The stigma of using welfare benefits, because people make ignorant comments or give one dirty looks just because they need help feeding their family, there is also stress of dealing with the welfare system.
- It is not enough that you are in a situation where your family needs help.
- It is not enough that people put you down, whether they know you or not.
- It is not enough that you cannot afford to eat the way you should for proper health, or even pay for your oil when it is needed.
- And it certainly is not enough that you already feel as low as a person can feel becuase you cannot make ends meet.
But then you stand the chance of the welfare system messing with you, causing your benefits to be late or non-existant. Oh, how many times they send paperwork… you filling it out and getting it back to them as quickly as possible to avoid interruption, only to receive a letter telling you that you no longer qualify because they did not receive your information. Even when they just haven’t gotten to your file yet. A failure, on their part, that causes you to get penalized.
Or after calling your case worker to explain that your income has gone up and you are pretty sure you do not qualify for benefits any longer, they tell you that you still qualify after figuring the new income. Then you get chosen for some freak lottery where they audit you for a specific time period, only to find out that you indeed did make too much money. And that even though the proof is right in front of them that you made your case worker aware of your new income, YOU still have to pay it back. All of it. And you are not allowed to just send them a check and get it taken care of, or to have them take it all out of your next foodstamp payment or two. No. They will take so much out of your benefits each month until you get it paid off. You are beholden to them for a specific number of months, and still collecting benefits you maybe shouldn’t be getting because they need you to pay them back… But make no mistake. The case worker is not responsible for this fiasco.
There are so many rules and conditions it isn’t always easy to remember them all, and you really do not have much for freedom to speak of. You can get into trouble for any number of things.
If you get housing, their are even more rules. More freedoms taken away.
If your child receives a tablet or a computer from their grandparents for Christmas, rude people ignorantly inform anyone who will listen that you should be taken off welfare.
If you have a cell phone – even if it is the cheapest possible with the cheapest or a free plan – people complain that you are abusing the sytem. It is even worse if your parent or boyfriend buy you a nicer phone and pay for the service.
Oh, and if you happen to find your child some designer clothing at Goodwill, it is the end of the world!
If a friend of yours invites you and your children to their camp out of state for a week – and all you have to do is buy your own food – you risk the chance of angering the cashier becuase you go to the grocery store to buy food with your foodstamps. Even though you spend about the same you would have had you stayed home. Your family does not deserve any form of vacation if you are on welfare.
And that is not all. Even if you do not collect full benefits you are at risk of having to deal with the stigma. You can work harder than your neighbor but, because you make less money than he and receive $50.00 a month in foodstamps he will scrutinize every little thing about you.
These are abut a few reasons why I tell people to NOT get welfare unless they absolutely have to. Then, I would likely try to keep it on the low-down. No one really needs to know. People simply do not need the kind of stress that receiving welfare benefits causes. It cannot possibly be good for them.
If you can possibly live without it, do so. Work odd jobs. Take on a second job. Let mom work from home while dad is working at the factory, to save child care costs. Have your teenagers work for what they want. Learn to live the most frugal life possible. Try to stay away from the stress of welfare as much as possible. Only take what is necessary, if you qualify for anything. And try not to let others know if you receive benefits, lest you chance the risk of humiliation.
And remember, no one is better than you even if you do need welfare.