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How food stamps/Medicaid/child care subsidies work - Printable Version

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How food stamps/Medicaid/child care subsidies work - ChiefD - 07-12-2020

I originally posted this on ATS in 2015 when I was still working. I worked for my county human services department in the economic support division when I posted this. I have since retired from that position in 2019. I still believe this information still holds true to this day. I don’t like what I see about people being criminalized for being poor or receiving benefits. Now that I’ve applied for Medicaid on behalf of my husband who is in a nursing home, I’m really feeling how important these benefits are. The rack rate at the nursing home my husband is in is $300/day. Do the math. I don’t have that kind of money sitting around, and I’m grateful Medicaid is able to pick up most of the tab for my husband’s care. 

Hi everyone. I decided to post this thread after seeing a number of threads bashing and slamming those receiving food stamps, Medicaid, and child care subsidies. 

I imagine more than a few of you are receiving benefits of this sort. I work at my county human services department, in economic support. I see people come in on a daily basis to apply for benefits, so I have insight on how it works. 

I want to clear up some misconceptions. First, if a person is undocumented, they cannot receive food stamps, Medicaid, or child care. I have seen several posts by people saying they can. That is not true. Second, these benefits are not handed out like candy. People are required to turn in many verifications, and they have a narrow timeframe in which to turn them in.  

If they turn in the verifications in a timely manner, and they are within the income/ household composition criteria, they will receive benefits. Every six months, they must re verify their situation and turn in more verifications in order to keep their benefits. If they do not, their benefits will end. For food stamps, you get a card. You use it like a debit card. You cannot buy alcohol or cigarettes with an EBT card.  

One cannot simply stroll in, say they have 19 kids, and we hand them cash. It doesn't work that way. The process can seem humiliating, and that is because the few bad apples that commit fraud ruin it and make it all the harder for everyone. 

I see people from all walks of life come into my office. Guess what? They are people, not animals. They have hopes and dreams. They have good and bad in their life, like the rest of us. The great majority are good people in a bad way, either by a couple of poor decisions or life circumstances. Of course, we only hear the horror stories in the news because if it bleeds, it leads.  

I'm pissed and tired of hearing all this bashing of people because they are poor! If I had a dollar for everyone who told me they were ashamed to even be there, I would have been able to retire long ago to a beach in Tahiti.  

I wish everyone would have more compassion for poor people. I remember something one of my former bosses said to me shortly before I started working at human services - most of us are 2-3 pay checks away from being on the other side of my counter, applying for benefits. Most us us would be well to heed that.  

I hope my thread educates those who read it. 


RE: How food stamps/Medicaid/child care subsidies work - kdog - 07-12-2020

I do understand the reasons some are poor. So many circumstances are a contributor . 

I can not judge people because of that because I have been blessed and very lucky. I seem to always land on my feet running. 

It's the cards that are dealt to you and how you play them . 

So people are lucky and some people are not. 

I just have a problem with people who use the system because they can. 

But, hey, I am using the system right now , so I have no say in this.


RE: How food stamps/Medicaid/child care subsidies work - ChiefD - 07-12-2020

(07-12-2020, 03:14 AM)kdog Wrote: I do understand the reasons some are poor. So many circumstances are a contributor . 

I can not judge people because of that because I have been blessed and very lucky. I seem to always land on my feet running. 

It's the cards that are dealt to you and how you play them . 

So people are lucky and some people are not. 

I just have a problem with people who use the system because they can. 

But, hey, I am using the system right now , so I have no say in this.

Oh, I definitely also have a problem with people who use the system just to game it or commit fraud. I am using the system to make sure my hubby gets the care he needs. I don’t feel guilty about that at all. There should always be a safety net of a sort to help people get back on their feet. Not for those who exploit the system in multiple generations and that.


RE: How food stamps/Medicaid/child care subsidies work - guohua - 07-12-2020

I have compassion for the Poor, I have more compassion for those who try and help themselves.
There are those that really require assistance, the functionally mentally ill and others born with a defect but can work at a low skilled job.
Of-course others but don't make a family career out of it. 
I also appreciate it greatly when they don't purposely have more babies.
I'm not trying to be cruel, just practical. Use birth control or keep your legs shut.
Sorry, JMHO


RE: How food stamps/Medicaid/child care subsidies work - LookingForABetterLife - 07-12-2020

I'm one of the poor people on SNAP (food stamps) so I appreciate your thread.  Having to update my case or whatever it's called every 6 months is getting to be a pain now that Covid has shut down all the needed offices I used to go to to get the required documents.  Same with my county health insurance (every 8 months).  Now everything is done via Zoom or Skype.  Once approved I have to wait on the documents to arrive by mail or by email to find someone to print these out.

Being disabled and old school per the workings of the internet this is getting to be a headache.

My main concern right now is that I am expected to find out, from the judge, the final results of the appeal to my Social Security disability hearing any week now.  I want to plan on receiving approval so that I can get on with my life.  I've been stuck living with my parents for over 6 years now.

The help that I am asking about is in part with housing as I am determine to move as soon as I can.  I just get bewildered trying to read about what housing discounts I can get and how to go about doing so.  Then there is the need to select the best health insurance through Medicaid/Medicare.  This mess is beyond my understanding.


RE: How food stamps/Medicaid/child care subsidies work - guohua - 07-12-2020

(07-12-2020, 04:52 AM)LookingForABetterLife Wrote: I'm one of the poor people on SNAP (food stamps) so I appreciate your thread.  Having to update my case or whatever it's called every 6 months is getting to be a pain now that Covid has shut down all the needed offices I used to go to to get the required documents.  Same with my county health insurance (every 8 months).  Now everything is done via Zoom or Skype.  Once approved I have to wait on the documents to arrive by mail or by email to find someone to print these out.

Being disabled and old school per the workings of the internet this is getting to be a headache.

My main concern right now is that I am expected to find out, from the judge, the final results of the appeal to my Social Security disability hearing any week now.  I want to plan on receiving approval so that I can get on with my life.  I've been stuck living with my parents for over 6 years now.

The help that I am asking about is in part with housing as I am determine to move as soon as I can.  I just get bewildered trying to read about what housing discounts I can get and how to go about doing so.  Then there is the need to select the best health insurance through Medicaid/Medicare.  This mess is beyond my understanding.

You are disabled and need assistance, the county should have someone to be available to come to your aid and help you throw the process, GOD knows we pay enough county and city taxes.
OK, that's may rant.
I'm sure @ChiefD  will have more knowledge.


RE: How food stamps/Medicaid/child care subsidies work - ChiefD - 07-12-2020

(07-12-2020, 04:52 AM)LookingForABetterLife Wrote: I'm one of the poor people on SNAP (food stamps) so I appreciate your thread.  Having to update my case or whatever it's called every 6 months is getting to be a pain now that Covid has shut down all the needed offices I used to go to to get the required documents.  Same with my county health insurance (every 8 months).  Now everything is done via Zoom or Skype.  Once approved I have to wait on the documents to arrive by mail or by email to find someone to print these out.

Being disabled and old school per the workings of the internet this is getting to be a headache.

My main concern right now is that I am expected to find out, from the judge, the final results of the appeal to my Social Security disability hearing any week now.  I want to plan on receiving approval so that I can get on with my life.  I've been stuck living with my parents for over 6 years now.

The help that I am asking about is in part with housing as I am determine to move as soon as I can.  I just get bewildered trying to read about what housing discounts I can get and how to go about doing so.  Then there is the need to select the best health insurance through Medicaid/Medicare.  This mess is beyond my understanding.

I cannot begin to imagine what you’re going through. So sorry to hear that. I hope and pray you get SS disability. It is so hard. My Dad had to hire a lawyer after being turned down twice. Housing is a whole nother thing too. I found the housing thing imcomprehensible when I worked for human services. Hang in there and don’t give up.

EDIT: If you haven’t already contacted your county housing, do so ASAP. Get yourself on the list for Section 8 as soon as you can. Most places have years long waiting lists for section 8 housing.


RE: How food stamps/Medicaid/child care subsidies work - LookingForABetterLife - 07-12-2020

(07-12-2020, 04:52 AM)You are disabled and need assistance, the county should have someone to be available to come to your aid and help you throw the process, GOD knows we pay enough county and city taxes. Wrote: OK, that's may rant.
I'm sure @ChiefD  will have more knowledge.
I was receiving Social Security in the past and my wife and I were getting by ok.  Then a couple months after my wife's death Social Security stopped my payments as they lost my records.  Without being able to work and not receiving Social for my wife and or myself I've been stuck living with my parents 440 miles from where I want to be.
The county and state that I am currently living in are the ones that I am trying to get away from.  My current insurance is a joke.  I'd want to move back to where I was living for 20 years with my wife.  The cost of living is much lower there too.
I could contact the county in the state I want to move to but I don't know when I'll be getting my Social Security again if at all.  I'm expecting back pay if I am to get Social but I'm not sure how much that will be.  I feel like I'm trying to build a house without and building materials or construction workers so far.


RE: How food stamps/Medicaid/child care subsidies work - LookingForABetterLife - 07-12-2020

(07-12-2020, 05:03 AM)I cannot begin to imagine what you’re going through. So sorry to hear that. I hope and pray you get SS disability. It is so hard. My Dad had to hire a lawyer after being turned down twice. Housing is a whole nother thing too. I found the housing thing imcomprehensible when I worked for human services. Hang in there and don’t give up. Wrote: EDIT: If you haven’t already contacted your county housing, do so ASAP. Get yourself on the list for Section 8 as soon as you can. Most places have years long waiting lists for section 8 housing.
Thank you for you prayers and hope.  It's taken me three hearings, with lawyers to finally get where I am now.
Per my last reply, I'm not jumping on the Section 8 bandwagon yet as I don't have all the details such as if I will be approved for Social Security yet.  
If it wasn't for the help of a person I worked with years ago I wouldn't be here with my parents.  I'd be out on the street homeless.  I'm bringing this up in part as she may be moving to the same area at the end of this year meaning I will be sharing the home I move to with her.


RE: How food stamps/Medicaid/child care subsidies work - guohua - 07-12-2020

@LookingForABetterLife 

I do hope you get your Social Security back.


RE: How food stamps/Medicaid/child care subsidies work - LookingForABetterLife - 07-12-2020

Thank you.