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Social services aren't about lazy people on welfare

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My daughter had this same situation at one time. She had a mentally challenged husband and 2 special needs children. At that time he could work some. He made $8 too much----that's right $8 and they had benefits cut plus had to pay back a huge amount of his disability......all this for eight dollars
    2104 days ago
    I, too, get so angry when I read or hear people talking about the lazy so and so's using social services. My daughter absolutely can not survive on her disability income. I send her extra every month - but that is from my little retirement savings account. What will I do when I am out of that money and neither of us can live on our incomes? I can't sleep at night wondering what will happen to her after I die and her only safety net is gone.
    2108 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    Thanks for that definition.
    2109 days ago
    I do not know where you live... I will check it out when I leave this page, but there are two things a person can do in Michigan.

    communicate to your dr that you cannot afford the meds, 1) he can possibly give you the meds at no cost and 2) there are programs out there for families who cannot afford to pay for prescriptions

    Best of luck.. been there and done that!

    2109 days ago
    Go Girl, Keep kicking butt and taking numbers. Squeaky wheel gets the Oil.


    2109 days ago
  • BILL60
    Have you spoken to your church for possible assistance?
    2112 days ago
    Assistance programs are indeed lacking at times and sometimes you wonder if anyone cares ! It is a frequent discussion topic I hear - How on earth do people working for minimum wage manage to exist ? ! I can't imagine.

    I do know that there are other resources out there to help. You probably already are aware of them. One thing you may not know is that if you or anyone in your family gets hospitalized many hospitals have a special fund set aside for people who are having trouble with the high bills. If such a situation ever does occur just make sure you contact the Discharge Planner or Medical Social Worker while hospitalized.

    Good luck to you. You are definitely a fine example of a good mother and person for many to follow emoticon
    2112 days ago
    It looks like some people on your blog are helping out. Be careful though, as the laws about asking for donations and what you use them for can make them taxable as income. Still, I hope you're able to get enough to get you through this then able to adjust your budget for the future.

    I know how you feel. I'm unable to work at all and many days I can barely get around my house. Earlier today I collapsed in the kitchen with no warning. But some people adamently believe there's nothing wrong with me and I don't deserve any services at all, let alone having a roof over my head. The less you're able to care for yourself, the fewer services and support you get in this day and age. It seems that unless people have taken the time to learn someone's story, then they are apt to believe it's all fraud.
    2112 days ago
  • LARRI2010
    I haven't seen anyone here vilifying welfare recipients. I'm sorry to read about your troubles. I hope something can be worked out so you can get more help for your family.
    2112 days ago
  • 123ELAINE456
    So sorry to hear this. I have had problems with State and Social Sevice Agencies for years. I could say so much about it but it would serve no purpose. Will keep You and your Family in my Thoughts and Prayers. God Blessings to You and Everyone. Have a Super Nice Day. Take Care. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    2112 days ago
    I know how you feel at the beginning of April I lost my job. My hubby lost his in February, when I had to report that got unemployment. They cut ours from 630 to 150. We are both unemployed and we have 3 children. I cried so much until I was sure there were no more tears. Lucky we are scraping by. Now he has lost his unemployment, I reported it to the so we will see if they give us more. Probably not, but it never hurts to try.
    2112 days ago
  • _MOBII_
    There should be some sort of graduated system in place that at the very least would lessen the amount recipients get as their income rises. I am sorry that you were suddenly cut off just for making a couple extra hundred dollars a month.
    I am praying that things will work out for you.
    Have you tried contacting the drug company directly and explaining the situation? They may be able to help you out or send a coupon or something...I know that Nexium will do that, even on insurance, it is very expensive, so the company has a coupon on their website that you can print out. You might also try asking at the pharmacy and see if they have any other solutions for you?
    2112 days ago
    In my experience, you guys are the exception, not the rule. I worked at an office where a woman who didn't work, was on welfare, had 4 kids, and qualified for section 8 housing, came in every month to pay the difference of her rent. It was under $200 for a 6 bedroom house. (Her share, section 8 got billed $600) The problem? She had gold teeth, coach purse, iPhone... All the while I worked and barely made ends meet.

    I know too many people who have at least qualified for food stamps or food allowances based on income to ever villify them. My sister was one when she had her first child. They were on the assistance. I have no problem with hard working people taking the funds that are meant for them. I just have a problem with those that abuse the system.

    I also think it is ridiculous that you don't have that care. It is ridicuous that you DIDN'T receive notification that something would change, I'm so sorry that you are going through this.

    I think the problem with social services is that they are easy for people to abuse, and instead of helping the people who NEED them as SUPPLEMENTAL items (like you and the other hardworking people who need it) there isn't a way to make it easy. Not only should you have received notification, but maybe they could just give you an extra month so that you could get there? No, unfortunately, now they aren't willing to help you out. UGH.

    I'm checking out your other blog. Thinking of you, and sending hugs.
    2112 days ago
    I'm so sorry you're going through this!

    I had the same dilemma with unemployment. As a teacher, I could get work as a long term sub, but the pay until I reached a certain number of days was less than my unemployment benefit. I took the job and racked up credit card bills because getting that number of days was significantly delayed by winter school cancellations. I can't even imagine how that stress gets compounded when making choices for children.

    I found the same thing with students in my classroom. Teachers were quick to bark about parents who don't keep their kids on medications they need, but also complained about people who take advantage of social services.
    2112 days ago
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