Let’s talk about the lifelines everyone assumes exist that are supposed to help people from poverty or desperation. There are some social programs that are designed to help people and there are major flaws in the system. Let’s talk about how the system works since many think they know but really have no clue on how they work. Every state has differences in the system but they are not so vast in their difference that in General the flaws exist in every state. The differences from state to state are mostly due to, cost of living in that state and min income changing accordingly.
Many have said this system allows people to sit at home and not work. If you are on every program including but not limited to section 8 this is true. You could sit at home and have your bills paid for. That is if you are okay with never taking a vacation, not having savings and not having extra income to buy new shoes or clothing. You cannot own a vehicle over the value of $3,000 in every state. You may not have savings of value over $1,000 in almost every state. So let’s talk today’s reality. There are not enough jobs out there for every American who wants and needs one. So those who lost their jobs in 2008 and started exhausting their UI in 2010 and have continued to grow including march numbers of half a million in one month. This was not a new phenomenon this has been happening since 2010. So now what you have no income, can’t convince a company to hire you, the government telling everyone that your lazy, drug addict and unskilled. What is a person to do? Go on welfare? Well first you have to exhaust all your savings sell everything of value and hope you have minor children to qualify for cash assistance. The amount of cash assistance is approx. for a family of 5 is $685 a month (that is in more expensive parts of the country such as the east coast). Great right so you get 171.00 a week to support a family of 5. Now since you can’t have things of value you’re pretty much guaranteed to have to rent. Section 8 programs across America have waiting lists for 5 years at min. In many cases Section 8 hasn’t been open since 2003. So without having section 8 already upon going on welfare you have to pay full rent. Now in the states that give you upwards of $685 a month on welfare, rents in those areas for a 3 bedroom in the worst neighborhood possible are 600-700 a month with no utilities included. You can’t put your children in a home where boys and girls are not separated. You might be able to get away with a 2 bedroom with parents sleeping in the living room. However, rents for 2 bedrooms are maybe 50.00 less a month than 3 bedrooms in the same neighborhoods. Most likely those that rent 2 bedrooms for a family of 5 are looking for a better neighborhood because location is important to them. So that simple math shows that it’s not advantages to in fact be on welfare. The elderly have a form of section 8 as well However, the housing for them is also lacking and waiting lists are high especially with people living longer. But of course so many think it’s all margaritas and beaches.
Rental Assistance many say there is rental assistance out there. Yes there is programs to help pay your rent in the case you are about to face eviction. To qualify for rental assistance you have to have enough income to prove that if you are aided that the rent will be able to be paid after the assistance. Makes sense since if you can’t pay your rent the following month your back in the same position you just was in and becomes just delaying the inevitable. So if you’re in the cheapest place and you only get welfare and your rent is higher than your welfare check. You will not be approved. So again it leads back to a job. IF YOU DONT GET section 8, there is no option when it comes to maintaining a roof over your head.
Food Stamps Now there are approx. over 50 million Americans on food stamps. What some call free food? Let’s talk about food stamp program and the food banks for those who don’t receive food stamps. Now a family of 5 receives approx. 680.00 a month for food. That if budgeted correctly you can survive on and eat pretty well. The system takes a while to be approved only in the case where you have zero income you might be able to be approved within 10 days. Otherwise they can take up to one month or more to qualify you. In the meantime you go to food banks. If you have no adult children the amount averages approx. 120.00 a month. And in some states there is a limit to 3 months of receiving food stamps and are called emergency food stamps. Every state is different when it comes to people without dependents when it comes to food stamps. People receiving social security make too much money for them to qualify if they do not have dependents. This is why when you visit food banks there are many elderly visiting them. Food banks also have limits just because you don’t have food in your home does not mean you can just run down to a food bank to be filled. In fact every food bank has a visit limit. Once a month is the average some are twice a month. And some are once year assistance. You go to those food banks and every one of them is different in what kind of foods they offer because it’s based on donations. You’re eating out of cans and boxes but when you have nothing your thankful for it. You get approx. 4 days to a week worth of food. So once a month you get 4 days of food assistance. So again people who don’t know how these programs work. Call the programs and ask. You would be surprised how much information they want from you just for you to be able to eat for a few days. In almost every state you have to volunteer or be in an education program in order to remain on food stamps. For many adults who don’t get cash assistance travel is another complication that is difficult to do. So again it’s all margarita’s and beach time.
Social Security and Disability is the next topic of many people who don’t understand the process. When you apply for Social Security approval takes up to 3 months (and that is generous of an average). Those that apply for disability almost every case is denied after 9 months of application. It takes usually up to 3 years if not longer to be approved for disability even for people who have cancer. There is a high average of people passing away before their disability is approved. To think that the alternatives of getting a disability check is more promising than working is sadly misunderstood. Children who receive disability are even harder to get approval. This is still based on your parent’s income and runs on a sliding scale. This means if the parents make a certain amount of money no matter how disabled the child is they are not approved simply because the assistance is not needed to provide needs for the child. So if the parents are part of the working poor are the only ones who would get this assistance. That is where a decent wage would in fact illuminate some of the disability claims that are being paid out.
I covered just a few of the issues involved with what so many like to call the Easy Ride. I say it don’t sound easy to me. To go from owning a home working every day to wondering how you are going to buy your children shoes that fit them don’t sound fun or exciting. The problem this country has is a JOBs crisis and if we address that, many of these problems so many like to complain about would be solved. Will it make it all completely disappear NO.? Just like everything there is corruption in the system. However, many don’t want that life and only want to work for what they have. Opportunity in America has been on the downslide for many years. We burst the bubble, and now we just throwing people by the wayside. So as you complain about immigration reform, healthcare, entitlements, and guns. We are ignoring a huge part of the economy. All the people who were thrown out of the economy and still not participating in the demand that is required in a country where 70% of its economy is based on people making purchases. The United States Government HAS no IDEA what it’s like to be poor in America. What the government is failing to pay attention to is many of millions of once middle class Americans now know exactly what it feels like to be poor. They know what it’s like to live on both sides of the fence. So yes you might have created a lot more poor people in America but your idea of making the middle class hate the poor is going to fail because WE ARE ALL POOR now. You clean us out. NOW WHAT? Handing us the bill while not addressing the jobs in order to pay the bill won’t work. DO your JOB. Americans are waking up every day. Not because they are told what to think or believe. THEY ARE LIVING it. Do your job, before we take your job from you.