Yesterday I went to my appt with food stamp office. I brought every single record they asked for. I was completely prepared. Except I wasn't.
I brought my current bank records, but only the first page which includes the sum of my deposits and the sum of my withdrawals. That wasn't enough, I was supposed to bring all the pages. I brought my doctor's notice, but it was written/signed two weeks ago. Not recent enough. I brought the letter with the important lines highlited from Workman's comp that states the next check will be my last. also not right, she wants my last "pay stub" ( I brought four, but couldn't find the last one) and she wants it to read that it was my last check. If you didn't read my earlier blogs, my checks netted $277.05, which was barely enough to pay the rent and eat. Keeping my phone on and paying for internet which I need b/c this disability keeps me home most of the time and paying to leave the house and extra food ate up all my savings.) I pointed out that the letter I received stated that the next check I receive will not include that information (highlited in yellow and pointed out previously in the interview.) She pressed the issue until I got a bit frustrated and *snippy* which generated this look of anger on her part. Of course, I backed off b/c I need her to approve this and lordy knows how vindictive she could be. Finally that was cleared up.
Then, despite my letter from my doctor affirming my disability and the letter from workman's comp that further proved I was disabled (they would not pay without assurance that I was disabled), she asked why I don't return to work. I pointed out that I was disabled and didn't know when that would happen (tho I'm praying for Oct. 14th before they have to consider the position open and begin the hiring process)and she gave me this look of doubt. Then she asked what was I going to do to pay my bills. I said I was told to got to the Public Assistance office to get rent subsidy and I had already been to the state disablity office and provided her with the statement from them that I had applied for it.
Now she wants to know why I didn't go to the PA office first. Well, I surfed the online site for information on how to handle my lack of income and there was no procedure information. she told me if I went there first, I could get my food stamps thru them. Ugh! No one tells you anything. all the paperwork you receive from these offices do not give you any fucking information on how to do this shit, they just say over and over that if you are convicted of a felony you will lose any chance for public assistance ever. Oh, also, rent assistance for a single person living alone is $200 and some dollars. how does anyone pay the fucking rent while any disability is going on? I have no fucking clue. She told me that I will have to find someone who will pay the balance of my rent and certify that. WTF!!!! I can't even get over that. If I'm getting money from someone if there was someone I knew who pay the balance of my rent, I prolly wouldn't be there in the 1st place!! However, if you are a woman with a child or children, they will pay the entire amount and give you first pick on subsidized housing in one of the *projects* [I can't think of the right word, but you know, one of the areas of buildings that are rife with crime b/c every one is so frigging poor}. You also qualify for many more food stamps which are now in a debit card of sorts and no supermarket can deny taking them as they did in the past b/c it was too much work for them to process. Plus you get some cash assistance (clothing, diapers, metrocard and such that you need to pay for) and help with child care. You are still pretty poor, but you automatically skip much of the process.
Well, fuck! of course women in poorer neighborhoods have children. And they get information from friends and family on how to go thru the process more simply. Generations of families who earn the disgust of conservatives and others for living on the system and not looking for a job have no clue why that is. Are you encouraged to do so? I don't know about that. what I do know is women (and men) who are raised in the projects get very poor educations as they are not located in *good* neighborhoods (NIMBY) and have very little resources to get to college which these days is crucial for success in earning a good living. Frankly, in the world of corporations, the corporations need to have more labor available so they can keep the wages down. It's supply and demand that is not explained in cartoons. It is the source of starving people who will take any job whatsoever and will break strikes to work just to earn some type of living. Union busting is important to corporations for just that reason. And it is the source of how difficult it is to organize a union and strike when wages are already so low people can't maintain much more than a hand to mouth lifestyle and even that will not fill their bellies properly.
I'm off-topic again. I had to sign a form for women only (no copy given to me) that certified that no one was hurting me, beating me or forcing me into sex. Now, the stated reason for this is, and this just kills me, has nothing to do with helping anyone out of situations unless it is to a shelter and who the hell wants to live there? [esp if it's your apt to begin with]. And who is it that dare force anyone who may be in a bad situation but does not want to anger such an abuser and make their lives even worse. Abusers kill women and most of the time it's b/c they have been forced somehow out of their lives.
The crux of this statement you must sign points out that you may not receive social services in this case b/c it will somehow support an abusive situation. Does anyone answer yes? How could you? You need help, end of story. you can't risk not getting all the help you need and if you can keep yourself from drowning somehow, maybe then you will have what it takes to report your abuse and get that person out of your life. Otherwise, you may need this abusing person to help with cash assistance. Abusers manage the money for control and control is what the abuser wants. if you get denied all the help you need, you need that abuser even more in your life.
The next thing you must agree to is "finger imaging". I completely balked at that. It is supposed to insure your identity for food stamps and other assistance. Just in case you sell some of your food stamps. As I pointed out before, you get a debit card with your picture and are issued a pin to use to access it. Now, if you do sell your food stamps for money, it certainly doesn't stop you from buying the things that person wants and trading it. Again, the fingerprinting makes no difference at the store. Your identity is confirmed by your card. A store can't check your finger prints.
now, your prints will go in the main system. What that means for instance is if you are in a store of any type and a crime, say robbery, is committed, the police have access to your prints and identity and will come to interrogate you and want an explantion for your presence. You are considered a criminal before you even commit a crime.
As I said, I balked at that. No one else except people who wish to own a gun get fingerprinted, but if you are a person in need, you must do so. I already thought there was no fucking way I was allowing myself to be finger imaged. As I had to return with my extra bank statements, I didn't need to be printed that day, I could return and do it the when I dropped off my statements. I don't want to do. I just don't.
The interview was finished by this woman saying that *if* I qualified, I would get the stamps a month after I completed these tasks. *If* I qualified. In the meantime, I don't know how I will survive.
I did ask an old lover who is very wealthy and was very generous with me when we were dating if he would give me a small business loan and wrote a great pitch for it outlining everything I was doing and what I needed the money for. he sent me a quick email back from JFK (and his blackberry) that he was on his way to Geneva and London and would be back on Friday (yesterday) and would be in touch. i considered that a good sign and hope to hear from him today. Please, please, my fingers and toes are crossed, please let him come thru. B/c I'm desperate and I don't know what else to do.