Social services are for people like me; who have jobs, but don't quite make enough to make ends meet at the end of the month, even with careful budgeting.
This month, I got a rude awakening about how thin that lifeline is, and now my daughter's paying the price.
You see, there is no safety net. No warning. Nothing. I understand why sometimes people prefer to make less money, because the gap between "Making enough to not qualify for social services" and "being able to afford all of the things social services provide" is enormous.
By making an extra $200 a month, I have lost over $500 in food benefits, and insurance for my 7 year old ADHD child. I will qualify for state insurance for her, but that's going to take at least until next month to get going, at the absolute EARLIEST. I will have up to a $25 premium for that, but that's okay; I can handle that. I'm still uninsured, but I don't care about that. What happens when my daughter's medicine is up for refill?
Well, I discovered today that I get to pay $168 out of pocket for her medicine. That's money I hadn't budgeted for, and don't have. That effectively eats up the difference in my income, and we're not going to talk about the enormous food budget I've lost.
I wrote a blog asking for help. I can't do that here, but if you're willing to read more details, it's here:
Anyway, The current sticker price for my $200 extra income so far is clocking in at $700 and counting. Because I have had the audacity to not want to stay at poverty level the rest of my life, I am having to take on a second job, whereas this time last month we had enough to feed our family, get them to church, and didn't have to worry about the kids' medical care at all. Thankfully, my youngest child still qualifies.
The best part? I had no reason to believe this would happen. My daughter has been on medicaid for a while now, and I did not know the income limits were different for her age group. My review was on the 25th. I received notice that her benefits were terminated on the 1st. Her benefits ended on the 1st. At the absolute minimum, I should have received some kind of notification when she turned 6 that the program would change, so I could make preparations and have her applications ready so that if she breaks her leg tomorrow, we don't have to panic about going bankrupt over necessary medical bills. And so that I don't have to scramble to find money to pay for medicine that I can't afford.
So think about this before you vilify "welfare recipients" for being leeches, remember that the primary beneficiaries for these programs are the elderly, the disabled, and *children*. Children like Elisabeth.