove that we live here and pay the rent that we do. He also asks us to bring in utility bills, etc, as that can help bring up our limit.
 
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