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Reply #17: These programs are labyrinthine. I've had my own problems, albeit less tragic. [View All]

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Akoto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 09:49 AM
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17. These programs are labyrinthine. I've had my own problems, albeit less tragic.
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 10:32 AM by Akoto
I'm 27 and have a rare chronic pain syndrome. I am on SSI disability now, but that took years and the assistance of a lawyer. Rehashing the entirety of that fiasco would take more energy than I have at the moment.

When I was initially approved for SSI, my payments were $449/mo. Approval meant I was automatically approved for food stamps at $107. Not much, but enough.

I really wanted to do my fair share for my parents, who I live with, so I worked out rent payments with SSI. Paying my folks $370/mo caused my SSI payments to go up to $674/mo, the cap. In response, my food stamps went down to $20/mo the following month.

Think about that. Yes, my cap is higher, but I have only $304/mo left after paying rent. I need the help more than when I was making $449/mo, yet my food assistance is cut down to twenty bucks. Why? Beats me. They went up to $40/mo a bit later upon review - again, don't know why - but that's still less to stretch than before. I went from buying my own stuff for the month to having to share my parents' stuff, and I hate taking from them.

It's those small peculiarities which make assistance programs maddening to deal with, yet many people can't afford to avoid them. Just getting food assistance or disability can be a process of years; they are hoping you'll give up. It was only when an administrative law judge declared I was disabled that I found my way in, and I'm grateful to her every day for being willing to meet me in the flesh and hear my story.
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