|oh i soooooooo agree!|
I am a single momma. I do make a good wage for around here, but its still far below what is considered poverty level. And...I use the welfare system. We receive food stamps, medicaid for the younger two and child care assistance. Without these resources, I don't think I would make it. For instance, we get $265/mo in foodstamps and I rarely use more than that out of my wages, mostly because I can't afford to. So we eat cheap. I pay for Nate's medical out of my check ($140/mo) and the other two are on medicaid, only because if I were to add them to my insurance it would take $420/mo to cover all three. Which, when you make about $1600/mo net it takes a BIG chunk out of your bill money. The program I am most grateful for is child care. During the summer when all three kids are there, the daycare bill is usually about $1300/mo. For just Ryder during the school year it is $663/mo. See what I'm saying? Now if I were married and had a dual income household, obviously things would be different. I wouldn't need these resources thankfully. But alas...I'm not. So...I use them in order to make sure my kids can have a decent upbringing (not in a cardboard box). Do I feel like I'm using the system? On occasion yes, but I just have to keep in mind that I am doing what I'm doing so that I can better myself and get off welfare.
Now what prompted this post? When your on welfare, you have to report any change in your household immediately. So when I started up school, I turned in my schedule and my new pay stuff since I will be making less money, etc etc etc. And then I got a call. Tyler (the one who needs the medical the most for his surgeries and such) is no longer eligible for medicaid because I make too much money. Which, okay I get that, but my wages went down not up. And then...our food stamps got closed. I still haven't gotten a reason why on that. Could I survive without that stuff? Yeah...its going to be extremely tough and Ty will have to go without insurance until the next open enrollment for benefits here, but we could make it work somehow. The biggest kicker to me?? The state will only cover child care expenses for schooling if your obtaining an Associates Degree. If you decide to further your education, they will not cover the expenses. If you are going to school and not planning on obtaining an Associates Degree (like me) then they will not cover expenses at all.
Now I have a better understanding as to how our social system is set up. Its looking like the gov makes these programs accessable, however if your trying to better yourself so that you can eventually get off the programs, they will just give you a head start and boot you off when you need it the most. I now see (but still don't agree) why people lie to get benefits or don't try to improve their situation so that they can keep recieving them. Will I just bite the bullet and do what I have to in order to survive? Of course. Thats what we always do. But I no longer have faith in the system. I no longer feel like these are programs that are intended to help people better themselves. And more than anything I wish that they would revamp how they run. I am all for getting drug tested before recieving benefits. I also wish they would do something like make the person earn their cash assistance. For instance, to get their check every day they have to either further their education somehow or go volunteer at the food bank. Even better, set up partnerships with local companies who need help doing minor work to get that check. Same goes for unemployment. If you want your unemployment check, you best be either improving your skills and applying for jobs, and if your not then you don't get your check. I've heard all too often people say that they don't bother looking for a job because their unemployment pays more than a regular waged job would.
My point: I'm very frustrated with the fact that going to school and trying to gain an education has thrown my assistance all out of whack. However, I am trying to be grateful for the help I do get. Doesn't make it any less frustrating though.