Food Stamp Recertification – Not Going to Make It

I had my Food Stamp recertification interview on April 4th.  As much information and hours of work it took to get everything together, it wasn’t good enough.  It figures, Social Services will pick apart anything in order to shut down your food stamps.  It seems they do not believe that we are living on the income we say we have, even though I kept saying to them, “Everything I can buy on a credit card I do, we are about $40 thousand in debt, we will be declaring bankruptcy in the next few months.”

They sent me home with a check list of what we needed to get back to them “as soon as possible”.  As in, as soon as my child with his hurt arm goes back to school after six days, as soon as I am not in pain, as soon as I feel able enough to be upright, as soon as the laundry is done, and as soon as the bills are paid.  Taxes?  Forget that.  We filed for an extension.  The house?  In a complete shambles, even more so than usual.  Grant and I have been working on it as much as we can.  Plus there are others we need to rely on to get things to us for the recertification.

This isn’t the first time we have had to battle for food stamps.  If you do a search for “food stamps” you will see lots more good times.

Here’s what they want from us, seriously:

Three months (January, February, March) worth of  income statements.  I made $250 during that time.  They don’t believe it, they want proof.

Three months worth of every checking and savings accounts we have and three months of what is now our now defunct IRA.  Every deposit must be “explained”, like if Tyler got a Valentine’s Day check as a gift, we have to tell them that.

Three months worth of every credit card statement that we have.  We have at least ten credit cards.  I had to run to Staples and buy another $50 worth of ink.

What we pay for rent on our apartment, and what we will pay come next month when our rent goes up

TWO letters from our doctor stating that we are disabled and why Tyler needs to be in daycare.  We have the same doctor, but one letter wasn’t good enough, they need two.

Another letter from my mother telling how much money she gives us each month.  The other one was not complete enough, apparently they needed her name, rank and serial number.

Hopefully all of that will count for the last thing needed.  Expenses Exceed Income Situation. (Please verify how you are meeting your living expenses (gifts, loans, unpaid bills, etc.)

I’m not exactly sure how we are meeting our living expenses.  God?

I have assembled about 75 pages of documentation for their review.  We are still waiting for the letters from our doctor.  I don’t know how long it will take the wheels of bureaucracy but I am pretty sure that come April 30th our food stamps will be shut down.

Sure, most likely we will be reinstated proactively, but in the meantime, how will we buy our food?  As I said, our credit cards are mostly all tapped out.  We depend on the money we get from Food Stamps each month.  I guess it is back to supplementation from the Food Bank and that God guy again.

Although my Food Stamp worker thought she sent me home with a check-list that she thought was simple, for two chronically ill people, nothing is ever simple or easy.  My every spare thought and action has been devoted to completing the documentation asked for and we are still not going to make it.


Source:  Migrant Mother

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About mamasick

Emily Cullen is a pen-name. I suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which include Bipolar Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes and Fibromyalgia. I had battled Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is no longer evidence of me having these diseases and my Rheumatologist has declared them to be "burnt out" of my system. I am separated from my husband, “Grant”. Our son, “Tyler” was born in September of 2006 and suffers from tics and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is delayed in fine and gross motor skills. In my blog I seek to let sick moms know that they are not the only ones going through this, and to educate people about what can happens when one becomes catastrophically ill. I also strive to break down stereotypes of what a “Welfare Mom” is like. Anything that I have gone through due to being sick, is written on the pages of Mama Sick.
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12 Responses to Food Stamp Recertification – Not Going to Make It

  1. Cindy says:

    This is the biggest bureaucratic clusterf*** I have ever heard of. (Ok other than SSDI approval “process”!) I hate that they torture you like this. I’m always around if you need to vent, wish I lived close enough to help you with this crap! ((hugs))

  2. I’m so sorry 🙁 It’s amazing how much power doesn’t rest with the people.

    I can’t imagine a society that treats people this way even though I actually live in it.


  3. Tendai says:

    I am sorry on so many levels. Sorry that you have to go through this, sorry that I don’t have the money to help you eat and sorry that our country devalues the disabled and those with low income.

  4. The Valcat says:

    That’s crazy that they put you through all that especially when they know you have a child. I hate that so many systems have no compassion and instead go completely “by the books”. I will say a prayer for you and your family.

  5. Andy says:

    Wishing you some extra spoons to get through this, and all the possible luck I can muster going your way. So sorry you have to go through this.

  6. Caroline says:

    This stinks! That is a perfect image to go with this blog. I am SO SORRY that you are struggling with this. I couldn’t do the paper work. I would give up, but you CAN’T give up. Ugghhh!!

  7. lisleman says:

    thanks for browsing over to my blog and leaving such a thoughtful comment. You are right about teaching people about your situation. Too bad you can teach these food stamp people. How often do they make you recertify? wish you the best.

  8. I can’t believe how many times you’ve had to go through similar actions. I understand doing it once or maybe eve annually, but not as often as you’ve had to do it! Sending you energy and stamina to get through it all! *hugs*

  9. D.Wilson says:

    I too am a single mother of four children and although its tough for me I couldnt imagine having to face the medical conditions you suffer from on top of caring for a child. But even in your darkest hour please keep your faith in God. He WILL make a way out of no way. Prayers to you and your precious family. May God sustain you were man has failed you.

  10. Eartha Domanski says:

    The first thing required by the food stamp office is an application. Most counties have an online application process. The electronic application allows the process to get started the moment the application is submitted. Paper applications will be accepted, but the process will take longer than an electronic application. Most food stamp offices have computers available for applicants filling out electronic applications. Workers will be available on hand to answer any questions about the application you may have. “

    Till next time

  11. Kc says:

    Hey,this advice may help.Don’t tell anyone that you are getting food stamps,not even your closest friend.I think that sometimes people see you with things,and think that you are doing a lot better financially than you actually are,because they don’t know what your bills are like or how much money you have,so I think sometimes they may call the food stamps office on you to try to make it seem like you have more than what you actually have.I know what you have to go through for that little bit of food stamps money is a pain,but keep pressing on and you will get it.

    • mamasick says:

      Hi Kc and thanks for stopping by. As of today I am in a position where I no longer qualify for food stamps. I am living on SSDI and it’s tough to rely on that as my sole means of income. Still, I know that I am luckier than many low-income people.

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