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Have any of us here been helped by welfare?

 
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:17 pm
@Green Witch,
I had forgotten about those things. Here, oftentimes people will get a retroactive payment, which can be a few thousand dollars. But because they can only have a certain amount of money in the bank, they have to go and spend it on things that won't cost them being on disability! It's ridiculous.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:20 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Thanks, I mostly remembered that, but not all of it. I know you and Michael, a close friend, had some similar experiences. He's younger than me, the brat, but not by much.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:22 pm
@Arella Mae,
Re you, Arella, and Max, I don't know. I could make a guess.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:25 pm
@Green Witch,
Well, that is all fucko.
But, you know that.

I'm guessing that is all in place as reactive - but surely it should be reworked.
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:26 pm
@ossobuco,
Max is probably right. I am only going by heresay and from people I know.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:29 pm
@Green Witch,
I don't mean to sound daisy innocent, I know some of this, and have known it for years, but I haven't lived it close. Well, hey, six blocks.
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:31 pm
@ossobuco,
They tried to rework it during the Clinton administration, but the Conservatives accused him of being soft on the Welfare Cheats and he wimped out and got rid of the "bootstrap" part of his program. Instead "welfare as we know it" because an even darker,deeper hole with less help attached.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:36 pm
@ossobuco,
I don't think your question was naive or your responses based on excessive innocence. Many Americans think they know a lot about our welfare system, but don't because they have never experienced it personally. As A.M. indicated - we just know the hearsay, and that usually comes from people who have also never experienced the system first hand.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:53 pm
Great question, osso. I'm enjoying reading the replies.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  6  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 10:03 pm
"welfare" as it is believed to be in the USA all but disappeared in 1996 and was known as AFDC. The remaining assistance programs (food stamps/SSI/SSDI/HUD/medicare/medicaid) should not be considered "welfare." The still active "welfare" program is Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) which is indeed temporary (one family may receive benefits for no longer than 5 years and requires a work/training component. What I read and hear all to often is "welfare mythology" generated mostly by the Lyndon Johnson era "war on poverty". That "welfare mom mythology" is history.
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 10:07 pm
@dyslexia,
Quote:
That "welfare mom mythology" is history.

You might not think so if you go check out the thread on "free internet in public housing".
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 10:08 pm
@sozobe,
Soz- You used the S.S.I. program as a stopgap, while you were developing your career. To me, that is an appropriate use of government funding.

Many years ago, I worked as a counselor for the now defunct C.E.T.A. program. This program provided federal funds for poor people. Jobs were created and paid for out of the C.E.T.A. money.

There was a loophole in the program where college students could get into the program, even though their families were basically middle class. What I found was that the college kids got a lot of the experience, working and gaining experience in jobs that were related to what they would be doing after graduation.

The people who got screwed were the unskilled labor force. They learned nothing, and ended up being free workers for politically well connected businesses.

Once a client of mine told me that the company had the C.E.T.A. workers
mailing political flyers. When I reported this to my supervisor, I was basically told that I was naive, and to keep my mouth shut.

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 10:20 pm
@Green Witch,
I've long thought my own learning was flawed, and I was a semi privileged kid. Which is that my family was in big trouble while they tried to keep me in school, not once but many times. But, I never learned a thing about money. My own parents were fools about it from their own backgrounds. Some cousins were smarties.

Not that I'd want to trade parents, but really, couldn't my accountant relatives have spoken with me?

So, on this basis, I'm all for a series of money classes in high schools. Even repetitive money classes, for the basics.
Phoenix32890
 
  2  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2010 07:36 am
@ossobuco,
Osso- I heartily agree. In some families, money is a subject that is not discussed with children. Often, young people start out in life with little knowledge about how to spend and save wisely.

If the family has money problems, the children need to be told about it, in a dispassionate, non-threatening way.
I think that starting in middle schools, kids should be taught about budgeting prioritizing, and looking for the best deals.

When I was a kid, children could start a bank account with as little as 25 cents. I remember learning to put a very small amount of money in the bank every single week. I was so proud when I saw that I was earning interest on the account. I have the perception that many of today's kids think of money only in terms of spending it.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  3  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2010 08:14 am
My mother was on welfare when i was super young .
Late 1970's, she was earning 2.12 an hour at a fast food restaurant. her rent was 180 I think. I remember her telling me it was almost exactly half of her income.
She moved her mom and my aunt into a tiny 2 bedroom apartment so she could afford to pay bills, go to school and care for me. She did that for years.

When I had my first child, and she stayed with me for 6 months, I was on welfare. Because I could not afford otherwise, that was a major part of my decision to give her up for adoption even before she was born

When i was pregnant with Jillian, I got state health insurance. Her dad and I could not afford insurance at the time because my work was spotty and I was constantly sick and having really hard times with the pregnancy. We are both surprised she made it alive considering 3 others did not.

Now here i sit, able to make money, physically able to do anything, and yet.. welfare is an option I have considered many times. I COULD qualify for disability but I wont elaborate on that here.
I could qualify for food stamps...insurance....even ssi. Im not sure I choose to.
Why?
because no one can live on 800 a month or less .
I really dont see how people think that others can 'get over' on a system that does not give you enough to pay rent, and only gives you enough money to eat food like mcdonalds because you cant AFFORD real food.
Forced poverty, food that makes you unhealthy and robs your body of nutrients and shame..
yeah..
thats a real 'one over' on society all right..
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2010 08:48 am
@shewolfnm,
I'm sorry for your difficulties shewolfnm. You've had to make some tough decisions.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2010 10:03 am
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

I found out not long ago that I could have been disabled all this time. I was put off by a friend who had breast cancer and lupus that they would just say no to me.. when I asked, us driving in a car. Which might have been true.

Anyway, many years later I met a guy with my diagnosis (or likely less) who had been disability worthy for.. decades.

What can I say - I'm not the least sorry I was me all those years.
I figure, looking back, I might have gotten some help. As it was, I cut out city meetings in the evening, and so on, and that was a career downer.

Never mind me, more about the rest of us..



That is a shame that you were put off because your friend said they would turn you down, but that neither of you pursued it to the next step.

Let me tell you (or others who may need to get on disability) how it works. This is not trying to be a cheat, but rather understanding the process, and how you must be willing to follow through.

There are many many people out there who should be on disability, who deserve to be, but aren't because they give up the first time they are rejected, or, in your case osso, gave up because someone else told you they were rejected.

When we first realized my husband could qualify for disability (now he is 62, so his disability payment has converted to his Social Security payment) we went down and put in an application, got an appointment, and saw a caseworker.

When you go to your appointment, bring someone with you, 2 pairs of ears are better than one. Especially when the one applying is not feeling well, may not be paying 100% attention to what is being said, and more importantly, HOW it is being said.

We presented our information to the caseworker, she entered it all, then turned to us. She said....

"All right, I have entered your info, blah, blah, blah....."
then, she paused for an instant, looked me straight in the eye to make sure I was listening, and I mean "Listening" and said "and When (the word "when" being slightly emphasized) you get rejected (pause to make sure I heard that), you have X amount of days to appeal. You must appeal within that time, Or You Will Have To Start All Over Again"

"When you appeal, we will have X amount of days to reevaluate....(another pause to make sure I'm listening).....When you appeal is rejected (pause and look in the eye) you will have X amount of days to procure the services of an attorney, who will make a 2nd appeal on your behalf."

I'm not sure if she asked me "Do you understand?" verbally, but yes, I did.

You apply, you get rejected.
You appeal, you get rejected.
You get a lawyer, who takes a percentage, up to a maximum dollar amount, out of your retro payments, ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE INITAL DAY YOU APPLIED.
The lawyer gets you approved, takes his cut, you get a big lump sum to get you up to date, then you get a monthly payment.

Towards the beginning of the process, Wally was seeing his cardiologist and mentioned he applied for disability, since the doc would be receiving a request for information.

"Oh yeah", Dr. V. said, waving his hand dismissively "It'll cost you $3000 to get on disability"

We got our initial rejection, appealed, and when we got the appeal rejection, we also received notice that if we chose, we could get an attorney to appeal again. We go to the attorney, who says "our fee is X percentage of the lump sum retro settlement, with a maximum of $3000"

All told, with us doing things as quickly as possible, and not waiting until the last minute, and not letting any deadline slip by (if you do that, you have to start all over, and miss all that retro pay), it took us somewhat more than a year to get approved.
The lump sum check was big, the lawyer took his 3 grand and we were glad of the rest.

I can't emphasize this enough. DO NOT GIVE UP IF YOU GET REJECTED. It's all part of the game.

I hate to think how many people do give up, just because they don't realize that's not the end of the line.
Arella Mae
 
  2  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2010 10:15 am
@chai2,
You described that perfectly. When I worked in mental health that is the same process our clients had to go through. Sometimes it takes a few years.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  3  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2010 10:33 am
@chai2,
Good grief!
That's insane.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2010 11:06 am
@George,
Sounds about right to me, though.

That was a big part of what I did in L.A. -- helping people through the appeals process. These were deaf people who were completely unambiguously disabled, but still there was usually at least one rejection. I usually got them through without a lawyer.

My sister-in-law (brain tumor and resulting aphasia/ disability) had the same thing. She applied, it was rejected, my parents-in-law (who were handling it) thought that was that. I told them about my experiences and recommended that they appeal, I think they did have to go all the way to a lawyer but it came through at the end.

Phoenix, thanks. I have to say it was the same for the many people I dealt with in L.A., though. As in I think that's a pretty common approach. These people were pretty much universally resistant to taking a handout, and were happiest when they'd earned a job. (Although they frequently had to take a reduction in their total income to work -- not because they were getting so much from SSI beforehand, but because the new jobs often didn't pay that well and there were associated costs, especially childcare for the single moms. And there were a lot of single moms.)

And yeah, I can definitely back up what GreenWitch says about skills. That was another big chunk of what I did, just teaching basic life skills. This was a disabled immigrant population so they had two strikes against them, but frequently their (hearing) families didn't know these things either and so couldn't teach them.
0 Replies
 
 

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